A Look Back on 5 Decades

Tomorrow I’ll be 50-something, a little over half way to 60 … did you hear a “yikes”? So I thought I would take a look at my technology use over those years.

Decade 1 – 50’s

We had a black-and-white TV and I was the remote control – my dad would call me and have me change the channel for him … ah, the 50’s parents

I got my first computer when I was about 9 – the Thinkatron and here’s the one I bought on eBay earlier this year:


I was a playground rat all through elementary school so my main technology had to do with sports equipment.

Decade 2 – 60’s

Pencils, paper, chalk … the normal 20th century educational technologies … oh, don’t forget film strips … click.

I worked for my Mom in her office and learned how to run a billing machine that looked like a typewriter on steroids – the roller was about 3 feet long and I had to warn people before hitting return … it slid out into the aisle!

My first car and power steering – family hand-me-down! Later I drove my Mom’s 68 Buick Skylark Grand Sport … now that was technology … convertible too.


My first new car had a regular am radio; my Christmas present in ’69 was an 8-track player … too cool.

Decade 3 – 70’s

I started my teaching career teaching English & Yearbook, and coaching volleyball, softball, and basketball at Needles High School – I made good use of movies from the district office. Of course, I had a student help me thread the machine. I bought a VW Rabbit and installed my own cassette player with a toggle switch for the radio/player.

Focused on coaching for the rest of the decade – volleyball especially – and had an idea to build an automatic volleyball serving machine. It’s now in use extensively around the world – invented by the Japanese in the 80’s … too bad I didn’t go with that idea.


Decade 4 – 80’s

Typed my master’s thesis on an electric typewriter.

Not much until the late 80’s when I used a borrowed KayPro II for grad school. It was pretty cool – the keyboard attached to make one easy to carry portable computer.


Then in 1989 I bought my first computer – I had used Macs in the computer labs at Biola while I was a grad student, so when I graduated and started teaching again, I chose this one:


Of course, my first handheld had more memory than this SE’s 8mgs. I didn’t care, I had a great time playing with HyperCard.

Decade 5 – 90’s

New computers, cell phones, handhelds and more. There was an explosion of technologies – I started playing CD’s and DVD’s.

Took my first online course in 99 – my school was one of the first to use a new course management system:


Decade 6 – 2000’s

Typed my dissertation on a Gateway laptop.

The explosion was bigger than the 90’s and we’re not done yet. More online teaching and learning – I’ve used more than half a dozen course management systems – Elluminate, webcasts, Google, and then

web20.jpeg and the fun is just beginning …

What do you remember? I’m looking forward to the next decade … change is fun!


2 thoughts on “A Look Back on 5 Decades

  1. Blog Response #1

    Title of post: My Own Technology History…….What Happened?

    URL: https://drctedd.wordpress.com/

    Dr. Toledo writes a personal technological reflection in “A Look Back on 5 Decades.” 5 decades are detailed with the most interesting (crazy!) technology used, and she invites others to remember their lives through technology-colored glasses.

    My Response:

    What is my OWN history of technology? I’m not sure…….I wouldn’t say I have had a bag over my head, nor have I had blinders on, but I must say that I only remember what has been unavoidable. I, too, grew up as the remote control for the family. I did not use a computer (appleII?) until I was a junior in high school. And to this day, I’d rather grab a legal pad and a pencil than a laptop.

    On a more serious note, Dr. Toledo’s reflection illustrates to me that I have not embraced advances. I haven’t even remembered them! As technology continues to explode all around me, I have to find the next train out and get on board. This class has certainly been a nudge in that direction.


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