Old School vs. New School

How times have changed. When my mother helped me with my elementary school homework projects, that meant getting out the encyclopedias, or buying me poster board and markers, or going to the used bookstore to buy National Geographics I could cut up (because we weren't going to cut up OURS!).

With my boys it started in familiar territory. Get some boxes to color and shape into villages, dioramas, etc. Buy poster board and markers. Learn how to Google for pictures and try not to bring up anything pornographic (I promise we were only looking for pictures of Costa Rica's tourist trade!).

Last night I helped my daughter with her final elementary school project. She wanted to make a PowerPoint presentation because that's what the other groups are doing. I don't have PowerPoint at home. I have the free OpenOffice version, but I don't know it well and I didn't know if she could play it at school. She had already pulled together and saved all her pictures on a flash drive, and was resigned to printing them out on a Word document. Then I remembered . . . my new laptop came with Windows Live Movie Maker. Could I figure it out in time? Two hours later we had put the "movie" together with cool transitions between frames and even a music soundtrack! We saved it to a flash drive which she practiced putting in, pulling up the movie on Real Player, and then taking the flash drive out properly.

My boys started creating PowerPoint presentations in middle school, my oldest son kept his International Baccalaureate journal online through a blog, and my middle son has already made three "movies" for Biology projects in his freshman year of high school using his video camera and online software to edit. I can only imagine what my daughter will be doing by the time she is in high school.

I can't even imagine what my kids will have to do to help their kids with homework projects. Somehow I still think it will start with poster board and markers . . . but after that? The sky is not the limit anymore.

Labels: , , , ,