How Technology is Changing Education

Our editor reflects on his introduction to the Internet in college and how his perspective’s changed.

Early in 1991, when I was working as the city editor for my student newspaper at Arizona State University, the staff was invited into the school’s library to witness a demonstration of an exciting new technology called the World Wide Web. I must admit that I was more confused than impressed—and I certainly hadn’t grasped the monumental implications. 

By way of some context, Apple hadn’t yet taken over the publishing industry, and our computers still hypnotized tired brains with white text on a jet-black screen. A clunky tangle of information systems called LexisNexis was the only way to fact-check stories, and we were pasting together every issue with photographic paper, waxing machines and X-Acto knives. 

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It’s astonishing how far we’ve come in the past 25 years—and our schools have become a direct reflection of this. “I went into this education story thinking that private schools have tremendous classroom technology—and they do,” says associate editor Melissa Jacobs, who wrote the August cover story, “Teched-Out Schools.” “But I was surprised to learn about the advancements in many public school districts in this region. I think teachers have only scratched the surface of how technology can improve education.” 

Jacobs also did this month’s feature on the resurgence of our local libraries. “You can tell a lot about a town by its library,” says Jacobs. “Is the library in good condition, filled with people and offering great services? If so, then reading, education and civic pride must be community values—and they are in our region.”

And on the Main Line, this is nothing new. “We have a long history of supporting public libraries that are open to everyone,” she says. “If you haven’t been to a library in a while, now is the time to go. In the meantime, I’m trying to get through the summer without Radnor Memorial Library [during its expansion and renovation].”

Classy Makeover: Our first print redesign in several years couldn’t have come at a better time. As Main Line Today continues to celebrate its 20th anniversary, creative director Cristela Tschumy has done an exceptional job of overhauling our Frontline, Main Events, Habitat and Epicure sections, upping the sophistication while improving readability and making the most of the work from our award-winning photographers and illustrators. 

I couldn’t be happier with our new look. I hope you like it, as well. 

Hobart Rowland

Our Best of the Main Line Elimination Ballot is open through February 22!