Technology is changing fast. I often wonder how schools and teachers are going to keep up not only with the technology changes, but the students who seem to know more and more about computers at a much younger age.
When I graduated from high school, there was exactly one computer in the entire school district. A Commodore 128 if I remember correctly. I do recall that it was roughly the same size as my first car. But even though my friends and I weren’t sure what a computer could do for us, we knew it was cool.
It was located in the business classroom, right next to the typing room where I spent a semester learning to type on electric typewriters (half the time- the other half you spent on a manual typewriter which required the upper body strength of an Olympic weightlifter to return the carriage).
I hope carriage is the proper term, our teacher made us memorize all of the parts of a typewriter. I wondered at the time if she assumed all 20 of us were going into the very high demand field of typewriter repair? I think I may have missed my career calling by about 40 years.
Back then (like the mid 80’s were the 12th century) technology consisted of a film projector and some sort of copying machine thing in the lounge that would make your hands blue from the ink (that is if you could stay in the lounge long enough that the cigarette smoke didn’t make you pass out). But I digress.
Technology continues to advance at an unbelievable rate and we as individuals and schools do our best to keep up. I am an example of this. I have made it all the way from staring at a Commodore computer in 1985 to writing a blog that is read by at least 2 people (at least 1 of which I am not related to).
Schools face the challenge of not only purchasing and replacing technology on a yearly basis, but training staff to use it, and educating teachers to teach it.
At what point will we, as educators, not be able to keep up? When will the time come that students arrive for their kindergarten year and they already know more about computers and technology than we can teach them when they get to high school.
The average 5 year old today has a computer, IPOD, video games, big screen TV, high speed internet, a DVD player in the mini-van, and will have a cell phone before they are 10 (with ring tones, a camera, text-messaging, and the ability to download TV shows and movies- and all of these things confuse and frighten a large majority of adults over the age of 55). And on top of that in a few years all of these devices may be combined into one personal media/phone/GPS/planner/camera/screwdriver.
Can schools and teachers advance as fast as the students who attend them? I think I will go fire up the ATARI and get a game of PONG in before bed.