Phil Shapiro - brief bio

I've been involved as an educator and technology access activist in the Washington DC-area since the late 1980's. I have found inspiration in the learning that goes on at afterschool programs, adult literacy organizations, public libraries and organizations bringing music instruction and the arts to children.

A couple years ago the Washington Post wrote an article about a project I was involved with taking computers to children's homes.

I'm a big fan of Community Technology Centers' Network which brought together a large number of individuals and organizations working to bridge the digital divide. (CTCNet sadly closed down around 2006.) Since 1992 I've been writing about technology access organizations and software tools for various local and national publications.

I'm a believer in public libraries and have taught various computer workshops at libraries, including workshops on blogging and putting nonprofit psa videos on the web. I read books.

Back in May, 2000, my colleague Stephon Gray and I delivered the keynote address at the annual Computers in Adult Literacy conference in Philadelphia. In that speech we talked about the importance of everyone becoming media producers using low-cost and no-cost software tools. If you're not actively making your voice heard, your point of view becomes less and less relevant. Here is a QuickTime of the adult learner multimedia presentation we showed during this keynote. We used a $5 Macintosh program, SimpleCard, to originally create this.

These days my preferred multimedia creation tools are Skype, Powerbullet Presenter, iMovie HD and OpenShot. Here is an example of PowerBullet being used for a community multimedia project involving a FIRST robotics team in the District of Columbia. I take an interest in educational software design, as well as the open source software movement. I love what the visual arts bring to our communities.

I'm grateful to my mom and dad for teaching me gratitude and so much more.

I believe our print and broadcast media needs to become much more participatory in order to survive.

I believe public libraries will emerge as the central social, educational, and creative institutions in our communities.

I support free content, free operating systems, free software, and free laptops for the world's children.

I work together with others to make the future more participatory, inclusive, playful and rewarding.

Phil Shapiro


Way back in August, 2007, Tina Gasperson wrote a very kindly worded profile about me for

I'm very grateful to Ryan Marquis patiently taught me html in the summer of 1995 on his blazing fast Mac LC III.

MAKE: I'm a Maker!

I adore MAKE magazine.