I have not posted anything in a while as I have been busy working with a group of students on an iMovie project. Now that it is over we are looking at the end of term and some final tech projects. One teacher has asked her students to create a memory using some kind of digital format, movie, podcast, or whatever. Hmmm, just thinking, VoiceThread might be a good idea.
Anyway, while discussing this with students today we started a discussion of memories and keeping things to share with their children. Someone suggested a blog would be a good memory. I quipped that the blog server (we host the students’ blogs locally) will not be around in 20 years and they were shocked. What did that mean?
So I had to break the news to them that the Internet is not permanent. Indeed, I told them, the Internet will likely not exist as we know it in 20 years. I stand by that prediction.
Even now the Net Neutrality issue threatens to change the nature of the democratic web. If companies and countries can control access to sites and give more bandwidth or more access to certain sites and kill others if they disagree with them or if they can’t pay enough, the web as we know it will change irrevocably.
And I think, soon is my guess, that the need to upload things, to use WordPress or a hosting company, will go away. A computer, on the network, has an IP address and a unique hardware address. That can and will likely be accessible from the Internet or the wider network. Why should I have to post my photos on a photo sharing site? I have my photos in iPhoto and I can chose to share them on the network. Anyone should be able to find me and see them.
And I will not really need my computer much anymore. Perhaps if I am doing some work of a particularly complex nature, or that visually requires a big screen, I might need a computer, but otherwise, my iPhone is pretty good right now at most things I like to do. I can browse the Net, send and receive messages, cal people, watch videos, etc. Soon devices like that will also take video, allow simple editing and uploading or sharing and then, I won;t really need my computer to create content and share it. I can type alright on the iPhone, update my blog, connect to FaceBook, etc. right now and these kind of small portable devices wil only get better and more powerful. The Network they exist on will become more and more ubiquitous and soon I will be on-line all the time. Connected all the time. So then I can be sharing content and viewing content anytime anywhere. So why would I need a hosting company? Why would I need a computer?
I don’t know if something like the iPhone will be able to do all the things I do with a computer, but my prediction is that we will change what we want to do with the computer based on the devices we have and the services and software that wil be created to harness their abilities and size.
So, no Internet (as we know it) in 20 years (likely sooner) and no bulky computers (for personal use). Mark my words, becasue this blog won’t be here in 20 years to come back and check.