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

Last week we launched May 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 2015 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 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, X-box and PlayStation.


Miss Jordan remembers using Commodore 64 desktop computers and game consoles such as the Atari and Sega when she was young. Technology has changed a lot since then!

The slideshow below shows some of the different forms of technology Miss Jordan used when she was younger. Parents and other family members will probably recognise a lot of the images! 🙂


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?

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

  1. Hello Class,

    When I was younger I used a cassette recorder to record my singing on to a cassette tape, you probably don’t even know what a cassette tape looks like…maybe a search on google will show you.

    I also used a video cam corder to film family movies. Some of you would know what this is as they are still around today, but most of you would probably use a mobile phone or ipad to this now.

    My mum had a funny looking camera too…it actually shot out the photo after you took it…..we had to leave the photo for a few minutes while it exposed, but it was handy to produce the photo instantly.

    How things have changed??


    • Dear Kellie,
      I didn’t use the things you used when you were young, because I am still a child. But we have a record player, a tape player, those video cassetes and our TV only has 2 CHANNELS! Mum always says, “you only get one childhood” so we weren’t allowed technology until this year, with the school iPad program.

      Things have changed heaps! All the technology back then was…well, I can’t even imagine! We are so lucky to have iPhones, iPads, iPods and all the other things. We can just save our work to google drive, and go to the iTunes store to buy music.

      That camera your mum had sounds awesome. You have the photo so you don’t have to go to the electrical store and print them. Do you need a special roll of something for the photos to go onto?

      When we watch a cassete, we always have to rewind it. DVDs are so much better because you don’t have to wait for ages for them to unwind. On the other hand, if your TV turns off, you can get back to exactly where you were on a cassete.

      Hoping to hear from you,

    • Hi Mum,

      Thanks form the comment. Everyone loved it. And how are you going at home? The class is looking great, and I am going really, really, really well in my class.

      From Ebony.S

  2. Dear Cassie,
    Thank you for commenting on my class blog
    Miss Jordan will appreciate and approve my comment and put it on the blog
    From you friend Alex

  3. Hi again 4B
    when I was younger the cassette player (or tape deck) was very popular to listen to music, record music and we used to love singing into the microphone to tape ourselves.
    My Walkman was my pride and joy. Do you know what a Walkman is??
    I can also remember the vinal record player, when I was very small.
    They used to Have a needle that often jumped and scratchscratched on the record which made the music sound very crackly.

    • Dear Michelle,
      We have a record player at home. The needle never scratches, so our records always sound smooth as glass. Our stack of records is so high.

      We have some tapes. They are good, because there is two sides to it, so you have more to listen to. Our tapes are mostly all lost, but I think we have still got a few.

      I have read a comic about a Walkman but I don’t know what one is. Is it like an iPod?


      • Hi Jema,
        A Walkman is a small cassette player that you plugged your headphones into to listen to tapes. You could also listen to the radio also.It ran off double A batteries. It is the equivalent to an iPod.

    • Dear Michelle,

      I hope you like our blog, we have been talking about how all these old computers were like the iPhone 6 and the discman, Walkman, gameboys were like the new things and how every one wanted them.
      We are so lucky to have, iPads, iPhones, laptops, electric whiteboards and many more.
      What electric devices did you use as a kid?

      Thanks for blogging.

  4. Hi 4B,

    A long, long time ago, when I was your age, our family held an annual ‘slide night’. My Grandad was an avid photographer and he liked to use slide film. Once a year he’d set up the screen and the projector and we’d curl up on the floor under a beam of light. The hours crawled by with a steady ‘kerchunk’ as slides dropped from the carousel into the gate. It was a regular exam of family history as Grandad called out “wha’s thah agin” (scots brogue) and we’d trill ‘Robbie Burns cottage, Dundee Castle, some Loch, that old brea” and our favorite “the highland coo”. A highlight of the evening, besides the ginger beer and Smiths crisps, were inflamed arguments that sprang up over disputes of geography “you ken that garden was behind Jimmy Cootes” “it was nay” “aach you’re a duffer” and on and on it went, more colorful and slanderous as the years slid by. Inevitably a slide would get stuck and someone would ‘get the lights’. My Scotland is an oft upside down pastiche of Kodachrome flower beds, shaggy cows and grisly castles accompanied by heated arguments over failing memories. We kids loved it, so much we’ve decided to revive the tradition for Val, because he needs to inherit the flawed family script. Kerchunk.

