A New Decade


The Silicon Alley Insider recently named 21 technologies that became obsolete this past decade. Some items from the list were: the PDA, paid e-mail accounts, dial-up, film developing, video rental stores, landlines, public pay phones, VCRs, phonebooks, and CDs.

Joshua Kim from Insider Higher Ed’s BlogU wrote an article about Obsolete Learning Technologies.  He included:

  1. Scantron Sheets
  2. Overhead Projectors and Transparencies
  3. Classroom VCR/DVD Players
  4. Course Packs and Course Readers
  5. Photocopiers
  6. Microfiche
  7. Language and Computer Labs
  8. Paper Journals and Periodicals

This is my 4th year at Albany law School. I haven’t experienced al the changes in instructional technology for the past 10 years. But I certainly have seen many since I’ve been here.

Here is a list of those technologies that are gone or have decreased in use:

  • Overheard Projectors – GONE – Professors are using powerpoint presentations or document cameras
  • Cassette Recorders – GONE – We are using digital audio recorders
  • Cassette Players – GONE – Professors are playing audio files off their laptop.  Students are listening to them off their portable media players.
  • Video Camcorders – GONE – We are using digital video recorders and webcams
  • Photocopiers – LESS – Professors are uploading materials to TWEN or linking to online sources
  • Bluebooks – LESS – Students are using Examsoft on their laptops to take their final exams.
  • VCR/DVD Players – LESS – Professors are using their laptops to play digital videos from DVDs or off YouTube.
  • Printers – LESS – Professors are uploading to TWEN and students are submitting assignments through TWEN or e-mail.
  • Whiteboards – LESS – Professors are sharing content through  powerpoint presentations or document cameras
  • Scantron Sheets – LESS – Professors are using authentic assessments or Examsoft.
  • Computer Labs – LESS – We only have one left.  Almost all the students have laptops.

What’s new?

  • Interactive Whiteboards
  • Blogs
  • Wikis
  • Facebook, Twitter
  • Webcams
  • Videoconferencing, skype, webcasting
  • Live chats
  • Flash video
  • YouTube, Vimeo
  • Mp3 audio files
  • Portable Media players
  • Smartphones
  • RSS feeds
  • Netbooks
  • and more…

In the next 10 years?  Those that have LESS next to them may be GONE.  New technologies will be appear…


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