Saturday, June 19, 2010

End Of An Era

Wow! I can't believe I haven't been opinionated since last December! That's not entirely true, but I surely let work and family situations get in the way of writing. And now we're at the end of another school year, a very poignant period for me. This is the last June of my teaching career.

For 25 and a half years, most of it spent in a computer lab, I have watched kindergarten students grow up and their tech skills develop from grade to grade. From Atari to Apple IIgs to colorful iMac to elegant Intel iMac, our computers have grown up as well! I still remember early years when first graders lined up with sentence strips so we could demonstrate how the "delete" key works!
Children definitely come to school with many more technology skills in the 21st century! Our first Apple, the only one we had, was connected to a telephone modem and we "chatted" with other schools by text only. We even "met" Rosa Parks! It was an old fashioned system for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. How amazing it is to have Skype, Twitter, and blogs at our fingertips in 2010!

In my present day computer lab I have a shelf filled with digital cameras that have come and gone as the technology changed. I like to think my own skills and understanding of technology tools have evolved over the past quarter century, rather than going extinct along with those cameras. I know so much more about how children learn; I've lived through so many curriculum revisions! There are endless lists of projects and activities; some of those were one-hit wonders and some have become perennial favorites. The workshops and conferences probably number well over a hundred. I've attended, I've presented, I've evaluated, I've received professional development credits. More importantly, I've been inspired and rejuvenated. I can't say enough about a good conference! The colleagues have come and gone. A few have been with me all along, but not many. The younger teachers are poised to assume responsibility for maintaining the school's balance of friendship and academics. They are a wonderful group of teachers and administrators and I'll miss them as they continue the adventure that is education.

In the next few months I'll have to come up with a new name for this blog. I'm sure I'll still be "Mad About Technology" and I'll probably do some sort of teaching in less formal settings. You can't change a person's interests or talents overnight, and I'm not sure I want to change mine. New opportunities are welcome, but for now I'll hold onto the skills and lessons I've learned in the last 25 years and see how they can be put to use in my changed world. Maybe I can learn a few more as I forge ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your retirement. Just a note my first computer class in college the computer took up an entire classroom and we used punch cards. The only way we got to graduate was if we wrote a program using those darn cards and the monters computer accepted them.

    I like today's system better.