My experience with technology…where do I begin? As someone who reached middle school in the late 2000s, I like to think that I had the best of both worlds. Technology was definitely a part of my childhood and it was used at home and at school, but it wasn’t as integrated into my life as it is now. My experience with technology is also quite different from my students’ experience nowadays- not just in the classroom for educational purposes, but also at home and for socialization. Let me take you through my technology timeline!
One of my first memories of technology has to be using my old desktop computer that was in our “computer room”. I remember the sound of dial-up internet and how I was kicked off when the phone was needed. In school, we had a computer lab with desktop computers, overhead projectors, and TVs that were rolled into the classroom-now those were the best days. We still used encyclopedias for research and our teachers didn’t have their own computers yet. Communication with families was done through agendas, conferences, and phone calls.
I grew up smack dab in the middle of many technological advancements once I entered middle school. I went from dial-up internet in elementary school, to owning my own phone in the 8th grade. However, it only had texting and calling. I was not into social media and only checked my Facebook once a day when I got home from school. This was also the time of my life when we received laptop carts at school and we could take them to class. What an amazing thing! ( even though I had to say goodbye to the excitement of seeing TVs on rolling carts at this time). My teachers were still doing report cards and marking on paper, but I remember them using a bit more technology in the classroom than before.
As I entered High School, technology was becoming more of the norm. I had a BlackBerry (does anyone else remember BBM?) I was given my own laptop at school and used it regularly for research and writing papers. I even got to take some classes at “long distance”, as they were called at this time. The quality was pretty bad, but I remember being quite excited to learn from someone on a screen since it was different ( oh, if only I knew what was to come). My teachers had projectors on the ceiling and my teachers had to monitor social media in school. Surprisingly, report cards and marking were still done by hand, but my teachers had more opportunities to teach with technology.
Heading into University for my undergraduate degree, technology was well advanced and was pretty much where it is now in schools (before online classes were more well known). I bought my own laptop and I was expected to use online databases, some professors used URCourses, and I wrote all of my papers on a screen. I started my graduate degree in 2021, and due to Covid-19, I find myself taking most of my courses for my Master’s via Zoom. Technology has allowed me to receive my graduate degree during a pandemic (and quicker since it has made it much easier to fit classes into a busy schedule).
As a teacher, I find myself using technology for a big part of my day. Taking attendance, inputting marks, and doing report cards are all online. My computer is connected to my projector most of the day and I have a laptop cart in my classroom. I enjoy resources like MediaSmarts so I can use technology as a tool in my class. I have many educational apps set up like Google Classroom and Prodigy, and my students use the computers at least 4 times a week for research projects, practice work, and for revision. I honestly don’t know how I would do my job without technology in this day and age. I was only a couple of years into my career when Covid-19 happened. Technology was quite useful when teaching online and I am grateful I could keep teaching my students.
My experience with technology is a lot different than that of my students. Looking back at my childhood, I find that different skills were needed than today. As a teacher, I hope to grow with my students and these technological advancements so that I may teach them 21st-century skills. It’s all in the timeline!
Is your timeline similar to mine? Do you find yourself taken aback at the differences between your students’ experiences with technology and yours? What is one technological advancement in the education field that you can’t live without?
Thanks for reading!
5 thoughts on “My Technology Timeline”
Megan, I can totally relate to your timeline and relation with technology and yes, I remember my blackberry phone and using BBM was so much in trend. I think nowadays the touch screen has overshadowed the keyboard phone but still, it looks so cool whenever I see it in someone’s hand. Technology advancement is so much up there in today’s generation and over the past few years not even technology but childhood is also changing. I can see the difference in my and my son’s childhood as when I was young, I didn’t even know to set up a radio on my phone. However, my son is 2 years old and he knows how to operate YouTube.
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Hi Megan. It is interesting that you mention your early experiences with cell phones (only having talk and text), as I missed this by just a few years. My first Blackberry was passed down from a friend who was always buying the latest and greatest and I was astounded at the leap it provided over my old flip phone (a Nokia – which was so tough I could have used it as a suspension spacer in a semi-truck if necessary). I remember being amazed that I could read and answer work emails from anywhere. I look back on these times fondly as I was so naïve. Today the novelty has worn off and I leave work at work. Technology in my opinion, has made us progressively more and more available, sometimes to the detriment of our work/life balance.
I think my phone could connect to the internet, but I wasn’t allowed to use it since it was expensive. I didn’t even think about how technology has made it more difficult to achieve a work/life balance. I have the Edsby app on my phone and will check it usually once in the evening or in the morning. But that’s pretty much all I do at home now.
I appreciate you sharing your ideas! I particularly appreciate the way you divided your technical experience into divisions for elementary school, middle school, high school, and university. I completely get what you’re saying because, while I didn’t have a phone until after high school, I did start using a computer and learning about various tools and programmes during my undergraduate studies.
Thanks for making me feel old right off the hop in your post Megan! I appreciate the differences that you and I have because of our ages, but I would also expect that much like today, those who lived in Regina and Saskatoon likely had a different timeline than the rural folks.
While I know someone out there is wanting to see My School Sask as a technological advancement that teachers cannot live without, I will not provide that satisfaction! I can appreciate the fact that it houses, or at least has the capability to house so much information, and that it should be simplify the movement of information when needed, but user friendly it is not (my opinion). If I am being completely honest, cloud based systems like the Google suite has been an unreal change over the course of my career. To be able to digitize everything (print when needed), add videos/readings/activities with instructions right there for students has been incredible. Strangely, it took until last year to start making my sub plans as a Google Doc – add to it through the day, links to videos/readings/handouts has even made it simple for substitute teachers. Communicating and making changes in real time has been something that I have really appreciated as an advancement in technology in the education realm.