School supplies, like everything else in life, have continuously evolved as society has become more innovative and better able to supply materials to fit every classroom need. But it wasn’t until the technological revolution brought about by advancements in computers and the arrival of the Internet that the digital world took school supplies to an entirely new level.
The student of the 21st century is light years ahead of his counterparts of years gone by. We have moved away from the original calculator that was awkward, hard to handle and capable only of the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division functions into an age of palm-sized mini computers that can calculate the most intricate mathematical formulas in a split second.
The laptop has replaced the 3-ring binder to the extent that it has even stolen its name. Nowadays, when a student refers to his “notebook” he is just as likely to be talking about his laptop computer as he is his spiral notebook.
Digital gadgets of every description have found their place among the student body. The cell phone, once a basic communications device is now a Blackberry with Internet access, pictures taking capabilities, a day planner, a wake up alarm and may even be able to record classroom lectures. A wealth of information can be held in the palm of the hand.
The library is no longer the ultimate source for research and fact finding. The Internet has put knowledge at our fingertips, fast and up to the minute accurate. Current events information that used to only be available days or even weeks after the event is now accessible immediately after it happens, and sometimes even while it is still taking place.
The power of computer technology has replaced such “old-fashioned” student equipment as the typewriter. Word processing software has eliminated the need for re-typing, revising manually, or using correction tapes to fix a typo. These are out-dated concepts that make the student of today just scratch his head and smile.
The latest and greatest digital advancement for the 21st century student is arguably the digital textbook. For a relatively small fee the student can upload the text needed for his coursework. This delivery method guarantees up to the minute accurate information for the student. At the end of the semester there is no used textbook to sell. This environmentally friendly approach to education will save a forest of trees in the process.
A surprisingly useful digital tool for the 21st century student is the digital camera. With this innovation a student can add interest and documentation to research projects and term papers by uploading topic appropriate photographs to submit right along with his electronically submitted homework assignment.
Education today has come a long way from the days of chalkboards and number two pencils. With the advancements brought about by technology and digital equipment, any student can access the knowledge and research of the greatest minds in history and present a first rate assignment to back up his learning experience.