A Question for Parents and Families: What technology did you use when you were younger?

Last week we launched August is Family Blogging Month and it has been great to see lots of parents and family members get involved.

This blog post is for parents, family members, family friends and anyone else who would like to comment!

The Grade Four students at our school are very lucky to be involved in the 1:1 iPad Program. With all students having access to an iPad at school and home, our learning adventures in 2014 are very exciting!



We have interactive whiteboards in every classroom at our school, and they are also great learning tools. We use the internet regularly to discover and learn about the world we live in. Our class blog is another source of technology and communication.

The 4A and 4B students enjoy using their own devices at home for learning and for fun. Some popular portable devices include the digital camera, iPad, iPod, Wii, Nintendo DS, X-box and PlayStation.


Miss Jordan and Miss Curtain remember using Commodore 64 desktop computers and game consoles such as the Atari and Sega when they were young. They have seen technology change a lot since then!


We would love to hear from parents, grandparents, other relatives and friends about what technology you used when you were younger and how you have seen technology develop over time. Perhaps you used typewriters, polaroid cameras, turntables, earlier model computers or telegrams? We look forward to learning all about your experiences with technology!



What technology did you use when you were younger?

46 thoughts on “A Question for Parents and Families: What technology did you use when you were younger?

  1. Hi 4A and 4B,
    Glad to finally make it to your blog. Back in my days at school we used the old manual typewriters they were lots of fun to use and were very noisy with everyone typing away. Then when I went to high school we had and electronic typewriters. Electronic typewriters run on electricity, they are quite big, and very fast.The students at Barwon Heads Primary School are very lucky to have IPads to use in school.

    Look forward to seeing some great examples of what other parents used for technology.

  2. Hi Miss Jordan,
    This new blog post is amazing! I think I would go back to the old days and use the type writers. The only things I don’t like about typewriters are that they are noisy. This is a great post to get parents involved with the class blog by asking them a question: What technology did you use when you were younger.

    Can’t wait to see the next blog post.

  3. I used to use my dad’s little Olivetti typewriter to type up my essays when I was in secondary school. Later I got really fancy and bought an electric typewriter. I bought my first computer in the late 1980s but I still feel quite sentimental when I think of that little Olivetti typewriter!

    I also remember when transistor radios first came in. They were so great because they ran on batteries and you could take them with you wherever you went. My friends from school and I used to play tennis and take the radio to listen to. Our favourite singer at that time was Johnny Farnham and we all used to stop and sing along to ‘Sadie, the Cleaning Lady’. We thought it was hilarious and we just loved the transistor radio! (The other good thing was that the tennis courts were next door to my house and my dad, who worked from home, would bring us out cakes and cordial. We didn’t play much tennis!)

    • Hi cheryl

      It is good to know all those different types of typewriters but now we have much better then typewriters.

      I think it is really good to know what type of electronics back in your days. But we will always improve new computers etc.

      Best wishes,

  4. At home we had a Commodore 64 to play games on when I was in year 7. I thought Miss Pacman was the best game ever!

    We did not have computers in our school until I was in year 10 and even then it was a special class that you had to take, you did not use computers to do your work on – you had to hand write everything. All my year 12 work was done with pen and paper and a very sore hand!! I think our Casio calculator was the smartest technology that we had.

    At university I got my first very slow thinking PC. I love seeing Emma use the ipad with ease and I learn so much from watching her. I wish ipads were around when I was 9, I might type faster 🙂

  5. Hi Everyone,

    Although I haven’t experienced typewriters and Commodore 64’s I have still typed on a type writer before. What happened was this…
    Mum, Erinna, Mel and I were on a holiday somewhere a couple of years ago and we went to look in the op shop, but I like to call it The Little Big Shop. Mel bought Erinna a type writer and all Ezy and I would do all day was type secret notes and type up stories. But one thing I noticed and I will never forget is that you can’t backspace on a type writer.

