Crap. Or even something stronger.
Yahoo announced that Delicious, my favorite, much used and long promoted social bookmarking tool is going away. (Or maybe not.) Yeah, I know there is always Diigo and Google Bookmarks, but Delicious was both simple and powerful enough for most of us.
And I now may need to already re-write a small section of the draft of my book.
Writing a book about technology is a tricky business. Can it be specific enough to be useful, but not so specific that it is dated before it hits the shelves? (My goal is that the book can get to be 5-7 years old before it becomes embarrassing. Because of datedness, not the writing that is.)
One thing I have been doing is using the generic terms for technology tools. For example:
- Social bookmarking sites, not Delicious
- Word processing software, not Word
- Online productivity tools, not GoogleDocs
and then just giving a couple examples of specific products. One can hope readers five years down the road can make a leap from the generic term to current product. (Or maybe everything will just be owned by Google - Googlicious?)
I've also been attempting to predict which tools are more than a flash-in-the-pan. I've been using word processing software for 30 years. I think it is safe to say that in some form or another it will be around for the next 10. It would really honk me off as a time-stressed teacher to put a lot of time into a tool that won't serve me for a very long time.
I'm curious to know what technologies and applications the brilliant readers of the Blue Skunk predict will still be a part of the educational scene in, say, 2016, in some version. In addition to the tools I listed above, my bets are on:
- Social networking tools
- Course management software
- Blogs and wikis
- Spreasheets, presentation and drawing programs
- Digital cameras, still and video - perhaps merged - and editing software
- Portable computing devices (netbooks, laptops, tablets, smartphones)
What do you see in your crystal ball?