by Catherine Arjet
Recently, as I was watching a professor struggle with a smartboard, I thought about what our classrooms and colleges as a whole have become with the onslaught of technology we’ve thrown at them. We are constantly told that newer is better and that by adapting to the newest (and most expensive) technology available we can make our classrooms and learning experiences better. But has it really improved? Is the ability to play YouTube clips in class worth the amount of time we spend waiting for our professors to figure out how to do a Google search, make the video full screen, or turn up the volume? Are we spending too much energy to try to keep up? Is our education really any better than it was when our parents were in college? Personally, I think it’s time to go back to the good old days of less complicated technology. I’m talking about the 1990s.
The stress and confusion of the big switch to outlook could have been avoided if the entire campus communicated via AIM, A.K.A. the greatest communication system known to man. You wouldn’t have to worry about trying to format a professional sounding email, just send off a quick IM and be done with it. Everyone enjoys everything AOL makes. And while we’re talking about email, how many times has your paper gotten lost in the mess that is the outlook and MajorAir? That wouldn’t happen if you turn in a floppy disk with your assignment on it. I for one, miss the safety and security of ‘90s tech.
Why do we have Windows 10 on all the computers in the classrooms? Was there something wrong with Windows 95? If there was, I don’t remember it. All I remember is that super cool start-up sound. And why does every school computer exclusively run Internet Explorer? If we’re going to use an outdated browser, why not use Netscape? It was probably the most exciting thing in the mid-90s, why did we abandon it? It never let us down. MajorAir too, could use a “downgrade.” Maybe all of the problems it has come from they way it runs. Who can trust wifi or Internet cables? Do you know what you can trust? Dial-up. What MajorAir needs is to come through good old-fashioned telephone lines. There’s nothing like that amazing screeching sound you heard when you picked up the phone while someone was online. If the whole campus uses dial-up, we can always hear that sweet, sweet, screem.
I know some of you probably think I’m crazy, and that current technology will save the world, but all I’m saying is that we never give good old-fashioned ‘90s tech a fighting chance anymore. Maybe, if instead of rushing to the newest thing we can get our hands on, we took a look at what we already have. We could solve some of the problems all this technology has caused.