Saturday, December 15, 2012

Old Gadgets

At a class this week I brought in a Psion Organiser II (model XP) to show my students what one looked like and to relate the tale that I have had this gadget since 1988 - it is older than most of the students. I bought a battery for it (no re-chargeables in those days) and turned it on - it is still working! I also took my old 3Com Palm III out and inserted batteries into it and it worked too, though it took a few efforts to get it going. Neither device has been switched on for at least 10 years.

After switching them on I immediately looked to see what was on them, but of course all data and information is log gone. I had wondered if there was any information/files/data still on them, but found nothing. What a pity - it would have been interesting to see what appointments I had in 1989, or re-read anything I had written 20 years ago. I'll keep them for as long as I can and they are still working - maybe they might be worth something as antiques in years to come?

Following on from my Educast chat earlier this week where I talked about capturing student voices, I had a thought that wouldn't be great if we were able to keep old files, emails, documents written a long time ago? Today's students submit essays and their writings through Moodle and Blackboard, and of course they are easily stored on computer. With so much stuff on-line nowadays, it is likely that we will all be able to keep our digital voices potentially for ever. Is my generation the last last one who will not have a digital archive for their entire lives? 

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