My elder son, Handsome, brought home some paperwork for me to fill in from school last week. They were the standard forms requiring information about his age, ethnicity and medical history etc, but there were some additional forms this time which I had to sign. Two in particular made me reflect about the changes which have taken place in the twenty two years since I was his age. Both he and I had to sign a ‘Home-School Agreement’; an informal contract if you like, setting out what each party (parent, pupil, school) is entitled to expect of the others through the education process (I don’t remember having anything like this when I was in school). The second was a similar agreement but relating to the use of the internet in school. I was glad to see that they have a written internet policy and that they are aware and combatting things like inapprpriate contact between children and possible internet predators. But what struck me was that we didn’t have a computer in school until I was nine, and then it was only a very basic word processor which had a green and black screen. At home we had a couple of Amstrad PCW 8512s, and we were considered very modern and up to the minute by my friends in school! And now, my children are so accepting of modern technology that they wouldn’t know a typewriter if it jumped up and bit them (or rather, they wouldn’t know that a typewriter biting someone is quite an unusual event!) and whenever they pretend to take a photo of something, rather than winding on the spool after each shot, they take a look at the imaginary viewfinder on the back of the camera to check that they got the picture they wanted! It really makes you sit back and wonder what technological advances we can expect in the next twenty years.
Posted on September 25, 2008 by Jennie