I am deeply grateful for all of the blog authors who either released their content under an open license or gave me permission to republish their work in this volume. I feel that I have been greatly enriched by reading their words and by grappling with the very important issues that they have sought to bring to light via their blogs.
I'll admit that when I started the process of collecting blog posts for this book, I was rather naive on several fronts.
In particular, I assumed that practically all EdTech bloggers would release their posts under a Creative Commons or similar license. Yet, many did not. Interestingly, I found that most of those whom I had selected for inclusion that did not rely upon a CC license had written posts that I wanted to include in the Equity & Power [https://edtechbooks.org/-HoN] section.
I don't think this was a coincidence.
Rather, it forced me to realize that even the process of writing a blog post and sharing it with the world can be an act of vulnerability in many ways — economic, emotional, professional, etc. — and that EdTech scholars must grapple with these vulnerabilities in determining what and how to share (as Audrey Watters explores in this great blog post that I was not able to include [https://edtechbooks.org/-pdL]).
Though the history of EdTech may be at least somewhat interesting as an abstraction when viewed as a never-ending series of gadgets and gizmos, its histories of innovation, disruption, openness, sharing, identity-negotiation, participation, equity, and power are perhaps best seen through the lives of its scholars and how they have historically negotiated (and continue to negotiate) the affordances and demands of emerging technologies within their own sociopolitical and interpersonal spheres.
Thus, I hope that if nothing else, this volume has collected the voices of some of these scholars into an interwoven tapestry of experience, wherein we can each gain some sense of the hopes, fears, challenges, and triumphs that are embodied in the lives of vibrant EdTech practitioners as they are actively seeking to exert positive influences on the world around them.
The process may be messy, the artifacts may be a bit wild, and we may be required to grapple with some of our most basic assumptions about what it means to be educators, ethical people, or even (simply) human, but the resulting exchanges of experience and perspective are essential if we are to make a world that ever increasingly values learning, equity, civility, and simple goodness.
Is there a future in academic blogging? Will EdTech scholars continue to maintain these "public brains" for the world to see? Futurist predictions in EdTech are almost always wrong, but I'll at least say that I hope that as our field continues to develop that these voices and the communities surrounding them keep up the good fight, because if nothing else, they have at least had a positive impact on me.