Four weeks ago, I got an android phone. Three weeks ago, I joined twitter. Yesterday, I commented on someone’s blog. Today, I’m writing my own.
Hard to believe, but I haven’t always been such a techno-whiz.
I started teaching in 1985 in a small private school. Although the school owned a battered photocopier, we were expected to use the money-saving Gestetner.
We called this the “ka-chunk” machine for sound it made while you hand-cranked copies. (Not sure why this Gestetner is posing on a beach, but it’s probably because someone is ready to throw it in the ocean.)
In retrospect, I probably got spoiled by this machine. Every other technological device that followed seemed so complicated! So advanced! So dangerous!
Take the reel-to-reel projector. This machine required a careful threading of film through a maze of gears. After nearly shearing off my fingers several times, I became dependent on the teacher across the hall to do this work for me. Of course, when VCR’s arrived, the promise of keeping all digits intact was buffered by the confusion surrounding these newfangled machines. Why were the numbers flashing? How did I rewind tapes? WHAT channel did the TV have to be on? The first problem was quickly taken care of with a piece of masking tape, but for the rest, I found myself depending upon the teacher across the hall. There really didn’t seem to be a point of figuring anything out–by the time I did, my hard-won knowledge was obsolete.
At some point, computers–such as they were–arrived on the educational scene. Word was that if I didn’t teach my students how to move a turtle across a screen, then I wasn’t preparing them for the future. I pretended I hadn’t heard, and by the time turtles were deemed antiquated, I hardly noticed–I was too busy asking the guy across the hall to hook up my CD player to the TV. He seemed a little more irritated than usual. “Do you mean your DVD player?” he asked.
“I don’t know, DO I?” I said annoyed. “All I know is that I need to show my class this film. I mean, VHS. I mean CD, or DVD. For the love of heaven, just hook me up!”
But my life of avoidance has come to an end. I have come to accept that computers will be around for awhile. I can’t depend on the guy across the hall forever (even though I ended up marrying him, partially for the convenience). So this is the year I embrace technology. Now if I can just figure out how to download that Youtube video onto this stick-thingy…
So what does your history with technology look like?