If you’ve ever thought about the strides that education has taken in the last 100 years, you’ve probably realized how great those strides truly are. What once was an optional activity has, not only, become mandatory but has also become the staple of our growth as people. With standardized education, children have grown into adults that have pushed the limits of knowledge and have expanded our potential tenfold. No longer are the days of one-room schoolhouses and an agriculture-focused population; institutions hoping to create a future people of innovative thinkers who propel our society into greatness have replaced them.
Consider the blackboard. The first blackboard used in a school was in Philadelphia in 1809. It originated as a pine slab coated with a mixture of eggs and potatoes, but quickly changed to a slate slab. Chalk was used to draw, write, and articulate what was intended onto this featured wall of the classroom. Chalk dust was an unfortunate side effect of using chalkboards. Teacher’s hands, the desks around the board, and clothes collected the dust on a daily basis. These days, chalkboards are used and are seen less and less every year. Markers have replaced chalk, leaving classrooms dust-free since 1975. But our classrooms have progressed even further.
Teachers now have the ability to connect their computers to interactive projection screens. The computer’s screen is projected onto this Smartboard and students are able to edit content, draw, and write, all of which are applied directly to the image seen on the screen. For example, if you projected an article that needed proofreading, students could mark directly on the document projected on the screen to apply changes. You can even control the computer through the smartboard; simply use a pointer or your finger as you would the mouse cursor. What a huge difference compared to chalky blackboards!
Computers have been commonplace among current classrooms; they are great tools that have limitless uses and potential. In 1984, the standard ratio of computers to students was 1 to every 92 students; this number has changed drastically as more and more school districts implement their 1-to-1 policies (a computer for each student!). But what did classrooms use before the computer? In the past, radio stations adapted their daytime content so that teachers could use radios in their classrooms to engage students. From math to penmanship, radio shows would focus on engaging the young-people of its generation with the latest and greatest technology, a concept not foreign to current education standards!
As you can see, the classroom has come a long way since the start of public education. Classrooms have physically changed to suit the needs of the current generation. Radios may not be present in modern classrooms, but computers are becoming more than just fun technology; computers are becoming staples to the content and curriculum of every classroom. Computers have become an integral piece to the learning experience of every-aged student.