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21 Things


Date posted: August 1, 2013

What objects, once common place in education, are now obsolete? The smell of a freshly printed mimeograph worksheet? A filmstrip machine?

Technology advances make some new things possible and make some old things useless. In our personal and professional lives, we’ve seen this over and over.

Business Insider ran a list of 21 things that became obsolete during the first decade of the 21st Century. The list included video rental stores (like Blockbuster), PDAs (replace by smart phones), road maps (replace by GPS devices and Google Maps on smart phones). Phonebooks, dictionaries and encyclopedias were also on the list, replaced by their online, digital siblings.

MimeographTeach Paperless compiled a list of 21 things that will become obsolete in education by 2020, beginning with desks and ending with paper.

While there are plenty of educators out there on the bleeding edge, education has the reputation of being more resistant to change than many industries. But, as the Common Core standards are being adopted, new curricula written, and next generation tests coming, some things in the classroom will have to change.

What would you like to see made obsolete?

I’ll kind of miss the slightly damp feel and characteristic scent of a mimeographed paper. But I wouldn’t trade my smart phone or tablet for it!