Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Technology Changes So Many Things

Years ago, when my students wanted to save their chess games because the bell was about to ring, they hastily scribbled a grid on a sheet of notebook paper and saved it in a tray on my desk. When I figured out how to make a grid on my computer (something that took me a few years longer than it should have) I ran off copies for them to use, and we attached them to a file cabinet with a magnet until the next time they had a few free minutes to resume the game. This year, that changed again.

When the bell rang, one of the students just asked me to take a picture and save it on the desktop of my computer labeled with the date and their names.
Life just keeps getting easier...well, for the students anyway.

So I was just thinking what that would have cost me had I taken a picture to save games just ten years ago when I was still driving twelve miles to Motofoto and paying eight dollars a roll to have pictures developed, then around five dollars for a new roll of film? Or how long would it have taken if I had dropped the roll of film into my local department store and had it mailed away? Assuming the students saved their game twice before they finished--a possibility not too unlikely since they usually play during the last five minutes of class--it could have taken them three to four weeks to finish a game if they waited on pictures. And it would have cost a fortune. I love my digital camera.

There is a drawback, however, to all this technology. Whatever will we do if the electricity goes out? We'll have to learn how to hold a pencil.