Typewriters and chalkboards: Life without technology

February 6, 2010 — by Parul Singh

iPhones, netbooks and hybrid cars are just some of technological innovations that have come about in the past decade. Technological advances that have become so commonplace in the past 10 years could not have even been conceived of in the ’90s. The school has also experienced changes in these past years and many teachers who have been teaching here since the ’90s can recall a simpler time when the school only owned three computers total.

Assistant principal Karen Hyde remembers a time in the ’90s when the staff would do the scheduling on a huge board and it would take hours and hours but now they can just plug the students into a program in the computer and the schedules are more or less automatically made.

In the early ’90s, most teachers used overhead projectors and (and in some cases) chalkboards to display information to their classes math teacher Debra Troxell said. “Each teacher was not even guaranteed a computer and if they did get one they were often very slow,” said Troxell.

The journalism program has also experienced drastic change in the past 20 years. Mike Tyler, the adviser of the Falcon and Talisman staffs since 1996, believes that biggest revolution that the program has gone through is the change to digital photography. Before that the students used to have to get all the pictures developed and then physically scan them on to the computers.

Kerry Mohnike, who was the adviser of the Falcon and Talisman staffs for the five years before Tyler, remembers that students had to print out their stories in columns and then physically paste them onto boards before the boards got sent to the printer as opposed to just typing them on a computer and doing layout on the computer as students do now.

Mohnike, currently the MAP coordinator, also recalls a time in the English department when all essays used to be handwritten except for the final draft which used to be done on a typewriter. “It was pretty old school because if they made a mistake on the typewriter, you can’t go back and edit,” said Mohnike.

Mike Davey, who teaches history and government, believes that technology has changed his teaching style more than anything else. Before digital projectors, he used to lecture by using an outline on a chalkboard but now he uses colorful PowerPoint presentations with images and videos integrated into them.

“The technology allows for more creativity from the students,” Davey said. “When I was in school, I had to worry about where commas go [when formatting papers], but now the library’s resources make everything much easier so students can focus on other things.”

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