I know that I have failed in writing an entry every day; however, in order to make sure that the Internet was going to work at the new house, I was transporting my laptop back and forth. I have a rather unhandy docking station here, so I was essentially disconnected for awhile. Now I’m back.
An early morning visit to one of my granddaughters yesterday morning while she was in a rush to finish some forgotten homework caused me to reflect on education and technology. She was using a Sharpie to define some items on a turkey costume. That’s a costume FOR a turkey—a Thanksgiving disguise—not a costume as a turkey. Her turkey was disguised as a dog. Her combination of crayon and Sharpie and construction paper led me to contemplate technology in education. (It was a boring drive home last night—nothing but football on the radio and I had forgotten my audio book.) By the time I retired, “technology” referred to Smart Boards, digital projectors, and portable computer labs with a desktop for every student. When I began teaching, “technology” was an overhead and a 16mm sound projector.
However, when I was an elementary student, technology took different forms. We still had some desks that had inkwells—no, we didn’t use them, but they were there—but we were required to learn to write with fountain pens. Most of us used cartridge pens, but a brave few kept an ink bottles in their desks. Fourth graders were recognizable by the ink-stained fingers. Ball points were just coming into use, but the product was not really expected to last. In fact, I continued to use a pen even after I went to college because I liked the physical act of writing with one. Finally, however, I gave in to ballpoint convenience.
Now, what does this have to do with my granddaughter’s turkey? Two items—When I was a child, primary school gluing involved white glass jars of paste with a brush or the glass bottles of clear yellow mucilage (lovely word, isn’t it?) with a rubber slitted tip that you pressed down. Either bottle was quite capable of breaking in someone’s desk and making a mess. When Elmer’s Glue hit the market, it was a big improvement!
Yesterday, however, my granddaughter was using a non-messy glue stick!
Secondly, I am relatively sure that I was in about sixth grade when felt tip markers hit the school scene, at least locally. I think that Marksalot was the first brand. I remember staying after school for some committee that required posters, which formerly had to be drawn on poster board with pencil and colored with crayon, and having Mrs. Adams hand us the new product which drew marvelous BRIGHT and easy-to-read pictures and letters! Now we have Sharpies and all sorts of tip designs and washable and permanent and disappearing.