Episode 73

"Dan's Mom: Growing Up with Technology in the 1930s and 1940s"

Duration 00:13:41      Recorded on February 04, 2010

Susan and Dan welcome Dan’s mother, Elfrieda Balzer. Mrs. Balzer was visiting Dan from Canada and reflected on technology development when she was a kid. Dan asked her to talk about some of the things she experienced growing up in the 1930s and 1940s.

Show Notes:

For her first experience with educational technology, Elfrieda recalled the process of making copies. On Friday afternoon, her teacher would fill a cookie sheet with gel, apply and image with indelible ink, and eventually press paper onto the gel to transfer the design. That was the technology prior to mimeographs and photocopiers.There were times Elfrieda's family had a phone and other times when they didn't. The trio talked about party lines and privacy. When her sister had a baby, she had to run to the grocery store to use the payphone to call the hospital.

In 1940-41, her father purchased a short-wave radio, which was a bit of a secret in her house. This was his way to stay informed about World War II. Otherwise they got their news from the newspaper. Our expectations of how and when we get our news is dramatically different these days.

A few numbers: the radio may have cost $100, a car cost approximately $1000 and her house cost $3000.

Elfrieda was being introduced to computers on the job she had. However, it was when her children were all abroad that she learned to use the computer to send her weekly emails. She reflected that they've lost that now that phone calls are more affordable.

Other than television, most technology was accepted by Elfrieda's generation and not resisted. However, she commented that advances did not progress as rapidly. The speed makes it harder to adapt.

Dan asks listeners to tell us your first memories of technology and how you make decisions today about whether to embrace new developments.

About Us

The LT Green Room is a podcast for Renewal, Retooling and Conversations about Learning. It is co-hosted by Susan Manning and Dan Balzer and its show topics are often drawn from members of LearningTimes.org, a free online community of education and training professionals from across the globe. The LT Green Room gives listeners (and ourselves) an opportunity to reflect on what they're doing behind the scene that results in an effective learning experience.


Co-Host & Producer
Susan Manning
Co-Host & Producer
Dan Balzer
Executive Producer
Carl Heine
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