    See ya later alligators,
    Ella 🙂

  6. Dear fellow bloggers,

    What a great idea Miss Jordan! It’s a great way to get everyone involved in August blogging month.

    Good bye blogging buddies,
    Nellstars 🙂

    • Hey Nell

      I to think that it was a great idea to make this post for the family blogging month.

      What technology have you heard about when you mum was little?
      Has anybody in your family left a comment yet?
      None of mine has but I am hopping to get one from my mum soon.

      See you tomorrow at school

  7. Hi it’s Bev,
    Wow, the memories! We had a specific class at high school called “typing” we used loud, clunky typewriters like the one in the picture, our teacher would cover our hands with a cloth and dictate whAt we had to type, for example “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” over and over again!

  8. When I was 18, my first phone was called a half brick which I thought was very up to date because it replaced the phone called the brick which was half the size.

    The first T.V computer game I had was called tenis, which was two lines and one dot. I was heaps of fun and pretty amazing that we could play it on the T.V.


  9. Hello 4A and 4B,
    When I was little, my brother and I used to talk to each other on walkie talkies they are sort of like a mobile phone but you press a button to talk to the other person and they are run by batteries.

    For music I used a Walkman. it is sort of like an Ipod but much bigger and played taps and the radio.

    For computer games we used a console called an Atari. It is a bit like a Nintendo but played much simpler games. An example of one of the games was Pacman.

    Times have changed a lot since Iwas in primary school.


  10. Dear 4a and b
    Calculator watch – a digital watch with a calculator on it! (Jeremy)

    The 1st Apple Macintosh computer! It had a tiny screen and was super slow, but it was the latest thing then and I remember being so excited when my Dad brought it home in 1984! I think my Mum still has it!! (Viva)

  11. Hi 4a and 4b,
    I am enjoying so very much reading the friends and family posts!!

    I have always liked a chat on the phone and when I was in primary school the telephones were the ones you dialled, popping your finger in the number you wanted and turning clockwise. So different to our transportable phones we have these days!

    We had a games device called an Intellivision, which was
    an old fashioned version of the play station and my favourite game was PAC Man !!

    I am so impressed with all, as Amanda is, with all the shared technology learnings I receive from Ella!

    Gotta fly,

  12. Hi 4A and 4B,
    It’s great to finally see your blog. When I was young we had calculators and I used it all the time, and we used an early Apple Mac. You are so luckey to be able to use the new technology that is available now. Such as your IPads you use in class. I think I like the new phones now then the ones that we used to have dial.

    Chat to you soon,

  13. Hi 4a and 4b
    I remember at your age saving up to buys records and then only being able to listen to them on a record player(which were bulky and not really portable).Soon after we had cassette tapes and the cassette players were more portable,then came the Sony Walkman which was a tape player that you could walk with.Then in about 5 more years when I was in year 12 CDs were taking over.
    Now we hardly use CDs and simply download our music whenever we like.I wonder how we will purchase and listen to music in another 10 years!


  14. Hi 4A&4B
    Great Blog, although it does make feel a bit old. Throughout school and Uni I didn’t use much technology, relying on books for research and writing to present work or paying someone to type essays.
    We did have Donkey Kong and other games though. A bit like Nitendo Plays, but with only one simple game on each console.
    It is great that you guys have so much information at your fingertips on your Ipads.


  15. Hi everyone
    I think this is a great post because you can find out what technology was used and if it was really bad or exciting.

    I have no idea what technology my parents used but I bet they used some pretty interesting things.

    When Miss Jordan was telling us about some technology in class today I thought that it was very interesting looking at pictures of them. I thought some technology back then would be pretty annoying, hard and big to work with.

    I have heard of only one piece of technology and it was called a type writer. In class Miss Jordan told us that once you make a mistake you can’t fix it. That would have been a pretty annoying. I also heard Miss Jordan say that you had to pull something on the side down to get a new line.

