Friday, 12 April 2013

You used a ‘what’… when you started school?

A slate…would you believe I used a slate and a slate pencil. Many readers would not even have heard of it.  

And what reminded you of that… I hear you ask?

Every now and then some little thing (OK a big thing) comes up to ensure you realise how life has slipped past and how much the world has changed.

I am currently doing a program ‘Get Up To Speed’ which you could sum up as being web and social media based. It is definitely a challenge and stretching me in all directions…and one such stretch happened last week.

Included in our weekly lesson was a YouTube video by Erik Qualman
                            ‘The Social Media Revolution’  

Erik talks about many things that have been… and then been superseded. I have included the link; you may find something that even surprises you or that you had forgotten about. 

Would you believe ‘tablets’ are being issued to children at kindergarten? Now that should not surprise me, as my two young granddaughters 5 and 2 have one each. The 5 year old about to become 6…and 15 in her head…is very proficient and forever organising me…


The flexibility and dexterity of her little fingers…and her command of using the features are amazing. 

 It was not till I saw the video clip that I started thinking…Wow! When I started school I used a slate and a slate pencil and that scruffy rag that smelled disgusting to wipe it clean and then start over.


My next thought was… where will I find a photo of one of those? Of course Mr Google was very obliging…and here it is!

 It seems incredible in today’s world that such a basic tool was used in schools. Now I know we mature people shouldn’t go on and on…but I will!

I also sat on a stool with no back and had the privilege of Miss Lowe…a truly wicked huge frog eyed monster of a teacher (she wasn’t my favourite…can you tell?) come and jab me in the back with the end of a ruler if I dared to slouch. It sounds and was absolutely archaic…

It was not that long ago…hang on… I just counted … eekkk yes it was…60 years ago!  Where have the years gone?

So we have the slate of yesteryear, the tablet of today...what will the next 60 years bring? The mind boggles.


  1. we didn't use slates at Bathurst or Orange. I had never seen one...... and this was 1945 onwards - we used slope cards which went under our paper and we used pens with nibs and ink in inkwells....... oh our hands had ink up to the second knuckle!!!

  2. I've never seen a slate tablet outside of a museum, nor did we have inkwells and pens with nibs. I've got a lot of making up to do. :)

    1. Hi Maureen,

      UUmmm sometimes I think if I stood still someone might pop me in a museum. OMG that makes me seem ancient...yet I don't believe I am.

      Gosh no picnic in bed and no slate..tut tut!

      Cheers Di

  3. Hi Lorraine,

    Isn't it interetsing how different areas used different things.

    Yes we moved onto ink and inkwells...and you are sooo right! Ink everywhere, if I remember correctly...boys would pop the pigtails of girls at any chance.

    Thanks for sharing cheers Di

  4. Hi Di - isn't it amazing how much technology has changed the mode of education... I'm in my 30's and used a slate in my first couple of years of primary school... I for one am happy to see the end of those horrible things... Mostly because one fell on my toe and my toenail went black and fell off! So I have unhappy memories of slates! ... But at the same time I'm not sure that all the screen learning available to our children is a good thing or not. I have two young sons - 4 and 6. I limit their screentime... They watch next to no tv - just a couple of dvd movies a week, barely ever get on the computer at home and very rarely I'll let them play a game on my 'smart' phone... I think I'm doing the right thing... But I do wonder if maybe I am depriving them of necessary skills to navigate their time.

  5. Yes Leonie it is unbelievable how much the world has changed over a short period of time.

    UUmmm I can understand after having a slate drop on your toe and losing a nail that you would be feeling a tad negative towards it.

    It is a 2 edge sword isn't it...getting the balance of the skills they develop and their getting hooked on games.

    I have a 6year old granddaughter Amy and an 18month old Pippa and each they have a tablet. I can see the value in the skills they have in navigation, co-ordination and comprehension. Their mum limits their time on them also.

    My observation of being with the girls is it is amazing what they can do..even Pippa.

    Children don't come with a manual as we know and each of us do the best to develop our children's skills and equip them for success on our ever changing world.

    Thanks for your great comments. Cheers Di