It was a sunny Tuesday morning and the air from the impending winter had a peculiar bite to it when I pulled into the guest parking lot of my old high school. I checked in at the front office, received my guest pass, and made my way to my first classroom. The purpose of my 20-minute drive to the place where I graduated from was to conduct teacher observations as part of a college course, but what I observed extended far beyond teaching methods and class discussions. As I glanced around the class, I was surrounded by Sony and Toshiba brand laptops. There were widescreen television projectors that consumed one quarter of the entire classroom, a "slight" improvement from the SmartBoards I had grown accustomed to in my secondary years. I was informed that laptops were mandatory for classroom use (and a passing grade), as well as digitized TV projectors were the new way to communicate lessons. Not that I've always been a pioneer of gadgets and gizmos, but I was dumbfounded. And then it dawned on me: The world, especially the realm of education, is changing. Therefore, I must change with it.
I feel like an elderly man discovering rap music whenever I hear about something new. Ridiculed for our laziness, I am constantly amazed at the tendencies of millennials and how drastically the world is transitioning into the Technology Era. I sit in my car and think, Wow, how long before these things fly? I sit at my table reading my Delaware County Times and think Wow, how many copies of the print newspaper are left to enjoy with my morning coffee? I sit in a booth at the local diner and think Wow, how long before my french toast is simply a pill, so I can hate myself less for eating it? The answer is in plain sight, but I've been wearing dark shades. The true, genuine answer is soon, whether we like it or not. Adapting to the world is a choice, but not a wise one in the sense of making life easier. You could counter that with stubbornness, but that just doesn't cut it anymore. Pens and pencils are out, keyboards are in. Lectures and hard-nosed note-taking are out, learning programs like Edmodo and Schoology are in. To quote pop culture, "It is what it is".
I still take notes old-fashioned style. My best friends are a pen, looseleaf paper, and a cramped hand. I still read the news via print newspaper, whether it is from the paper boy or Acme's dusty, untouched News Section. I still use an ancient object called a "wallet" and not a Venmo account. I still believe a vehicle is transportation from Point A to Point B, and not a hunk-of-junk just to plug my aux cord into. But, guess what? Authenticity is the new form of stupidity. Make your life easier by taking the time to understand shortcuts and new ways of doing things. We've experienced the past and present, so now we must accept technology for what it really is: the future.