Personal history

I received what I thought was an interesting email this morning. This email notified me that my content contained an out-of-date link and provided a more current address. I have generated so much content that finding a way to keep information current is a problem so I appreciate assistance when offered.

The unique thing about the request was that it concerned a blog post I had written rather than the content I might try to keep current. The blog post was written in 2002. Unlike web page content I create, blog posts are kind of a temporary offering I assume fades into the mists of time. Just to address the emailer’s request, here is the original post updated to include a current link.

OK — just in case you don’t know and were wondering — what is a blog?

Blog is web slang for “web log.” Think of a blog as a web page that the author continues to update with new and typically short comments. Blogs entries tend to be dated and the entry appearing at the top of the page is the most recent. Blogs are created using a simple web form through a service provided on a remote server. There are several such services and basic blogs can be created for free. Blogs are either hosted on the remote server or can be ftp’s to a server of your choice.

We must admit that we are new to blogging and we are learning as we go. The experience of jumping in and trying a new technology venture in a public way is becoming a pattern of learning for us. We think this is a great way to learn and we would encourage you to take the same approach.

It seems to work best for us if we learn within the context of an actual project. Here is our proposed project. We will be attending the National Educational Computing Conference in San Antonio (June 17-19). Experiences at NECC should provide us something to write about. We intend to share both our NECC and blogging experiences with anyone who might be interested. We hope the combination will be of some value.

History of weblogs

For some reason, I found the topic addressed by the broken link, then and now, interesting. Blogging could not have had much of a history in 2002 nor could other forms of online authoring. I occurred to me that we (my wife and I) have lived through the history of something that continues to shape many aspects of our world. We were working with technology before the Internet was available and before the web browser. We did things for ourselves (e.g., running a server and generating web content “by hand”) because sharing content and opinions had yet to be developed as a service. Our first book on technology integration for educators was written in 1995 and we were working with computers in classrooms some years before we wrote about the topic. I like to explain our earliest personal work in the field by noting that we first used the Apple II when you had to add an extra card so you could have lower case text. It does occur to me that a comment about adding and pulling cards probably makes little sense to many technology users. Trust me – it is the kind of thing you used to have to do yourself.

It is interesting being old in a field often associated with the young. You must pardon our smiles when you share your enthusiasm and sometimes assume we don’t understand. We are not putting you down because of your enthusiasm. We were once where you are now and remain involved and excited by the present. When it comes to broad access to technology, the good old days were not that great.

This post from 2002 contains some history. The post mentions attending NECC in San Antonio. Some of you may have just returned from ISTE in San Antonio. Same organization with a new name 15 years later.

I was thinking that blogs of some duration end up being historical accounts in the raw. The many entries speak to current events and in doing so offer by accident an account of the topic the posts tend to address. I will have to take the time to reread some of my old stuff.