Imagine, let’s travel back in time, it is now the 1970’s. Can you see the fashion, the teachers using chalk on blackboards and students at their individual wooden desks handwriting notes and drawing their own pictures?

1970s Blackboard
The essential teacher tool- the old faithful blackboard!


Step forward to the 1980’s. Fashions have changed, teachers are now using whiteboards and the photocopier has allowed teachers to produce handwritten worksheets and photocopied text and photo/diagram resources. Students can now have the ability to cut and paste diagrams/photos into their assessment tasks.

1980s whiteboard
Whaooh, the whiteboards have replaced the blackboards- no more dust!


In the 1990’s the desktop computers have entered the education system. Teachers can now produce typed worksheets. Students have accessed to a shared resource known as the computer lab. They too can produced projects on the cutting edge by using Microsoft Word and PowerPoint with cut and paste clipart. Some students might even use Publisher, but not so much Excel or Access. Somewhere the midst of things the overhead projector has come and gone.

1990s whiteboard
On the cutting edge- student projects created using MS Word and PowerPoint


In the 2000’s, we saw the introduction of the projectors. Little did we know how these devices could be used to cripple student engagement. Just imagine, teachers now could PowerPoint everything and dump this information upon their students. Sorry did I say dump, I meant they could teach using PowerPoint presentations. Let there be bullet points in every class and in every lesson. The term “Death by PowerPoint” was coined to combat the boring bullet point presentations putting classes to sleep, but teachers showed no mercy.

2000s whiteboard
I love my PowerPoint presentations!


In the 2010’s teachers had access to interactive whiteboards, but found it hard to pass up the PowerPoint presentation. Twenty years on, students are still using MS Word and PowerPoint for the majority of their assessment tasks. The 1 to 1 laptop/iPad movement in the education sector is gathering momentum. The iPad can transform student learning, though many still do not comprehend the amazing ways the iPad can enhance the education system, unaware that a paradigm shift needs to occur moving from a text-based system to a mobile multimedia system.  Come with me on a journey to see how the iPad can truly revolutionalise the education system.

For you history buffs out there, these are just light-hearted generalisations about the technology used in Australian classrooms during these decades.

Photos created using yearbook yourself.

Original face provided by author!

Yearbook yourself

Classroom Technology