Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tictech - a little history

The following is cross posted from a list I moderate. Or HAVE moderated.

I'm putting it here because it's important to document significant moves. This one is certainly significant. In many ways.

I've been thinking quite a bit about the history of tictech as it comes to a close. I thought it might be useful, hopefully informative, and maybe a little nostalgic for some, to review its history. Here goes...

Tictech was founded by Currie Morrison, a teacher at Nathan Hale HS in Seattle, in the 1997-98 school year, (maybe in the 1996-07 year?). I have an archive of tictech emails going back to the summer of 1998, with a "welcome back" message Currie sent to the list.

Currie came up with the name tic-tech because of the "Technology Innovation Challenge Grant", which provided some funding for him or the list; I'm not sure which. The "tic" part of the name came from Technology Innovation Challenge... the tech part just was kind of natural to add on.

In November of 1999, Currie handed the list over to me. Just looking through the email exchanges I had with him then make this hard to write at the moment. He was so wise, and he was so good. He was such a good teacher.

Tictech was at that time run using Listserv software. All text based, of course. Not user friendly - and very labor intensive.

In January of 2002 I moved the entire list to a new server, provided by The Learning Space. The Challenge Grant server running tictech had been failing, and there was nobody to provide support for list issues. This move was a big one, not without issues. I remember on the day of the move, frantically calling Ann McGlone, who was in charge of the server for The Learning Space, telling her to turn it OFF, because everybody was getting every message, sent to everyone else. I think it got shut down after each member received my "Welcome" message about 150 times. Not a real great start. I wrote some specifics about "the move" here:

But it ended up being really a good move. The list was now running on Majordomo software, and the server was very stable. Still text only (ugh), but a little friendlier and more flexible - at least I thought so... Tictech ran on that platform and at that address for a year and a half.

In the summer of 2003 I moved tictech to YahooGroups. Basically, I was real tired of the copy/paste text editing to approve list messages. But here's the email describing more specific reasons for the move:
http://tinyurl.com/2surqq In the course of its stay on YahooGroups, I have made the message archive available to the public. We've been there for four and a half years. All messages posted to the list since that move are archived and searchable: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tictech

Earlier messages, posted to tictech from October, 2000 to June, 2003, are archived at http://www.halcyon.com/arborhts/tictech/ I do have a personal archive of earlier tictech messages, saved from a Netscape "tictech" email folder, somehow culled from my "Pine" folders, I have no idea how - but I am happy they remain in a place where I can reminisce at times like this....

If anyone has corrections to make or details to add, please feel free... Thanks - Mark


Wesley Fryer said...

Mark: It's amazing how powerful, effective, and important text-based listservs have been and in many cases continue to be for lots of educators. Sheryl Nussbuam-Beach attested to their power this summer when we visited at NECC in Atlanta about their power in helping teachers mentor each other in the work done by the Alabama Best Practices center. So many teachers are still "email people" and I don't think we should undervalue the power of listservs even now. Thanks for sharing some of this background and history. Isn't it wonderful to be able to archive things on your blog-- so you have a relatively high level of confidence it "will be there" if needed again in the future?! I love doing that and knowing that.

Mark Ahlness said...

Your message comes to me tonight as I am in the middle of writing the final message for that email list.

I am so ready to move on. A few are coming with me. I am putting all my eggs in this basket: