Not your mother’s classroom

The days without computers in the classroom were certainly different, not necessarily better.

I read last week where Olds (Alberta) College is requiring all of their students to complete an iPad game in which they open a virtual lemonade stand and gradually build it into a business empire.

Why am I surprised? Technology is spreading further and further into our lives, and most of us just take for granted that everyone is more or less at the same level.

I suppose in my day in elementary school, using a video game as a teaching aid would have been the equivalent of our French teacher hauling out the little black and white TV on a six-foot rolling stand so that we could spend part of the class watching Chez Helene (with Suzie the mouse!) It didn’t do much in the way of teaching me French, because unfortunately I can’t can’t speak it or translate it, but watching TV in the middle of class was pretty cool.

If nothing else, technology has shown us how far we’ve come and how creative we are as humans.

I remember my grade 1 teacher showing us how to dial a rotary telephone!

Yes, rotary. Rotary telephones – you can see them in antique stores now. You stuck your finger in the hole corresponding to the number you wanted to dial and pushed the dial clockwise in a circular motion. Then it made a cool clicking sound as the dial moved back into place.

In those days, the only telephone in the school was in the principal’s office. Parents called the principal if they wanted to contact their children, or vice versa.

Texting? What’s that? All of those books I had taken away from me during class because I was reading something unrelated to the subject being taught at that very moment by the teacher.

And, with all of the back to school news this week, I find there are school districts that encourage their students to bring their own wireless devices to class.

Hmmm, I guess that would be the equivalent of a pen in my days.

It’s no wonder that school libraries are looking deserted these days. It’s not that kids aren’t reading – they’re doing most of it online and in a variety of ways.

Wish I’d had that when I was in school.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

Just Posted

Technology allows TNRD residents to see the heat

A new library program allows residents to borrow a thermal imaging camera and check for heat loss

Are you a victim of the thermostat wars?

The battle over the thermostat is quite heated in many households.

Community Income Tax volunteers will be at local libraries to help with tax returns

Lower-income singles and families can take advantage of free tax return service

Local News Briefs: Free Family Day weekend movie at the HUB

Plus an ice fishing derby, a Fancy Schmancy Tea Party, the Million Dollar Bursary is back, and more.

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Most Read