    • Hi Meaghan,
      I’m Emma a student from 4B. I think that “May Is Family Blogging Month” is a terrific way to get relatives/family friends to jump on the blog and start getting involved with 4B. I hope you like our blog as much as I do.

      In my opinion of old technology, like a game boy, are pretty cool. But the thing I can’t believe is that when we have children they will think that iPads and things like that are old school.

      Do you like the technology that we have these days or do you prefer the technology you had “back in the day”? I think I would like to try some of the games that Miss Jordan had, like a joy stick.

      I do not have any games like a Wii or an X-box, although my step brother has an X-box (and he plays it ALL the time.)

      Bye for now Emma.

    • Meaghan,

      You capture our family slide nights in such amazing detail that the image of Greyfriars Bobby came slamming back into my imagination. The slides were a springboard for tales of Bobby’s loyalty or Loch Ness and Granny’s shoes or the ghost on the stone bridge – was that Tam o’Shanter?

    • Hello Dad,

      I love your comment! It suprisingly good because it is the first time you have left a comment on the blog

      What electronic games did you play?
      Where they fun?

      From Dalton

  5. Not much! As children in primary school we had no TV. We listened to the ‘wireless’ with Mum and Dad. Sometimes we played card games or ‘Beetle’ similar to ‘Hangman’.
    At school there was only the blackboard used everyday.
    at assembly (outdoors’ a scratchy record played the national anthem – God save the queen. We students had to recite ‘I love God and my country …. Very boring I’m afraid!

      • Hi Ginger. Yep – here’s my reply – with a question. What are you doing in 4B at the moment? Maybe you can tell me when I come down to visit.

  6. Hello 4B

    Wow some of these images bring back great memories for me!! I especially loved using the electric typewriter when i was at school. We even learnt proper touch typing which meant we had to cover the keyboard with a piece of paper and learn to use ALL of our fingers on all the right keys, and I still believe that Super Mario Bros is the best game of all time.

    I hope you all have fun learning about the history of technology!

  7. The first computer my sister and I ever owned was called an Amstrad CPC464. If we wanted to play a game on it we would have to put it in the cassette tape deck in the computer keyboard, wait at least half an hour for it to load and enjoy it until Mum and Dad said it was time to get off!

    We also used to write our own games for the computer using the computers binary system. It was nice to be able to play the games we created.

    I’m unsure if you will be able to go to this link but here is a picture of it.



    • Hi Tegan,
      I’m Val’s friend. I think that family blogging month is fantastic because we can see who is a family member of 4B, and to see what technology they used when they were younger It is great that you are commenting on our blog.Miss Jordan thinks that Meaghan is a fabulous writer.

      • Hi Ted,

        I must say both Meaghan and Bronwyne are amazing writers. They write with such great finesse, a skill in which I do not possess. I like to write poetry and started doing so whilst in primary school as my english was not the best. I found it a great way to find new words, the thesaurus is definitely a great friend of mine.

        Have a great day.


    • Tegan,

      You and your sister would have been considered computer geniuses in the good old days. The first computer that I owned was so cheap and clunky it had two c’s on the the keyboard.

      • Too funny Bronwyne 🙂

        Justine preferred to actually watch me create the games and sit back and play them once I was done!


    • Hey Tegan,

      I love your comment. I think making your own games is pretty cool but I don’t think that they would have been of high quality visuals but the concept could have been fabulous. I have one question for you- can you make a game on a later model of computer like a MacBook Air?
      See you at slide night .

      From Val

      • Unfortunately Val I did not keep up with the skills I learnt as a youngster. I was self-taught as we did not have computers at our school. I grew up in the world of typewriters.

        Now for a useless piece of information for you, typewriter is one of the longest words you can type with the top row of a QWERTY keyboard.

        Here is a link for a little more information on QWERTY.

        Slide night was fantastic. I was fantastic to see the local store, Smiths Foodland!

        A. Tegan

  8. Dear 4B,

    My first job in the early 1960s was at The State Savings Bank in Melbourne. Communication to other departments in those days was very different than today.

    Today, we think nothing of sending an email or text.

    In those days, interdepartmental correspondence was sent by tube. Each department had a tube connecting to a central department.

