BY BILL FERRIS
After three and a half years, Instructify is closing up shop. The reason? We’ve covered every free educational technology app in existence, and there are simply none left to write about.
Well, that’s not quite true. We’ve missed boatloads of great tools along the way, and some clever people develop new ones every day. Free educational technology is an inexhaustible resource, and there will always be new apps, sites, and ideas you can incorporate into your teaching to make a lesson more engaging, to more clearly illustrate a concept, to encourage classroom collaboration, or to make your workflow more efficient. I’ve always been impressed at the dedication and intellectual curiosity of our readers, and smart cookies like you will be able to find new tools with or without Instructify to tell you about them. If anything, I hope that Instructify has left you with a sense that technology isn’t some fancy add-on that you need to shoe-horn into your current teaching, but rather just another tool at your disposal — just like a chalk board or textbook, it’s merely a means to the goal you’re trying to reach.
I also want to thank the long list of smart educators who have written articles for Instructify over the years, without whom this blog would be a lot less useful (and more dull). Thanks to David Barger, Tua Chaudhuri, Megan Curley, Jason Don Forsythe, Aaron Fowles, Amanda French, Dan Froelich, Lauren Frohne, Jeremy Griffin, Rebeccah Haines, Kevin Hodgson, Emily Jack, Dan Kelo, Abby Martin, Alice Mercer, Patrick O’Boyle, Chris Panna, Cindy Phthisic, Marielle Prince, Jackie Regales, Lesley Richardson, Mark Samberg, Gretchen Schaefer, Monique St. Louis, Jerry Swiatek, Melissa Thibault, Jimi Trout, Kathryn Walbert, David Walbert, Ross White, and Nick Yingling.
Special thanks go out to a few people as well, such as Ross White and Jeremy Griffin. The three of us worked to shape the vision for Instructify back in 2006, and set a foundation for great things to come. Also, thanks to LEARN NC’s former executive director, Melissa Thibault for believing in the site and providing a lot of organizational support. Thanks to LEARN NC managing editor Emily Jack, who has been vital in co-editing our Instructifeature series that appeared on both Instructify and the LEARN NC site. And to Rebeccah Haines and Gretchen Schaefer, who, back in 2009, volunteered to keep writing for Instructify even though I couldn’t pay them for it.
Most importantly, I want to thank Instructify’s readers, whether you’ve been visiting from the beginning, or you just dropped in once to read about how to build a classroom website. We wouldn’t have kept this blog running at all without the dedicated teachers who posted comments, sent in tips, and read what we had to say. Teachers have the hardest job in America, and if Instructify has made that job even the tiniest bit easier or more fun, then I consider it a success.
Though we won’t be adding new content, we’ll leave Instructify online so you can still comb the archives and read about tools you may have missed the first time. I don’t want the site to go out on such a sad note, though, so we will publish one more article — a feature on citizen science from Rebeccah Haines — in the next few days.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time serving as Instructify editor, and thanks so much for sticking by us.