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A brief history of our Modern Classroom Technology

This article got me thinking about how quickly classroom tech and methods have changed just in the last 15 years.

Projectors/Interactive White Boards: Early 2000s

My introduction to a SMARTboard was in 2003, when a teacher received one through a grant. I remember hearing my teachers in high school complain that they could never get access to the projector cart. Only one teacher was savvy enough to hook up his Windows 2000 Gateway into his "massive" 32 inch TV. That was also the first time I saw a teacher use PowerPoint for notes, although I could not see much from the back of the room.

Modern Smartphones: 2007

Apple unleashes the first generation iPhone, the first totally touch screen phone with apps specifically available for mobile. My first Smart Phone was a 2009 Samsung Omnia running Windows Mobile OS. I remember hooking it up to a TV and running PowerPoint through my phone. A task that was not possible again until 2014 for my iPhone. Although this phone single handedly destroyed my opinion of both Samsung and Windows phones, I was determined to give smartphones another chance when I was due for an upgrade. I fell in love with my Droid X, and since iPhones 5 & 6.

High Speed Wifi (In Schools): 2009ish-Present

In 2004, when I started college. I brought my laptop and was surprised to find that I could pick up wireless internet in the cafeteria and library. I was used to carrying a 64mb USB drive in case I had to transfer my paper to a school computer to print it off. By 2007, when I transferred to a 4 year school, I found Wifi was much slower, too slow to stream a video from YouTube and not available in every classroom. When I started my student teaching in 2009, the High School I was teaching in started its first year with Wifi, only to find out they kept running out of IP address due to the increased amount of devices connecting.

Tablets and iPads: 2010

In 2011, I interviewed for a teaching position. The day before my interview, I ran into an old teacher who suggested that if I wanted to stand out, I should bring in an iPad to my interview. iPads were the hot new thing, and according to the building principal, I was the first one he saw try to use one in a teaching demonstration. I got the opportunity to pilot a classroom set in 2012.

Cloud Storage: 2011

Dropbox helped me break the cycle of losing all of my documents in the laundry every 6 months and I haven't looked back since. Now that Google Drive has unlimited storage space for teachers, everything from my first year of college to the present is safely backed up online.

Chromebooks: 2012

I have to be honest, when I was told to check out the first Samsung Chromebook, model XE303C12-A01US, I was not impressed. I was fully switched to Apple by then, with my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook pro. However, when I started my Master's Classes in Education Technology and learned what all I can do with them, I decided to give them another try.

What will the future bring?

Research shows that it is hard to plan out a 3 year tech plan. That makes sense considering that within the last 3 years, our current technology was not released yet. One thing that I can predict for the future of edtech is less of an emphasis on the hardware and more of an emphasis on the tools used and how they are used in the classroom.

Further Reading


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