About 25 years ago the internet was this new-fangled contraption that many said would never last. Many in education said that. Along with, “students don’t need the Internet. They’ll just see bad things.”
I, and the teachers with whom I taught, didn’t believe it. We saw technology as a means to help our students learn more, and learn it faster. We wanted computers in our classrooms. We wanted internet access. We wanted color scanners and printers. We were a demanding bunch!
Another teacher and I went online at home, she on AOL and me on Compuserve, to teach ourselves about what this new thing could do. We connected with others and some of those connections have lasted for over two decades. Before networks and the World Wide Web and one click connection, we were dragging our students into the 21st century as well as ourselves.
It’s all history, now. All schools are connected. All students, from kindergarten to graduate school, are online. And those teachers, we still believe in technology. I would be teaching coding and app development if I was still in the classroom. We would build robots that would do tasks. We would make videos of it all and connect with others around the world.
On Wednesday this all came home to me when I had lunch with one of those former Compuserve friends I made over two decades ago. We’ve lived in the same town all these years and have reconnected through Facebook, but we had never met in person. She drove across town to have lunch with me at a new restaurant I had recently touted on Facebook.
It’s like we had always known each other. We reminisced and caught up over a good lunch. We laughed at some past antics and we were saddened at the loss of friends we had in common. Lisa is caring for her exhusband as he faces the end of life. She does it with a grace I would not have.
Next time I will drive to her side of town for lunch. Until then we’ll keep using the current form of Compuserve–Facebook–to keep up. Isn’t technology great?