I haven't been in a classroom for a hot second. I won't tell you when I graduated high school, but let's put it like this: Britney Spears' midriff was to that year as Kylie Jenner's lips are to now. When I was in high school in the '90s, I assume stuff was different to the way it is now. From what my younger siblings and cousins have told me, there are things from the classrooms I remember that if they were faced with, they might not even recognize. I was most recently in a classroom at university, and even that was different from when I was in uni in the mid-00s. For instance, not one person was making notes in a notebook (unless you are one of those people who calls a laptop a "notebook" in which case everyone was typing in their notebook).
The reality is the '90s were different. Technology has changed everything in a very short amount of time. We weren't as plugged into the matrix back then as we are now, and that's pervasive, from the way we socialize to the way we learn. Everything now is typed, emailed, or otherwise requires a computer or the Internet to exist. I remember when we still used to turn in handwritten essays for assessment. I believe that would be considered some kind of joke now. Here are some things from '90s classrooms that kids today wouldn't recognize.
1. Pencil Cases
As I mentioned, everything that happens now happens on a computer, even classes. Instead of stocking up on all the coolest gel pens and spending months before school starts trying to find the right pencil case to store them in, kids today just... I don't know, update their phones? Pencil cases, I assume, just look like clutches now. And why would you bring a clutch to class? Also, side note: without all the pens and pencils, how do kids today write their crush's name on desks?
2. Chalk And Chalk Boards
While '90s classrooms certainly had whiteboards, there were still a fair share of classrooms with chalk and chalkboards, which I don't think is a thing anymore. Now they have power point presentations and projections. At least kids today don't have to worry about that horrendous sound that happens when the chalk drags along the board at a slightly wrong angle.
3. Three Ring Binders With Contact Paper On Them
Do you remember going to the supermarket with your parents and trawling the contact paper in the stationery section for the perfect metallic Winnie The Pooh one to cover your binders in? While kids now are concerned about smart phone cases, we were concerned about getting the bubbles out of the clear contact we used to plaster Leonardo DiCaprio's face onto our binders. Don't even get me started on the ring snaps either, which would routinely not line up, and also would give you terrible blood blisters if you got your finger caught in them.
I'm guessing if you're a kid in a classroom now you're trying to hide your smart phone from your teacher. In the '90s we were all covertly feeding out Tamagotchis in our pockets while the teacher wrote on the blackboard. Unlike tweeting, what we were doing was actually important. WE WERE KEEPING SOMETHING ALIVE, CHILDREN!
5. Notes Folded Into Origami Love Hearts
These days you probably just text each other in class if you've got something important to say, and wouldn't even know what to do with a piece of paper lovingly colored and folded into a tiny, origami heart with a secret written inside. Passing notes was a staple in '90s classrooms, and the more stylish your notes, the more people would want to pass with you.
6. Voice Recording Devices
There was a time when, if you wanted to get a good record of your class, you would set a voice recording device on your desk and record your teacher's voice on tape. Now, of course, so much coursework is available online (power points and slides, for example), and lots of classes are actually taped by the teacher and uploaded.
7. Overhead Projectors
Somewhere in the world is a graveyard of overhead projectors from the '90s that will never again see the light of day.