    Chat soon

  16. Hi 4A and 4B

    A long, long time ago when I was a little person we had a thing called a record player (maybe you have seen them before) which enabled us to play our records which had music on them. This was before walk-mans, disk-mans, Mp3 players and i-pods etc. What do you think your children and grand children will be using to listen to music?


    • Hi Mum

      It’s so great that you left a comment on the blog. I reckon it’s so cool to look back and see how technology has changed throughout the years, don’t you? I love the idea of this challenge I think it’s great fun.

      Got to gallop

  17. My sister (Eevie’s mum) Rebekka and I thought we were very lucky because our dad worked with computers and built machines that used computers. So we got a PC before they were common household items. You needed to type in commands to get it to do very basic things. We used to stay up late at night playing a game called Falcons. We LOVED IT!!! You can actually google it and still play it on your computer!

  18. Hi to everyone in grade 4A and 4B. I feel honoured to be able to take part in family blogging month!

    Well, I can remember that I used a lot of technology when I was younger. What springs to mind first is the Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64. I think that you have played video games on those consoles before?

    While you are lucky now to have the possibility to store thousands of songs on a tiny device (the iPod), I owned a Sony Discman, which required batteries and a cd to be able to listen to music ( just 12 songs!)

    All the best for your future blogging!

    • dear nick thank you for leaving a comment on the blog and using some of your time to do it I hope you had a great first day at school.


  19. Hmmm….I remember in Math’s we used a computer to do some sums. We had to mark cards with a pencil and feed them into the computer which was a big as a couch! It took ages for the answer to come out. Ahhh… those were the days…

  20. To 4A 4B

    We had a black and white TV and were very excited when colour tvs came along. It felt like our family were the very last to get colour and I was soooo embarrassed.
    So one day when we had a function at our house, and I knew the TV would stay off, I cut out tiny squares of red blue and yellow electric tape and stuck them near the dial of the bw TV to make it look like a colour TV logo, in the lame hope that guests would think it was a colour TV!

    In those days we saw movie ONCE, not over and over. We had to wait ages to see photos as cameras used film that had to be developed at a shop.

    My big brother bought us a video game that we could use on our black and white TV. It consisted of two white sticks hitting a white dot! We were rapt!

    We used to play records, then tapes. It was great fun to make up music shows and record them onto cassette tapes to play back. We didn’t have a movie camera in those days.

    We had a lot less screen time, but lots of fun.

    From liz

  21. Hello 4a and 4b,

    I have had a great laugh reading through the stories from all of the Mum’s and Dad’s – and one Uncle.

    I, too, shared a Commodore 64 with my brother. We thought we were so cool – playing Pacman with our friends.

    And then along came Donkey Kong! This hand held game was amazing – or so we thought back then!

    What really is amazing is that I can sit in the comfort of my lounge room and communicate with all of the children in Georgie’s class via this blog.

    Something that Georgie often asks me is – “How different do you think technology will be in 30 years time when I am your age?”

    The advances of technology have been so incredible over the last 30 years, I cannot even hazard a guess at what technological advances will be around when you are all adults.

    When I was your age I thought by the year 2010 we would be driving cars that flew!

    I’d love to hear what crazy technological advances you think there will be in 2044.

    Let me know your thoughts.



    • Dear Niki,

      I really like the thought of having the “August is Family Blogging Month” compition! I really want to see how many family members will comment.

      I don’t know why, but I really want a Commodore 64 and a typewriter. I think it is because I have never used them, and I am interested in things in the past that i have never used before. Do you know why the Commodore 64 is called the Commodore 64?

      I really like playing Pacman and Donkey Kong! They are great games, and are really fun to play. Are the games different from when they were back then?

      I think blogs are awesome because it can keep people in touch, you can meet new people and we can share the things we are doing with other people. I have never had a class blog, but i really like them!

      When we were looking at the blog, we were actually thinking of what the new electronics will be like on the future. Some people thought that head phones might turn into tiny little chips or ear buds will be really tiny.