    Our messages were placed in special cylinders about 7 cm diameter by 20 cm long. That cylinder was then placed in a tube and would be sucked along it, until it reached the central department (sort of like the ducted vacuum system in our homes).

    The central department, which housed a whole wall of tubes, would redirect the cylinders to the correct department. That room was so very cold, windy and noisy. So noisy in fact, that in hindsight I suspect we should have worn ear protection.

    I know which technology I prefer.

    Lesley (Ginger’s Nana)

    • Dear Nanna

      I loved your blog comment it is good to see you are into blogging this days.

      I think you well find out soon that I replied to you.

      From Granddaughter (ginger)

  9. Hi Kelly,
    It is really interesting that you had such different technology when you were younger compared to what we use now. I like to watch movies on computer with Harriet, which is a mac book air and is extremely different to your first Archives.
    Lots of love from Harriet’s big sister grace

    • Hello Grace,

      I think the technoligy that Miss Jordan used was interesting as well. I wonder what life would be like know with that technoligy.

      From Dalton

  10. Hi 4B,
    I’m Summer’s nan. When I was Summer’s age we had a wireless radio and we had just got our first TV that only showed black and white, colour came a few years later. TV only started in Australia in 1956.
    As a teenager I had a transistor radio that you could carry around with you to listen to music and we played records at home on a turntable. After a few years we got cassette tapes, then CDs and now I Pods.
    At school in Year 9 we learnt to touch type on an Olivetti typewriter and then in Year 10 we were introduced to an electric typewriter. Now we have computers.
    Telephones used to be connected by a cord and you had to dial the letters and then numbers. Technology is great today because you can take your phone with you everywhere and be connected to the whole world.
    From Vita

  11. Dear Miss Jordan and 4B,

    When I was Donny’s age we did not have IPads or Laptop Computors. We had to write everything down and the teachers wrote all our lessons on the blackboard with chalk.

    If we wanted to look anything up we had to look in encyclopaedias which were very old and only got updated every few years.

    We lived on a farm like lots of our school friends. There was only 50 kids and two teachers in the whole school. One teacher taught grades 1,2,3 in one room and the other teacher taught grades 4,5,6,7. We used to love watching BTN which is about the only thing we do the same kids today.

    We had black and white TV and only two TV stations.

    From Hague (Donny’s Dad)

    • Hi Hague and 4B,

      Encyclopedias! They were the Google of my school years. And if you were lucky enough to own a set of Encyclopedia Britainica you were the envy of all. Next to a full set of 72 Derwent pencils they were the status symbols of academic achievement – what project could be completed without them? Call me old fashioned but I am still dubious of knowledge that doesn’t come leather bound with gold leaf and weigh a tonne.

  12. Hi Class 4b

    One of my most memorable piece of technology when I was a kid was my calculator watch. It had so many buttons that were so tiny you couldn’t really use them very well, but it was a very exciting and cool thing to have in those days.

    My first computer was a Texas Instruments and I had a popeye nintendo game which I played to death, despite it having only one game on it!

    (Rocker’s Dad)

    • Hi James,

      I think that everything is so different now to when you were a kid. The watch you had would have been very exiting for you then but now it would be very old or I guess I could say, out of date.

      I love to have an iPad because you can take them anywhere but those computers would have been so hard to carry.

      From Harriet

  13. Hello 4B,

    I found this post too interesting not to leave a comment. I thought I would look back on a little of my life with technology over 60 years including my earliest experiences with computers. There were photos, drawings and video clips to share so I had to give a comment in a post. Here is a link…


    Ross Mannell
    Teacher (retired), N.S.W., Australia

    • Hi Ross,
      We have been on your blog and checked out the awesome comment you left us. We did not read all of it because it is sooo long, but I am looking forward to reading every single detail when I get home. We all really appreciate that you are commenting on our blog. You must have some sort of magic spell for keeping all those objects for so long. Your blog is fascinating to look at you must put so much effort into it. Sorry but I must go now to get to library.
      From Emma, a student in 4B

  14. Hello 4B,
    this post reminded me of when I was little and a teenager. I loved seeing the Atari joystick. That was so difficult to manoeuvre at times. Also the tape cassette. I would spend hours recording songs from the radio on tapes. We would make tapes for our friends and swap. The most challenging thing about the tape cassette and the video cassette was when you ran of tape out half way through your favourite song or TV show.

