Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Maritza . Maritza Wonders, “How does your school use technology.” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Maritza !

Do you get to play with any cool gadgets at school? Today, many schools make technology part of learning. That means you may get the chance to use personal computers, laptops, or tablets. You may even use smartphones in the classroom.

Classrooms have not always had the supplies they use today, though. One-room schoolhouses once used hornbooks. Those were wooden paddles. They had lessons written on them to teach. We’ve come a long way since then!

There was even a time before students had pencils and paper. Instead, they used slates. These were small, handheld blackboards that they could write on with chalk. Can you imagine taking notes on those?

In fact, the classroom chalkboard didn’t come along until the late 1800s. With this new tool, the entire class could see what teachers were writing at the same time. Chalkboards seem like a thing of the past today. But they were cutting-edge technology at one time!

Over the years, new items were added to classrooms. Educators found ways for new devices to improve learning. They started using film projectors, radios, and televisions. Soon after came videotape players and overhead projectors.

Copying machines also brought big changes when they came along in the mid-1900s. Teachers could give students copies of lessons for homework and studying. This lets the classroom reach beyond its walls.

The use of audio tapes and headphones in the classroom made learning new languages easier. They also helped students with vision or reading impairments. With these new tools, they could listen to lessons instead of reading them.

Handheld calculators made math class easier for students. They also helped math teachers move more quickly through complex topics.

There are hundreds of other examples of educational technology over the years. Many changes have come in the past couple of decades, though. Schools have seen a lot of growth in the use of cutting-edge technology.

Then came the invention of the personal computer. Education took a huge leap forward. Soon after came the Internet. Modern education looks very different than it did when your parents were in school.

Today, it’s not uncommon for children to use their own laptop or tablet computers in school. Other schools may use handheld computers or smartphones. Some schools even use the Internet to connect with other teachers and schools around the world!

You may even be reading today’s Wonder of the Day via the Internet in your classroom! How cool is that? Some classes even use technology to make their own websites. They share with their friends and relatives what’s going on in their classroom.

Does technology help you learn? Or would you rather work with pencils and paper? Maybe you’d love to try out a hornbook! The next time you’re at school, take a good look around. What examples of technology can you find?

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.W.4

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