Tech Through the Ages

Tech Through the Ages

Children at the famous Kendall School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., wore earphones and followed along in picture books as they tried to learn to read in the 1940s. Today the school, called the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, teaches children from birth to eighth grade.
Children at the famous Kendall School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C., wore earphones and followed along in picture books as they tried to learn to read in the 1940s. Today the school, called the Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, teaches children from birth to eighth grade.
It’s hard to remember how revolutionary the scientific calculator TI-30 was when it came out in 1976. But this 40-button, LED display unit sold for $25, less than a top-line slide rule at the time. This model, 9-volt battery and all, went on to sell about 15 million units.
 
The overhead projector and the stack of transparencies held a place of honor inside U.S. classrooms for decades. Desk mounted, picture slightly askew, they traveled from room to room. While you can still spot these machines inside schools today, they are being replaced by a host of new tools, from projectors to document cameras to interactive whiteboards.
“No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space. And none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.” With these 32 words in 1961, President John F. Kennedy officially kicked off the space race with the Soviets. This competition, which ended when Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon in 1969, jolted the United States’ science education program to life. It also led, three years later, to President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which lives on today as No Child Left Behind.
 
Remember these? Like that picture of you with the bad haircut, floppy disks have a habit of turning up when you’re looking for something deep in a closet inside your house. The 5.25-inch disk actually replaced the original 8-inch floppy. The 3.5-inch floppy, encased in hard plastic, came next, and this version actually stored up to 1.4MB of data, an impressive amount in the 1980s.
Interactive whiteboards are perhaps the top tool in today’s 21st-century classrooms. These machines combine the power of computers with the ability to control text, images and programs right on screen. This teacher in Newark, N.J., shows how easy this technology is to control.
 
Computer labs remain popular in schools today, especially at the elementary level as shown in this picture from Newport, R.I. Students at this level are frequently taught how to operate computers and the basics of programs such as Word and PowerPoint.
If you haven’t realized the popularity of simulations these days, stop by Second Life, secondlife.com. This 3D digital world site is home to 9.8 million users and includes a teeming marketplace that uses Linden dollars.
 
Oct 30 2007

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