      Eevie 😉

  22. A big hello to Grade 4A and 4B and how lucky you are to have such an exciting program to be involved with.
    I recall when the Selectric typewriter was introduced which used a typeball instead of keys to make print (it was nicknamed the Golfball typewriter) and was very popular with typists as the keys didn’t stick together when you typed very fast! Also the transistor radio was a very special invention when I was a teenager as you could carry it around and listen to your own music (rock and roll) wherever you were!
    Good luck with your competition.
    Gloria Jackson (Eli’s nan)

    • dear Nanna,

      how are you? thank you for leaving a comment on our blog I hope you learnt some things that we’ve been doing in our classroom:)


      • Dear Eli
        Thank you for involving me in your classroom activity – it was great to see what you are doing with your ipads in Year 4!

  23. Dear 4A and 4B,
    When I was young we had a telephone where you turned the dial and got connected to the exchange, you would tell them what number you wanted and they would connect you.

    We also got a television when I was about 10 years old. It was like a piece of furniture, it was square and had 4 legs.

    The other piece of technology we had was a wireless which is now called a radio. In the kitchen mum had a mixmaster, this mixed up pavlovas ans sponges.

    We also had an electric heater in one room and at least one portable heater. When I was a little older we got a portable air cooler that you put water in the back of. It was really exciting when we got those things because they were really cool at the time.


  24. Hi People,

    Just incase you didn’t know… we are Ella’s fellow buddies!

    We all just love the idea of a class blog! (Well it’s not as good as bones, fish and carrots

    We all haven’t typed on the computer before apart from Miny because Ella loves to play with Minky.

    Iggy, Millie, Miny and Pepper

    • Hi Iggy,Millie, Miny and Pepper,

      It is great to see that you have looked at the blog. I find it very interesting for pets to write a comment. It is amazing to see that you have typed on a computer before. I also love typing on computers I find it very fun.

      Hope you can reply back, have fun at home!


      • Hi sienna
        I think this is a great post.
        My dad always talks about when he got his first coloured t.v he said the really old t.vs only used to be black and white. He used to think that the small coloured t.v was the the best t.v ever and he thought he was really luckily. My mum talks about how she used to type on a type writer and how thre was no back space and if you did a mistake you would have pull out the page and start again.
        See ya

        • Hi Alana,
          Yes your Mum is right when you make a mistake ona type writer you do have to pull the paper out and start agian.I love type writers and I have an app of one but if you make mistakes you can fix it. Here is the app name… Hanx writer,
          Type soon,

  25. Hello 4A and 4B,

    Bebe’s Mum here, hope you are all having a fun day of learning! This is my time line of the types of technology that I have used during my school and university years.8-)

    In Year 9 I learnt to type on an electric type writer.
    In Year 10, 11 and 12, I learnt to program computers and they used to have VERY BIG central data boxes.
    In my first year of university in 1989, I started using a word processor, which was like an electric type writer and it had a memory in it with a very small screen you could see your document on. The screen fitted aproximately 5 lines of writing on it.

    I owned my first computer in 1996 when I was studying again at university. It was this year that I had my first email account and we started using the internet! 😀 In 2005 I booked a holiday to New Zealand and Bebe was only six months old and this was the first time I had booked everything from accommodation to airline tickets to car hire all through the internet instead of a travel agent. I was so relieved that all our bookings worked and we had an amazing holiday with our little baby girl Bebe!<3

    Enjoy the rest of the day kids!

    • Hello Mum,

      I never knew that you had typed on a typwriter before 😎 .I can remember going to a restaurant and there was one there that I found on their display near the toilets but it was a new looking one.

      I think you looked at it but didn’t have a go as you were talking to the other parents in the restaurant. 😡

      Gotta go to bed now,

  26. Hi Everyone,

    I remember listening to the radio A LOT and waiting for my favourite songs to come on so I could record them on my cassette player.

