Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Technology has really taken off in my lifetime. Seems like only yesterday that I was earning my BFA and writing all of my papers on my mom's portable Smith Corona manual typewriter. Back in the days before computers this meant that I would have to actually know how to spell everything (horrors!) or look it up in the dictionary. If I made a mistake I could not simply backspace to make corrections, I had to get out small rectangles of correct-a-type and painstakingly line the paper up with the corresponding hammers. Copies were made with carbon copies, there was the mess of typewriter ribbon (which always got tangled up) and typewriter paper was precious and hard to come by.

All this of course was only after I wrote every masterpiece by hand on legal pads complete with crossing out, arrows to redirect my thoughts and dirty, ink stained hands as a testament to my diligence.

It was a lot of work!

Then when I went back to college to get my Master's Degree I discovered the joys of the computer. I had a little laptop that I would bring with me everywhere. I wrote papers sitting at the dining room table, downstairs at the bar and sitting in the kitchen. I was still not comfortable writing ON the computer so I continued to write everything out long hand and then type it. (I have gotten over that.)

Through all this I learned a thing or two about the computer. Today I am happy to report that I am pretty computer savvy; on both a PC and a Mac. (I hear you snickering Joy, be good!) However, my progression has been a slow process. I still have mouse issues - not as bad as when I used to pick it up to direct it but I do run out of room on my desk sometimes when I am attempting to drag and drop. I am a product of my age.

So are the children I teach. They amaze me that without any formal lessons they are so adept at accessing knowledge. They watch and learn. I have students who come into the room, drop their bags and bop around on the computer like it was second nature. They know just where to find fun computer games, search for pictures or access email. My friend has a four year old daughter who knows about tool bars, right clicking and minimizing.

These kids are impressive.

The other day we celebrated a birthday in class. The theme was Superman. The boy's father brought in toys and gifts for all of the children which included Superman masks. They are kinda freaky but the kids really seemed to enjoy them. Anyway, at the end of the day three boys took it upon themselves to record a short imovie. Which I have included for your viewing pleasure.

See what I mean? Freaky but really cool that they did this themselves. Great skill for three seven-year-olds and great enjoyment. I wonder how far technology will have advanced by the time they are my age.


Reya Mellicker said...

Wow, the film is AWESOME!! And freaky, oh yeah.

You know I have huge, rather crazy, meta-theory about why kids are so comfortable with electronics. I'm a freak for my age, as comfortable as I've become with them. I gave up the mouse years ago; now I use the skating rink, you know, that little pad just below the keys.

Would love to read one of your papers sometime. I bet they're really good, even the ones you wrote longhand (I write longhand all the time, though, so I might be predisposed to that form.)

Joy said...

it's like the invasion of the mini-Supermen!!!! And yes, I not only snickered: I LOL'd - that means Laughed Out Loud honey ;) But you really have gotten better with the computer so I shouldn't tease.

Leiselb said...

I'm pretty certain when your students have kids they will send magnatrons or something to school FOR them and that will automatically program the information back into the kids' brains while they're someplace else having fun.

Just an idea....thanks for the amusing post. :)

marxsny said...

It seems like only yesterday (When I was sad and I was lonely) I was the only person in my dormitory with a typewriter. Some people in the dorm used to pay me to type their papers. Of course, some paid my roomate to write them as well. It was a real business.

I didn't start graduate school without a computer and went through several of them before finishing. Now I pretty much have 2 computers attached to me most of the day.

I think it's important not to fear the technology. People are intimidated by things they are not comfortable or familiar with. The 4 year old you speak of, most likely cannot recall a time when she was not around a computer or someone using a computer or two.

MONA said...

ah! such talent among the kids! Its nice to see indeed!!

I am still not tech savvy :( guess will have to work on that one!

To have to work with the special children must make you feel how easy it is to conquer the seemingly impossible!It must be quite special kind of experience I think!

MONA said...

The note from bryan brought tears to my eyes...

J. David Zacko-Smith said...

I often think of technology as a mixed blessing - in many ways it has made life so much easier, and in others it has changed it for the worse. However, I definately think that, as far as word procesing goes, computers have been a blessing - I really just don't know how I survived high school using a TYPEWRITER!

P.S. - THANK YOU for the sweet comments about my blog. You are not only handsome, but kind as well. THAT is a sexy combination.

d. chedwick bryant said...

Your little supermen are so cool.

what are you doing all summer????

I am not very tech savvy at all but
Like Reya i gave up the mouse the minute I realized I could.

You can do more on your blog than I can.

I still like typing on my old non-electric portable and winding up the old victrola.

lettuce said...

great vid, they clearly had a great time.

funny to look back and remember what a luxury an electric typewriter seemed.... i even had one with an in-built correction tape thingy. It is amazing how second-nature it is to kids today. My daughter is constantly showing me how to do things better/quicker .... e.tc.

Sebastien said...

I used to be scared of technology, or at least I had a healthy distrust of it, I guess I still sort of do. But I must say, during my illness, the computer has been a great outlet and a wonderful way to connect with people.

As for the old school typewriter stuff, I'm so thankful I never had to deal with that!

And very cool video by the way, very cute!

MONA said...

indeed computer is a revolution in itself.It connects ppl as fast as thoughts :)!

Thanks for your visit! You are always welcome!


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