I had a great time this past Friday night and Saturday morning participating in the When Night Falls K12 Online Conference culminating event. The discussions were lively and I learned a great deal from dialoguing with other educators from literally, across the planet (I spoke with people from Australia, China, Bangkok, England and of course the US). We spent a good deal of time processing the event, sharing specifics about what presentations we enjoyed, discussing some of the challenges to broadening the use of web 2.0, and considering ways to improve the conference for next year.
On Saturday morning we had a great discussion where we all shared our experiences regarding the first computers that we used and owned. Many participants shared photos of old apple computers, commodore computers, etc. The first computer that I ever used in school was a Commodore PET computer. This was one baaaddd computer, let me tell you. It was kind of cool because an educator in England used one of these when he was younger as well. This beast would get wheeled into our classroom for 1-2 weeks at a time, and a group of us would huddle around it playing a football game that was entirely text driven and scenario based. But it was such a blast! Below is a photo of the computer:
The next computer is a Texas Instruments TI-99 that my family purchased circa 1981. The unit had a killer 16K of RAM!! I did a little research on this and saw that it retailed for nearly $600, which is what it costs now for an entry level desktop computer-that's crazy! Of course the initial cost didn't include the cassette deck that we needed to purchase for data storage!
I enjoyed this exchange greatly. I'm already looking forward to the 2008 K12 Online Conference!