    From Emma

    • To Emma,

      When i was a kid I first got an ipod, it was fun to play on it but i also did maths games on it. Now we can all learn more things about everything because of the ipads. We are so lucky to have technology. If we did not have technology we would only have books to teach us.

      From Charlie (Miss Jordan’s student).

  15. Dear 4B

    When I was at school 50 years ago I had no technology so we only used pen and paper.

    From Petronella (Donovan’s Ma)

  16. Hello 4B class,
    My name is Joy, I am Dalton’s Nanna.
    When I was your age, there was no TV, I listened to the Radio. I remember our telephone, it was black and it was really big and heavy, I had to dial the numbers with my finger. I could not walk around and talk like you do know when using a mobile phone. I later learnt to type on a very small typewriter, and many years later I used an electric typewriter. I listened to records, and later on used tapes in a cassette machine.My Dad had a Projector and a Screen, I enjoyed having slide nights, where our family sat and looked at the photographs which had been taken. So much has changed since I was the age you are now. I love the new technology. I often ask Dalton questions about the ipad!

  17. 4 B Class,
    My name is Richard, I am Dalton’s Pa.
    I remember my family had a very old type of Camera called a Box Brownie, which took black and white photographs, when the photos were printed they were 5cm by 5cm in size(very small). My Mother used to beat the cream with a hand beater , we had no electric beaters such as Mix Masters. Before we owned a Fridge, we had an Ice Chest. A man driving a horse and cart delivered a block of ice every second day to keep the Ice Chest cool.

  18. Hey 4B,
    I remember the day when I got a dual cassette deck, how exciting. No more putting two cassette players face to face to record a friends tape. No sharing MP4 files.
    Great blog.

    From Andrew

  19. Hi Miss Jordan and 4B
    What an interesting discussion you have got going. My favourite technology when I was young was the record and tape players because I loved music. I also loved books and although I do purchase some e-books I must admit I still like to read and own actual books. Did you know you can still purchase instant cameras. The cameras that print the photo straight out. A word of warning about your iPads is to make sure you back up your photos we just had one die without warning and lost some lovely memories. Jen.

  20. Hi 4B
    Great blog!
    When I was young, we used to play a game on our TV which was sort of like squash. Very thin lines to “hit” the ball back up the court to bounce off the wall and back to the player. We could only move our “racquet” from side to side.
    The controls were connected to the TV by a cord which meant we had to sit about 1.5 metres from the TV.
    I lived in PNG until I was 9 so we didn’t have any TV there. When I came back to Australia I used to live watching our small colour TV with “bunny ears” on the top so we could get a good reception.
    The first time I saw a computer was when I was in year 10 at high school. It had a green screen and we had to type everything in code.
    Thanks for letting me add to your blog.

  21. Hi 4B, It’s Georgie here Charlie’s sister.

    When I was growing up technology was developing at quiet a fast rate, I remember being in Prep and there was only 4 computers to share amongst two classes (around 40 kids ) Nowadays children have an Ipad each to work on.

    TV’s were not as simple as they are now, To play a movie you would have to put in a video cassette into a video player which was connected to the TV, As you know now you can buy TV’s with a built in DVD player or Buy them online and play of a hard drive.

    To hire a video casette or dvd you had to visit the store (videoeasy) but now you can hire them of the Itunes Store.

    Growing up the Nintendo DS was a very popular device, The games ranged from Cooking Mama & Animal Crossing.

    This blog is a great way for children to learn about many things!
    Cheers Georgie 🙂

  22. Hello 4B, my name is Aaron and I’m Gingers favourite dad. My mother who is Gingers nan used to use an
    abacus. She is very very old though, I had a slide ruler and then graduated to a scientific calculator which was huge in comparison to today’s calculators.

  23. Dear 4B,
    When I went for my first job which was in the bank, my uncle said to me “don’t work as a teller, ask to work in this new department called computers”
    In those days we work as key punch & verifiers which recorded information for the computers by putting holes into cards – a bit like morse code.
    These cards we then put into big round machines, called computers machines. The computers were locked into a secure big room with no access to anyone but the ‘computer ‘technicians’.
    How time has changed now with all our tablets, iPads and laptop computers we can take anywhere.


