April 30, 2013

Technology 1995

Recently, I was asked how technology has changed in the classroom since I started teaching.

In 1995, some teachers had a classroom computer and most school had a lab.

During that first year, I approached one of our administrators about needing a couple of new computers for my students. I was able to get during Christmas break two brand new computers with Pentium 133 MHZ processor. I don't remember what that exactly meant, but it was good for then. They also had a hard drive, maybe a 2 Gb. They might have been five, I'm not sure. Anyhow, I felt good about that.

As the journalism teacher, I was lucky enough to have some Macintosh computers, as well. And by some, I mean, two (2). One had a small hard drive and the other didn't. After a semester, we quit using those.

PageMaker was relatively new and unknown at the time, but we had version 4.2 on the Macs. It wasn't worth using, but we did some mock ups and cuts and pastes. I also came across a bootleg version of PageMaker 5.0 that I could use with my Gateway Computer. I also was able to borrow another teacher's Gateway because she never used it and I told her she could "house it in my classroom." I found ways to get computers.

We didn't have the Internet, but suddenly we were able to go into the "head end" room and use a computer with our new email addresses to communicate. There was only one computer set up this way. I remember trying to get in there early in the morning to "check email." Wow, this was 1995 or so.

Most teachers back then didn't really incorporate technology. But it began to change during the next few years. We were able to receive the Technology Literacy Grant at that school and make some major changes and upgrades. We spent money using stipends and such to get teachers trained on email, MicroSoft, etc.

Times began to change and by 2000 we had "a lot of" teachers getting "with the program."

I can't imagine how fun it must be to be a teacher these days with the Internet, with collaboration, with the endless supply of information. If all the other political mumbo jumbo didn't come with the package ...

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