I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the darkness at Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die. ((Fancher, Hampton, and David Webb Peoples, Script. Blade Runner. Dir. Ridley Scott.” Perf. Hauer, Rutger. 1982, Film.))
Blade Runner, 1982
Some times I feel like Roy, the dying replicant (robot), lamenting the loss of one soul’s experiences — what sites he’s seen. We’ve been witness to some pretty amazing sites in just the last few years, and they have been both tumultuous and exhilarating.
We have been a part of a dizzying array of advances — and yet, change has been just slow enough that we do not see it nor do we think that much about it — amongst our every day endeavors. Of course, this paradox shouldn’t surprise us considering that as my country works hard to overhaul its healthcare system, and the world grapples in Copenhagen, to rein in global warming, what holds our attention is the infidelities of a professional golfer.
That said, I feel it is important that we, during this holiday season, be reminded that in the year 2000
- You were probably still running Windows 98 on your PC, or OS 8 or 9 on your Mac — on which you were still using Hypercard.
- If you used a laptop, you had to plug it into the Internet — and often through a telephone.
- E-mail was still THE killer app because there was no MySpace.
- To twitter was “to make high-pitched sounds, as of birds.”
- There was no Firefox, no Flickr, and no Facebook.
- The hottest thing going was Napster and the hottest MP3 player was the RIO, from Diamond Multimedia, with 32Mb of audio storage to brag about. (that’s 1/2000 that of today’s iPod Touch)
- Some of what’s happened since 2000 has not been that noticeable, such as genetically engineered corn and applications of nanotechnology.
- Some of it, we should have noticed more, such as our exploration of the Saturnian system, and skid marks left on the surface of Mars — and most of our textbooks still call Pluto a planet.
- The software that you used came in a box with a paper manual — and you most likely paid for it.
- PDAs had a stylus.
- No one had a Blackberry or iPhone, and
- If you owned a mobile phone — it was just a phone.
- You weren’t blogging and if you maintained a web page, it was with Dreamweaver or Microsoft Frontpage.
- ISTE was NECC and NECC was in Atlanta, and we don’t know what was hot, because we weren’t blogging it.
- We were not worried about China and India, and we’d just gotten through Y2K with hardly a hitch — thanks to people from China and India.
- Yahoo! looked like this
- CNN.com looked like this
- My web site looked like this
- ..and Google pretty much looked the same that it does now.
- Wireless Internet, iPhones, and traffic-displaying GPS would, to many, have seemed “indistinguishable from magic.”
What, that we would call astounding (magical) today, may we take for granted ten years from now — and how prepared will the students attending our classrooms today be for that future?
- If you were teaching in 2000, then you remember a sense of professional pride, which has been stripped away for political gain.
In 2000, society’s most critical endeavor, education, had not yet been usurped by amateurs in Washington, and driven decades in the wrong direction by people who saw no further than the industry-modeled classrooms they’d attended decades ago.
What will 2010 bring? In the next few days, I’ll tell you…