  24. Hi 4B

    I love reading your blog and all the comments!

    When I was young I can remember when my parents bought a VCR. A VCR is a “Video Cassette Recorder”. It revolutionised when you could watch movies. Before the VCR you either had to go the to Cinema (which was a special treat and seldom happened) or you had to wait until Sunday night when the TV channels played movies (often after an agonisingly long wait from when the movie was released at the cinema).

    When the VCR arrived you would go to your local Video Rental shop and choose the movie but you had to make sure you didn’t get there too late in the day otherwise the popular movies were already rented out.

    Full forward a couple of decades and now you have movies on demand! Choose your movie on the internet and it’s ready to watch before the popcorn is popped in the microwave! Ahh the microwave oven, that’s a story for another blog.

  25. Hi 4b,

    Ginger’s uncle here. I was in primary school in the 1980s so some of the technologies I used are perhaps not as interesting as some of the fantastic entries on this blog from grandparents.

    Nevertheless, we did not have smartphones, tablets or the internet. We visited libraries more often but now many books are electronic. In Melbourne, on trams, we bought tickets from a conductor (an onboard ticket man) and not the automatic ticket machines we have now.

    To listen to music or watch movies at home, we used cassette tapes which were poorer quality and less convenient than today’s DVDs BluRays, etc. My family had an Amstrad computer which had 64KB of RAM (very slow) and it was spruiked as a colour computer which was new at the time!

    Holidays were always by car because flying was too expensive for us. And we didn’t have a microwave so that my mum (Ginger’s grandmother) had to cook everything on the stove!

    Imagine what technology there will be when you’re older!


  26. The type of technology I used when I was younger was Nintendo Donkey Kong. It was my favourite game and I would play it for hours.

  27. Hi 4B. Gingers Pa again. I forgot to mention (above) that in my primary school about 1957 we didn’t have biros to write. with. We used HB pencils and pens with a nib on them. We dipped the nib into ink in the ink wells that sat in a hole in the desk. Then we would write with that ink filled pen. I always ended up with blothes of ink over my paper. Very messy!

  28. I had a mobile phone the size of a brick and used to have a red Walkman that played cassette tapes. You could record songs off the radio. Very cool at the time!

  29. Hello! I’m Bek, Dalton’s Aunty.
    I’m 39 years old and I’ve seen a few changes to technology over the years. I used to listen to music on cassette tapes when I was little and we also had a record player! I got my first mobile phone when I was 18, it was big and heavy. The only thing the phone could do was make and receive calls. No text messages, no games, no apps! To change tv stations when I was young I used to have to get off the couch, walk over to the tv and turn the knob! There was only 4 channels!
    So many changes over the years.
    Oh, by the way….I still have a record player and I really like listening to records.
    Have a great week Dalton x

  30. Hi 4B
    I am Emma’s Aunty and I love your blog! When I started school there were only one room with about 20 computers for the whole school! The computers then were very large and one of the first things we were taught was a program called “Logo” where a green turtle was the cursor on the screen and by typing in directions the turtle would draw pictures on your screen!
    On a Sunday night I loved listening to the “Top 40” on the radio and recording the songs onto tape – you could edit out the ads by pressing pause on the tape deck which would stop the tape from recording! When I was around 12 our house still didn’t have a CD player and my sister (Emma’s mum) bought everyone a CD for Christmas so Mum and Dad had to go out and buy us a CD player!
    Hope you enjoy these stories.

  31. Hi Ginger & 4B,

    Below is a link to a photo of the typewriter I learnt to type on in 1960. Ugly isn’t if? In order to hand in my homework and retain a copy for myself, I would use 2 pieces of paper with a sheet of carbon paper in the middle.


    Later on, I was lucky enough to have an IBM Selectric Golfball. There were different Golfballs for different styles/sizes of text. You had to manually change these Golfballs as needed. Mine was a lovely blue colour, whicih was pretty ‘cool’ in its time.


    Both machines had ink ribbons rather than ink cartridges; however the IBM had a revolutionary correcting ribbon as well, which replaced ‘Tipex’. Tipex was a white correcting fluid, which replaced the eraser.

    These days you would either highlight & delete, or backspace any unwanted information.

    I much prefer my iPad these days.

    Lesley (Ginger’s Nana)

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