Back when I was in middle school, the summers before school started were always a stressful time for my parents. In order to be taken seriously by my peers, I had to keep up with what was trendy. Let’s not mince words here: all I wanted to do is fit in. I remember vividly that fall 2001 kicked off the gel pens craze, giant construction-style jeans, and the latest TI-83 calculator packed to the brim with games. This blew my fall 1997 pogs collection out of the water in terms of how much my parents spent on the latest trends.
Now, those gel pens lie somewhere in the basement at my parents’ house and it makes me cringe just thinking how I used to take notes with those pens. My ratty old jeans gave way for more fitting jeans in my later, less rebellious years and my TI-83 was lost amid growing up. I don’t think I’ve seen that calculator since the beginning of my college years, when I used it as a paperweight because my dorm room window wouldn’t stay closed.
Which brings me to this article I found that stated the latest trendy items for the upcoming school year includes tablet computers and smartphones as well as the more run of the mill clothing trends. It’s definitely a sign of the times when an iPad is included as a must have item for school. It speaks volumes towards how much portable computing has factored into our lives in just a few short years. Whether the education world is ready or not, portable devices much more powerful than a desktop are here to stay and we have to adapt to include these devices in the classroom.
Then again, I wore jean shorts when I was 13, so what do I know? I don’t see the iPad going the way of my TI-83 calculator, although back in 2001 I probably would’ve laughed if you said that my TI-83 would become a non-factor in ten years.
What do you think about these new trendy items? Does this show that kids are too reliant on technology? Would you support young students having smart phones and tablets?