Before spring break, we discussed Peter Morville’s book, “Ambient Findability,” in class and had a few readings from it. This book was very insightful and really got me thinking about how much things have changed over the past few years. One of the things that really pulled me in was the history of the Internet. It is so crazy to think about how much the Internet has changed from when it first came about. I realize that I have been alive to experience the many changes that the Internet has undergone and I think that it is so cool to reflect on the experiences that I have had with it. Today, kids expect to be able to click on their Internet browser and immediately be taken to wherever they want to go. We have no patience anymore and if that browser does not open and connect immediately, we become frustrated and annoyed.
It is funny to think that when I was in elementary school, we did not really use computers. Since then, I have interned in several elementary schools and find it almost humorous to see that some schools have an ample supply of Mac Book computers for every student. On these computers, students follow along with the teacher on the over head projection screen as he or she leads them to search and browse the Internet for various things. During one class, fourth grade students were directed to a site about the Holocaust and each had to select a person who was sent away to a concentration camp. The names were hyperlinked so as soon as they chose, they clicked the link and were taken the next page where they learned all about the person and continued to click from link to link to learn about what happened to them and their family. It was so amazing to me to see such young students using the Internet to enhance learning and although at first it seemed silly to me, the computers were an excellent tool for the exercise and really had a huge affect on them.
When I was in elementary school, we would get to go to the computer lab once every two weeks and usually spent our time completing simple computer games that were designed to enhance a lesson. Often times when we were done we were allowed to play The Oregon Trail, a computer game that everyone my age seems to remember playing when they were young. I do not know if Oregon Trail is still available as a computer game, but it was very basic and simple, yet something entirely new and exciting to us. In middle school we started to use computers for a lot more such as typing papers and doing research, but the real phenomenon for people by age was AIM- AOL Instant Messenger. AIM was slow and basic and took a while to connect but it was a way for my peers and I to keep in tough with one another.
It is seriously amazing to me how much the Internet has progressed, and Morville really made me think about that. The Internet did not just magically appear one day and change everything. It slowly but surely has progressed to where it is now and has indeed changed the way that we live. It is so strange to think that at one point, the Internet was a club that only certain people, people who were interested enough, used. I have a feeling that if I would have been at the age that I am now around the time that the Internet made it’s debut, I would not have been interested, just as many people were not. It took a while for people to catch on and get used to such a new and unusual idea but it has definitely caught on now.