I remember sitting in my freshman General Business class and seeing my first computer. Mr. Smith was showing us a video. (Nope, he was showing us a reel to reel film.) The computer in the film was the size of a room, and men were programming it by sliding around on ladders inserting punch cards. "One day there will be a computer in every home," the announcer told a snickering bunch of 14 year olds. Yeah right. We were trying to imagine our parents having to build on an extra room to house a computer. No way was that ever happening! That would have been the fall of 1971.
A short 15 years later, I would have a computer in my classroom. I was afraid to touch anything for fear of blowing the thing up. (I didn't dare touch a button! Ah, how quickly that would change.) All of my writings were stored on floppy disks that really were floppy. This computer was used solely as a word processor. Email was about three years away.
We've had a home computer for at least 15 years now. I couldn't live without email, facebook, and blogs. At school, all of my grades are kept on my computer. Parents and students are able to access a kid's grade online as soon as I enter them in the electronic grade book. (I still keep a paper grade book as back up. One too many computer crashes at our school where teachers have had to ask the students to "estimate" their grade prior to the crash! Yeah right! Like every kid was going to honest on that one!)
Today, I literally can't function without a computer. And yesterday's purchase (that sweet little laptop) has opened up even more technology that I have never used before. I have spent the better part of two days playing with my photos in Picasa. (No clue what I am doing, but it sure is fun!) And the newest play function for me: Skype! My daughters and I have been skyping (is that a word?) each other. We get to see how lovely we look first thing in the morning. Of course, the Mr. thinks the best part is that it is free. (Well, if you include the price of the laptop--not really, but let's let him think what he wants!) It kind of reminds me of the picture phones that they kept telling us would be everywhere one day.
Welcome to one day! I think the future that Mr. Smith was trying to tell us about has arrived. And to think we hardly even noticed!