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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Ten Years of Free Technology for Teachers

Ten years ago I hit "publish" and sent the first Free Technology for Teachers blog post into the wild. 12,593 posts and 72,056,319 pageviews later, I'm still here. I never had plans to publish that many posts, review that many resources, or to be doing this for ten years. But, as it turns out, if you show up and write everyday, people keep coming back for more. So thank you all for coming back to my little blog for all these years.

In many ways a lot has changed in ten years and in other ways not much has changed. Here are some quick thoughts about what has and hasn't changed.

What's changed:

  • Windows netbooks are a thing of the past. Although you could argue that a Chromebook is really just a netbook. 
  • Windows and Mac operating systems have changed. 
  • Android phones and tablets are plentiful and affordable. 
  • Mobile phones are much more capable than they were ten years ago. 
  • We consume more information through social media than we do through newspapers and traditional television programming. 
  • More schools have 1:1 programs than ten years ago. 
  • Cloud computing is more prevalent than ever.


What's still the same:

  • We still debate the merits of Windows vs. Mac. 
  • Apple products are still expensive (and Apple likes it that way).
  • Too many schools still won't provide computers for every student. But at least the football team looks good in those new uniforms.
  • Good teachers make a bigger difference in students' lives than any hardware or software you can buy. 
  • I still look up to many people who were making a difference and sharing online before me. In no particular order those folks are:


    • Dr. Wesley Fryer
    • Vicki Davis
    • Kathy Schrock
    • Dr. Gary Stager
    • Larry Ferlazzo
    • Dr. Scott McLeod
    • Tony Vincent
    • Alan Levine
    • David Warlick
And a special note to remember Allen Stern who ran Center Networks when I started blogging. Allen inspired and influenced much of my early blogging. We had great conversations on Twitter and in email in the early years. Sadly, Allen passed away way too soon in 2013.