Back when I was in elementary school, we thought it was pretty cool to have Oregon Trail on our school’s Apple IIes — the green text and graphics on a black screen were the height of technology. As primitive as that seems, imagine the sort of classroom technology that came before that — WAY before that – like in 1650, for example? Well, at this graphic time line created by the New York Times, you can learn just that as you explore The Evolution of Classroom Technology.
If you’re a teacher who likes to use technology to enhance your lessons (and if you read this blog, I’m sure you are), you will find this time line an interesting retrospective. I was surprised by the longevity of the Scantron (1972), for example, and the fact that essentially we still use this system for our End of Grade testing. Hmm… It could also be interesting to show your students how classroom technology has changed over the years. Maybe seeing that the pencil was once considered a great leap in technology for a student will quell the complaints about the school laptops booting up too slowly.
So, spend a little time over your the Christmas break thinking about how glad you are that you can ask for an iPad for your classroom rather than a Magic Lantern (1870s prototype slide projector), even if the Magic Lantern has a much cooler name.