    Once I had enough songs that filled up a cassette tape, I would spend ages fast forwarding and rewinding to my favourite songs. It could get very frustrating if I skipped past the song I wanted to listen to.

    Now with CD technology we are so lucky just to pick the number of our favourite song….sooooo much easier.

  27. Dear 4AB,

    When I grow up I really want to be a scientist and I would invent have I want to invent a thing so that to listen to music you would have to go to
    my work scince is life and get a falk fingernail put on your finger. To listen to music you would just say what song you want to listen to and a electric beem of lite would shoot into your ear and it would play the music.


  28. Hello,
    What a great blog topic.
    I remember all the handouts at school smelt of spirits and had purple ink. The teacher copied them on a machine which sometimes gave her purple fingers!
    Much later, in year 11 we were allowed to use a Casio calculator which we thought was amazing.
    The first piece of technology I owned myself was a cassette player and I begged my Dad to buy me the ABBA tape. I think I played it until the tape all got tangled, so I was very glad when CDs were invented.
    I wonder what amazing technology your children will use!

  29. Hello Miss Jordan and all children.
    Computers came into my workplace in about 1965. It was a very exciting time because computers were very new to our workplace. The first computer was very very big and took up a whole room. At first, we found it very difficult to move from using typewriters to using computers, because the computers were much faster than old typewriters.

    The main advantage I found was that correcting mistakes or changing words in letters was so much easier on a computer. Computers were also so much smarter than typewriters and could be used as adding machines as well.

  30. Hello

    Back in those days I used a typewriter. typewriters were annoying because if you made a mistake you couldn’t erase it so you had to pull the paper out and start again.

    Got to hurry

  31. I used a number of technologies whe I was younger. The first one was our family getting a new colour TV ( they were just black and white) so could watch the first man to step on the moon in 1965. My dad got me out of bed at 2am in Ireland to watch Neil Armatrong take the first step on the moon.
    Other technologies included our first video tape recorder so we could record a program from TV. They were so big and very expensive.
    I remember getting a watch that was digital when was a young boy. It was brand new thing just out that year.
    The first home game was on the TV and was a game of ping pong which was a white ball going across the screen with two movable “bats”.
    We did not have brio pens but used fountain pens using ink cartridges or pencils.
    We went on our first family holiday on a Comet jet where you could sit all four of us facing each other.
    When I was at high school our school was the first in our little country to get a computer which took up a whole room and the only way to put information in was not a keyboard or mouse or anything but each key was a card with holes punched in it. To type in a sentence might take 30 punch cards.

  32. Dear 4A & 4B
    How exciting this is to be able to read what you have been doing in the classroom .
    I am going to tell you how technology has changed for me . In the stone ages we didn’t have computers so therefore we weren’t able to email friends , I had to hand write my letters and go to the post office to send these , then wait for a week until I got a response , sometimes longer …. Especially Airmail .
    I also remember listening to music on my cassette player which was run on batteries , goodness me! Did I use up a lot of batteries.
    From Sandra

  33. Hello 4A and 4B students
    It was fun reading all the comments about technology from days of old. I think I can remember them all. The dial telephone connected to the wall the chunky wooden box black and white dial TV and then the still wooden push button colour TV. I did typing at school on typewriters with the instant print out through the ribbon onto the paper page. The only spell check was yourself or the teacher and the only correction was a white pencil or whiteout fluid.
    Music well I love music too, just as Emily does but no iPod or iPad with iTunes for me. My first bought music was a Best of ABBA cassette. Catching the latest on the radio and trying to record it onto a blank cassette.
    My Dad also used to produce Tape News Talking Magazine which was done on a Reel to Reel tape machine. you might need to Google up images of Revox brand to see what sort of machine it was.
    Finally, as I know I have written a lot, we still have my Grandparents iPod equivalent and it is called a Pianola. A special piano that you can load paper rolls into and pump the pedals to see and hear the piano play itself.
    Cheers I hope you all had a good day at Landy Field
    Jenny P 🙂

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