Technology in Education An Autobiography

Kindergarten

The first time I remember using technology in schools was in my kindergarten classroom, when we had a "Listening" center. The station consisted of two students sitting on pillows in a corner of the room, watching a Winnie the Pooh VHS on tape.

Educational television played a large role in my childhood, both at home and at school. Much as young children today often play with different Apps on iPads or iPhones, some of my first interactions with technology came from these shows:

Computer Labs and Typing

Later in Elementary school, we began using our Computer Lab time to learn how to type.

Not only did we play games teaching us how to use a keyboard at school, but at home my mom pushed for me and my siblings to learn typing skills as well. Both of my parents worked for IBM and used computers daily, so they recognized the importance of computer skills.

My mom hated that we used only our pointer fingers to type, she was always telling us to use the "home row" keys

We played countless computer games online and from CD-ROMs every night

JumpStart Typing, the game I probably used the most
We had to learn to use the right fingers for the right letters
Eventually, we began typing real words instead of just letters.

Right now, as I spend so much of my time in college typing up papers, I have come to really appreciate these skills.

Middle School: Class Websites

My sixth-grade science teacher introduced her “Blackboard” website to us, and for the first time I had to log on to my parents’ desktop computer to access notes or my homework.

While this website was a very interesting tool, my teacher never really used it in class and did not update it often. It seemed like a lot of trouble for me to occasionally go on the website to look up a document or worksheet and print it out, when I felt that my teacher could have made things easier on us by printing it out.

I realize now that the problems were not with the website itself, but with the way my teacher was trying and failing to utilize and integrate it fully in the classroom.

High School

Once I reached this age, I began using the computer semi-regularly to type up essays or assignments.

However, during 9th and 10th grade we still had to hand-write a number of assignments, because our 10th grade Writing Test had to be written by hand.

Some of our work had to be typed but our assignments in class were supposed to be hand-written. Our school did not have a classroom set of computers nor did each student have their own, so we switched between digital and hard-copy assignments.

Senior Year!

On Christmas of my Senior year of high school, everything changed because of THIS:

I finally joined my classmates in becoming a smartphone owner and user. My days became filled with a number of new pastimes:

If I was reading a book for my English class and had a question about its historical context, I could look it up right from my bed where I was reading. If I wanted to stay up-to-date on current events that we were discussing in my AP Government and Politics class, I could get CNN notifications straight to my phone or check my Twitter feed.

After months of criticizing how tied my classmates were to their iPhones, within a few weeks I became one of them- Completely dependent on my iPhone not only for socializing but for classwork and learning as well

College Classes, College Lifestyle

At my student orientation over the summer, I got my own laptop- the first one I ever had that I did not have to share with my family!

In the months between Orientation and the start of school, I became attached to my laptop, mostly because of its ability to stream Netflix but also for the music, pictures, and other files that I could keep on there.

I could finally watch whatever shows I wanted on my own, without my siblings asking for the computer back!

I had no idea how reliant I would become on my laptop once at school, for my near-constant need to access e-mail, Sakai, class readings, checking grades, and more. I still prefer to hand-write my notes in class, but I find myself using my laptop for hours every day.

When I hear my mom talk about how she did not have a laptop in college, I physically cannot picture how she survived. My college experience without my laptop is unthinkable.

Now that technology has become a part of my daily life, I see how beneficial it can be to a classroom setting when both the students and the instructor use the tools effectively.

Credits:

Created with images by Wokandapix - "classroom school desks" • Tomasz_Mikolajczyk - "computers monitors it" • HOerwin56 - "keyboard laptop datailaufnahme" • Unsplash - "writing write person" • hurk - "iphone 6 apple ios" • jonRaptor - "My New Macbook Pro" • Rob Enslin - "Detail Overlay: Netflix"

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