Technology in Schools – Then & Now

by stubat
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It’s 2021 and believe it or not, schools have had to move with the times. While old school chalkboards and conventional pens and paper get the job done, as the world of technology has grown dramatically over the last 30-40 years, many more efficient ways of doing things have come about. So, how have schools managed to jump on board with this sort of thing and make learning much more fun and interactive experience for all involved? Let’s get into it.

We’ll start with a bit of talk about the classic chalk/black/whiteboard. While it’s true that in some cases, you may still want to have a chalkboard. There are now and have been much more interesting ways of doing that job. When I was a kid, we had chalkboards, as I got older, my school acquired whiteboards and ‘old style’ projectors. My teacher would have a projector that looked like this.

School Overhead Projector

They would dim the lights and have this bad boy project from clear sheets onto the whiteboard, where they could then do what they wanted with that information without ruining the original image. Man, this was a spectacle back in the day let me tell you. Now I have kids and they don’t use these projectors in their school anymore, what do they use I hear you ask? It’s crazy how far technology has come.

My kids school has short-throw projectors mounted to the ceiling just in front of their whiteboards, their whiteboards? They’re interactive, they can control what’s being projected THROUGH the whiteboard, WHAT? That would’ve blown my mind as a kid. The school invites parents to lessons and I’ll not forget walking into his classroom and seeing this tech being used. Nudging my wife and being like… WHAT? This is amazing! Tech is fantastic.

That kinda ties us into the next thing nicely, whenever we had educational videos to watch when I was a kid, it was time to bust out the VHS Trolley. You heard that right our school would have a metal trolley that had a VHS player on it and a ‘big screen TV’ which would be wheeled between classrooms whenever a teacher needed to use it. YOU KNEW it was going down whenever this thing came out.

Old school TV and video player

We used it for educational videos if it was a treat day/lesson, or before the end of term near Christmas we would ALWAYS have days where we brought in our toys, chill, watch Christmas movies and play games all day, it was awesome and it always super exciting to see the VHS trolley rolling in, these days, all that is readily installed in the classroom. They have their projectors and internet access, the job is done. I imagine it’s still amazing for the kids to know they’re watching movies, but it can’t be as exciting as seeing the VHS TROLLEY!

What else has changed? Well, let’s see. When I was in PRIMARY School, we had like 5 computers in the entire school, when I got to secondary school, we had a couple of computer labs with 30-40 computers in each class/lab. Computers back then were super expensive for very bad specs. But with time, that has changed. Not only do schools have more readily available access to computers but, my kid, in his school? Well…

Old school apple computer

Every kid has their own tablet and they often have them upgraded year on year. They have a pretty big deal with a local phone company who helps them acquire the tablets for a good price. Not only that, it’s not just computers now but it’s all MACS and iPADS, crazy. While we were on covid lockdown, the school dropped off every kids tablet so they could still do all their work using their normal resources they have available to them, that’s AWESOME imo.

What about for us students? How have things changed for us! Well, not only do they now have a much better experience in school, but when it comes to learning from home there are so much better ways to do it than we ever had. Not only, going back to what I said just above, are computers laptops and tablets more readily available and at a good price, but with the rate at which the internet has advanced over the years? Wow.

There are SO many resources out there for every kind of student. As an example, the type of student I was? I did well in school, IN school… As soon as I got home, my attention span would never let me focus on schoolwork, why would I when I could play Smash Brothers or Runescape? Well, for me, there are tonnes of resources out there, such as domyhomeworkfor.me. For me, if I could get somebody to write my homework you better believe I’d be spending my pocket money on that. 

Of course, that isn’t the only site available for this, there are places like sfexaminer.com that take a look at a bunch of services like what I mentioned above, they give them a look over, review them and have a list of features so you can find the resources that are best for you. Pretty neat huh? But, I hear you asking in the back, what if I want to do my own work? I don’t want somebody to do it for me! I got you.

Video Games Have Changed the Way of College Students Learning Article

As the internet has grown and as the education system has grown, more and more learning resources have become available, even in places like YouTube you can find so many videos from so many amazing content creators, like Veritasium and Smarter Every Day that quite literally set out to help you learn about various things, mostly science-related in this case, but they cover so much ground it’s amazing, ALL FOR FREE.

Not only that but there are programs on sites all over the internet for ANYTHING you want to learn, specifically. If you’re wanting to improve in graphic design, you can find exactly what you’re looking for, what about learning HOW to write a proper essay? The internet quite literally has you covered. It’s incredible how far things have come and they only seem to progress. I love it.

Technology in Schools Conclusion

That’ll do it for me, it’s been nice for me to take a look back at how technology was when I was in school and how it is for kids today. Have to admit, while I love the technological advancements, nothing quite hyped me up like seeing the VHS Trolley roll in, you better believe it got the lads going wild. What about you, what sort of tech did schools use when you were there? Be awesome to hear from you guys!


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