The last time I was a student enrolled in a university, Bill Clinton was the president. No one I knew had a cell phone or an email address. Laptops weighed six and a half pounds. When I needed to read a newspaper article for research, I looked it up on a microfiche and used a microfilm machine to read it. And although the Internet had been invented at that point, I had only ever been there to look up hints for how to help Gwydion escape from the evil wizard Manannan.
These days our lectures are accompanied by Power Point presentations and are broadcast to an overflow classroom. I take notes on my MacBook using the Notebook feature in Word that automatically formats notes in outline form and even gives you a tool to doodle in the margins. (I’m kind of in love with this feature and can’t believe I had my laptop for 3 years and never discovered it. It feels like one of those dreams you have that you find a new room in your house. Except I don’t have to wake up.) I read my chapters for each class online using the course reader posted on a Moodle. I send meeting notes to my fellow Peace Ed students simultaneously using a group I created in our gmail supported student email account. I arrange to meet up with friends to go shopping via facebook chat. I IM with friends back at home, 2200 miles away. I blog. And Barack Obama is the president. Life is pretty good.