WOW Moments in Technology

386dx.jpg

What was the first piece of technology that made your eyes light up in wonder? As I shared on my about page, my WOW moment happened in front of my friend’s 386dx. I asked my mom the same question and she replied, “Our first TV. It was black and white. We were the last to get one on our block, but I was amazed by it.” We have all been surprised by a piece of modern technology. Whether a color TV that brings the world into Technicolor focus or a 2400 baud modem that lets you connect with local bulletin board systems (BBS), these seemingly simple items remind us of the power of human ingenuity.

I’m going to try to use the universal “wow moment” to introduce a discussion about our county’s technology integration guide. Here’s my attempt to connect the dots:

1. Everyone has been inspired by technology.
2. Our students have the same experiences.
3. This common experience should remind us we all understand the power of technology to transform our lives.
4. The rub comes when we look at the individual experiences. This is when value judgments start. Am I less of a man because I last rocked the video game world on a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and am confounded by the Playstation3 and Xbox360?
5. This is the fork in the road. As a staff, we have two choices. We can segregate people based on ability and stick to the camp we are most comfortable in–at the expense of our students. Or we can start reaching out to each other for the benefit of the staff and, more importantly, the students.
6. The technology integration guide is a scaffolding for the latter option. It provides the steps for improvement in all aspects of teaching, and it does not judge. If you are a beginner, there is something for you to learn. If you are an expert, there are challenges for you, as well. No matter where you are on the spectrum, there are new “wow” moments waiting for you.

So, my goal is to address teacher fears of technology and the sense of embarrassment some teacher feel when they have to admit they know little about the modern computer while building a foundation to foster collaboration in the school.

I plan to start with an informal Quia survey. The survey will ask which of the major advances in theater (TV/Cinema), music, communication, and organization were “wow” moments for them. With the data compiled, I’ll slip it into my powerpoint and walk through the major milestones. We will discuss the emotional impact those items had, then I will walk with them through the rationale above. Finally, I will explain that I will be working with them on individual goals for the year.

Below is a quick list I have patched together with the help of an About article. Am I missing anything important in your life? I’m looking for touchstones for my staff–those items that caused an emotional stir equivalent to the current iPhone phenomenon. I’d love to hear what your big tech WOW items are/were.

UPDATE:  Couldn’t get an expandable-list Javascript to work, so here’s the list long form.  I apologize in advance for the long post…

Theater (TV/Cinema)

  • The Modern TV
  • The Color TV
  • The VCR
  • The Handheld Video Recorder
  • The VideoDisc
  • The DVD
  • The Digital Video Recorder
  • The High Definition TV
  • Web TV

Music

  • The Car Radio
  • FM Radio
  • The Jukebox
  • The Cassette Tape
  • The Walkman
  • The Synthesizer
  • The Compact Disc
  • The mp3
  • The iPod

Communication

  • The Modem
  • The World Wide Web
  • The Cell Phone
  • Ethernet
  • Email
  • BlueTooth
  • SMS (Texting)
  • WiFi
  • Web 2.0

Organzation

  • The Computer (Super-Sized)
  • The Word Processor
  • The Apple Macintosh
  • The Personal Computer
  • The Floppy Disc
  • Windows
  • The Mouse
  • The Barcode Scanner
  • The PDA

Comments on this post

  1. Dana Huff said on July 13, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Tom, I think I know why the background is white. Open up your CSS file and look for this code:

    ul.menu li a {
    font-size: 1em;
    color: #FFFFFF;
    margin: 0;

    If you take out the color, it should do the trick, but you might want to check over your old posts and make sure it won’t mess them up.

  2. Cathy Nelson said on July 13, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Surely the ever-shrinking flash drive should go on one of these lists!
    Enjoyed this post immensely.

  3. Jim Coe said on July 14, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Great suggestion Cathy! The flash drive. The first time I saw a USB flash drive I immediately thought of the pile of “Zip Disks” I have stored away and how insignificant they seemed!

    Jim

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