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Technology Over the Years

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Technology Over the Years

3D printers in the Fab Lab

3D printers in the Fab Lab

Megan Navratil

3D printers in the Fab Lab

Megan Navratil

Megan Navratil

3D printers in the Fab Lab

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Nowadays our whole lives revolve around our devices, but in 1976–which may seem like the Stone Age to current high schoolers–technology wasn’t as big of an influence in our society. AVHS was a much different environment back then, when the school first opened, especially in terms of technology. We have gotten many new devices, like the machines in the Fab Lab and Chromebooks, that benefit students and teachers inside and outside of school.

Devices in the Fab Lab

Megan Navratil
Devices in the Fab Lab

Mr. Tracy, our school’s Technology Coordinator, first came to AVHS in 1994. Back then, they only had “two labs of TRS-80 computers, one in the business department and one in the science department–with the software loaded via cassette tape–some Apple computers, and certainly no wireless devices.”

Although those types of technology were efficient in the 70s and 80s, most of us couldn’t do half of the things we do now without the devices that are available to us.

It’s hard to imagine a time without a single ounce of electronic systems in an AVHS  classroom. “In the winter of 1988, there were no computers,” says Mrs. Baiel. “First there was the library, and all you had was microfiche or books to look things up”.

A few computers here and there compared to now having a Fab Lab, multiple computer labs and TVs, Chromebooks, and many more everyday devices, technology has come a long way in AVHS.

Students in the media center using the computers

Megan Navratil
Students in the Media Center using the computers

Technology has opened up so many windows for learning and expressing creativity for everyone worldwide and even in our own community, like our very own media production class, EaglEye. Suresh Balram, a junior, has “improved his camera, editing and communication skills” by joining Eagle Eye.

The benefits for having new types of technology are endless: “We can visit places through virtual reality, run simulations of math and science experiments, and have a work of information at our fingertips,” explains Mr. Tracy. It overall “changes the nature of education” and suits every learning style by being “more collaborative and exploratory” than ever before.

Not only do the students benefit from these technologies, but the  teachers do too. Sites like ‘Google Classroom’ and ‘Moodle’ make it easy for teachers to inform and teach the students from their homes.

As for improving our school technology wise, Mr. Tracy thinks that we need the “infrastructure to keep up because of the thousands of devices on our networks”.

Technology at AVHS is always evolving and improving. It has come a long way throughout the years–just imagine what new devices the next 40 years will bring!

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1 Comment

One Response to “Technology Over the Years”

  1. Greg Utecht on April 7th, 2016 1:47 pm

    The technology when the school began as well as into the 1980’s and 1990’s was not totally bleak. A small lab housed time-share terminals that connected by telephone modem to a mainframe at TIES when school started in 1976. This is all any school had. AVHS actually allowed students to check-out the terminals to use from home (unheard-of in those days elsewhere). Apple //e computers found their way to the school by 1984-85, including a word-processing lab in the lower library area and computers on carts in the science department. Math built a large lab of about 60 computers and taught programming as a course in the curriculum. We were doing staff development for the teachers in this area by 1983. We also partnered with Control Data Corporation and did pilot-testing of its lower division engineering curriculum in Chemistry class with hardware the company supplied. Results of the study were written up in the Minneapolis Tribune. Mr. Tracy and others have been very valuable staff members in helping AVHS continue to be at the forefront of using technology to help students learn, something that truly did begin in 1976!

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Technology Over the Years