This week I came across a little 16-page book that I wrote when I was inspired by author R.L. Stine back in the 90s. It got me thinking about what enabled me to start writing, and then reminisce on the nearly two decades I've been using technology and what has changed.
My story began with a collision of several events: buying each book in the Goosebumps series and getting access to the internet and web development on the free hosting site (at the time) GeoCities. It's a long story, but I'll keep it short. I would write two-page short stories, print them out, and imagine releasing the two page stories in a regular cadence (I think it was weekly) like Stine did.
I hosted my first website on GeoCities, showcasing a newsletter featuring the latest story and behind-the-scenes. I didn't have much of an audience, my family was already well aware of my writing, being passive supportive recipients of a "free print subscription" printed on a Dot Matrix printer.
So as the next generation of kids get started using technology, I wonder what they will build using much more advanced technology available to them from nearly anywhere in the world.
Looking back at the release of the smartphone and tablet that we know today, it was revolutionary in making technology accessible in the classroom. Every child seems to have some device available to them. Access to technology and the internet isn't such a stumbling block that it used to be.
In the last decade, there's a new crop of acronyms that have become accessible: AI, AR/VR, ML to name a few. Most of these have a plethora of online courses that can lead a newcomer through the ropes to learning the technology. Free or inexpensive hosting (now referred to as the Cloud) make it relatively easy to spin up hardware to make it happen, and tear down when finished. Github makes it easy to find code, to share code, and to collaborate with others. The investment is no longer about money and physical space, but rather time and interest.
What has technology enabled for you?