In class today I introduced the students to cascading style sheets. I explained how you can build a website using only html but it’ll look pretty basic, so you use css to make it fancy. I went to use the analogy of printing something on a dot matrix printer versus a laser printer, but none of the students knew what a dot matrix printer was. (They’re third-years, so 20-22 years old). That’s kind of a shame – and not just because I had to come up with a different analogy.
I remember when my Dad brought home Our First Computer. To play games we had to load both sides of the cassette tape before we could play. And then it would crash at a vital point in Dragon’s Lair where you were trying to stay on that spinning disk while the wind tried to blow you off (ha! Rude). But remember how amazing it was? How other kids from school would come over just to look at it? How we’d never seen anything like it before?
But just like the telephone wasn’t that amazing because it had been there all my life, twenty-somethings now have grown up with computers, and so while things like iPads are cool, they’re not completely new things that knock your socks off. I wonder if they’ll get to experience the awe comes with seeing huge leaps in technology?