Updated: Apr 29, 2020
Technology is one of many things that made a difference in our contemporary life. Therefore, we, the Grizzly Bear Class, went to the Computer History Museum to see who made a difference in the development of technology.
After lunch, we used our map skills to discuss our visiting route on the museum map. Then we took our task sheet and started our journey.
The first room was filled with early calculators. We were attracted to a big abacus, and played it in turns according to the instructions. Mr. Chen explained how the abacus uses beads to represent numbers, and we even completed the challenge questions in the abacus instruction book.
It did not take us very long to find the information for the first person on our task list: Ada Lovelace. Although we had read about her story and seen photos of the machine that inspired her, it was still very exciting to see the Difference Engine in real life!
Then we went through the history of computers room by room and learned two keywords: software and hardware. From the Super Computer to the Mini Computer and Personal Computer, we were happy to see the hardware become smaller and smaller. When we stood in front of the timeline of computer languages, we were amazed by the speed at which they developed.
After entering the next room, we also had a short debate about the role of video games in our lives. We were inspired by Ralph Baer, who developed some of the first popular video games. His screen-based games represented a change from older board games and electronic games. In our debate, we discussed the advantages and disadvantages of screen-based games. For example, students pointed out that when we play board games together, we have a chance to communicate with each other. However, when we play against a computer, we lose our opportunity to communicate. Students were excited to use real-life examples to support their points, and developed their critical thinking skills while learning about a person who made a difference in their lives.
In the very last room, we heard the inspiring words of many famous persons who made a difference in the history of technology. We came to a wall that asked us to write suggestions under the prompt, “What problem do you hope technology will solve?”
Our students thought of many brilliant answers. Come and check them out for yourself next time you visit Computer History Museum!