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Part 10 of my Top Ed-Tech Trends of 2011 series

On a personal note: I started 2011 as a (consumer, Web) technology blogger -- one that, much to the consternation of her editors, wanted to write about education technology. "No one cares about ed-tech," I was repeatedly told. "It's just your personal passion." Focus on page-views, mainstream readership, and stuff. (See: Chiliphone Changes Color of This One Button. April Fools! Except not really.)

Me, I felt as though it was an important time to focus on education technology (which, yes, I realize you could have said for the past 30 years, but there you go�). We'd reached an important tipping point with the ubiquity of consumer electronics, Internet access, Web technology, social networks, and mobile devices (See: every ed-tech trend I have just covered). I knew people cared about education -- surveys suggest that people want more news about education). So in July, I quit that tech blogging job to focus pretty-much-almost-totally-full-time on my education technology writing.

I'm not the only person crazy enough to think ed-tech journalism was worthy of full-time attention either. Former Forbes editor Betsy Corcoran, along with Inigral's Nick Punt co-founded Edsurge this year, a razor-sharp, must-follow weekly newsletter chronicling all the latest business developments in the blossoming ed-tech startup world.

"Really? You just write about education?" other tech journalists ask me, like it's weird or something. But the fact that folks like Betsy, Nick, me (and others too) could form several new education technology journalism startups is the least weird news in a completely weird year for technology journalism. That's probably a different story...

Maybe.

Or maybe the frothy weirdness of technology journalism is just a reflection of the frothy weirdness of the tech industry this year. Apple became the world's most valuable company in terms of market capitalization, surpassing the oil company Exxon Mobil. (Indeed, The New York Times' Nick Bilton says kids want iPhones, not cars.) The makers of some of the most mundane and repetitive videos games (Zynga) and coupon company with an email list and a very funny CEO (Groupon) both filed for an IPO this year, for crying out loud. While the rest of the economy faltered, the tech industry boomed.

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Audrey Watters


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