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Students: 'Huh? What's a Cassette Player?'

Hear what three Dunedin fifth graders have to say about how technology has changed over the years.

What is it really like to be a kid in 2011?

They don’t walk two miles barefoot in the snow. Don’t ask for help to fix your 8-track or Walkman. They text friends and download music. Goodbye, Duran Duran and Kenny Rogers. Hello, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. Girls' , and boys’ pants keep getting baggier.

I aged a few years when it hit me that some of my fifth-graders had never heard of a typewriter or cassette player. The students of today have not been without cellphones and MP3 players during their lifetimes.

As school years come and go, I am curious what my students think. What’s on their minds? What is it like being a kid today? I put this question out there and received many thoughts on the subject. 

Gillian:

“You should know … that kids are learning in a different way. That’s why some adults go back to college, to learn how WE learn … Now since technology, kids LOVE IT! Why? It entertains us!” 

Dominick:

“iPads, iPhones, and computers are all the things people didn’t have back then.  Grownups understand how to live without those elections. But kids … not so much. Even TVs went from dinosaurs to these high-powered 1080p televisions that cost a couple thousand dollars. I guarantee if you ask any kid what a cassette player is, they’ll go, ‘Huh? What’s a cassette player?’ Being a kid is fun and you don’t have much time, so live it to the fullest.” 

Ben:

"It's easy being a kid in 2011 … except, what about earlier in the 1970s and 1980s? When I’ve thought about it, both time periods are close in similarities.  In some ways, though, they are very different by far.

Learning                                                                                                                                                                              We kids learn in school except we do a different curriculum than back then.  Currently, we do our homework and in the past kids did homework, too. We most likely had the same time length to do our homework. Kids had technology then and people still have it now. Except when people were learning with technology, they had filmstrips while now we have SMART boards, the Internet and all sorts of advanced electronics — no filmstrips or mimeograph machines.

Having Fun                                                                                                                                                                       There are different ways of having fun. We can do this by using technology such as iPhones, televisions and gaming devices. Kids have limited their amount of time to play outside now than back then because in the present kids use technology. Computers were used back then, though they used to fill up an entire room, while now we can carry one right under our arm. We would also read and go see movies a lot more. The overall idea was to have fun.

Being a Kid                                                                                                                                                                                         Life is always changing. We are all kids but in different times.  Soon, kids in 2041 will most likely have different things than now. It’s still about being a kid learning things and enjoying life. That really hasn’t changed even though we can’t go listen to music in a record store anymore!"

Thank you, Gillian, Dominick and Ben.

Mrs. Noun's Note: Thanks to the generosity of Pinellas County Schools and the University of Florida Teacher Leadership for School Improvement program, Mrs. Noun is earning her Master's of Education with a specialization in technology.  Move over paper and pencil ... get ready for iPads, podcasts, wikis, blogs, and WebQuests!

Monika Wolcott November 08, 2011 at 01:52 PM
Leave it to our fifth graders to make me feel old! I wonder what new technology will be in place when our current students are in their 40s and 50s? I am hoping for personal robots. Wouldn't it be great if you could be in two places at once? I would direct my robot to clean the house and do yard work while I read a good book and do some shopping.
Katie Dolac November 08, 2011 at 04:07 PM
I love these perspectives, my San Jose friends! I chuckled out loud while I read this the first time. And love your reminders to live life to the fullest and remember to have fun! You kids rock!
Chris Sansbury November 08, 2011 at 08:14 PM
Huh? What's an iPad?
javianna November 08, 2011 at 10:03 PM
hey this is javianna and congrats for my class mates dominick,benjamin,gillian and i cant wait until the next article an a SHOUT OUT to ms.noun n your comfy leather chair happy late birthay. well c u later love u
Joe Nixon CPA November 09, 2011 at 02:09 AM
Student’s stories reminded me of a Christmas gift I received at ten years of age - a portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. Light weight with an external microphone - it was state of the art in 1962. Fifty years later, we can record voices and music on handheld phones. Can you imagine what the kids will be using in 2061 - I can't. Thanks for the memories.
Mark Papia November 09, 2011 at 08:08 PM
Not just cassettes. More recent technology has come and gone. Most fifth graders have never seen a floppy disk, or know what a beeper is.
Andrea Scott November 10, 2011 at 03:39 PM
What a fun article to read! You are lucky to have such a great teacher that embraces technology in the classroom. Technology has come so far so fast. I'd like to hear what you think your generation will see in the future.

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