By Grayson Zoller
Twenty-one years ago, the class of 2000 graduated. This year, the class of 2021 will graduate. A lot has changed since the new millennium has begun, and things are set to change still.
In 2000, the Nokia 3310 was the phone to have, and the concept of a smartphone was nonexistent. Now, it’s the iPhone 12.
If you wanted to watch a new movie, you’d have to go to a theater. Now, you can stream movies the same day they release.
The biggest difference is obvious. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a noticeable effect on student life over the 2020-2021 school year, with many changes made to prevent the spread of the virus.
Students now carry backpacks everywhere they go and wear a mask. Students are spread apart in classes, with some students attending completely virtually, never even stepping foot into the building.
In relation to the high school itself, several new additions (and removals!) are notable.
New additions to the building have changed the layout, such as the addition of the sports complex and the learning stairs.
The new science wing and entrance are also modern additions that have changed the way we get around school.
There are also things like vending machines, and new water bottle fountains, allowing students to drink without having to use traditional water fountains.
At one point, there were many mounds around the school, allowing for access to the second floor from the outside of the building. Unfortunately, they were removed due to the way they encouraged mold growth in 2006.
A large, new, modern sports center is currently in the works that is set to be finished this summer, further bringing the school into the future.
But what do the people who teach think about the changes in education over the past 21 years?
Kay Smith, who was an Educational Interpreter helping deaf students from 1992 to 2020 in Fort Wayne, says that the thing she thinks has changed the most is the research process.
“Something that would have taken me two weeks [if the library could get the reference books I needed] …students now can get that information with 20-30 minutes of research,” she says.
She also said that specific to her field, the number of deaf students due to diseases has gone down drastically.
She also thinks that technology has made students much more responsible for their own education, with the responsibility of doing your own research at your own pace falling more on the student.
Mr. Brian Brewer, science teacher at Delta, also had some comments on the way things have changed. He thinks that the access to technology has improved learning, but an increase in phone usage is distracting students from getting educated.
He thinks that innovations like the 1:1 Chromebooks are a wonderful teaching tool, and live streams help engage students. He also thinks that students themselves really haven’t changed over the years.
So there you have it. Times, technology, and places may change, but people don’t. A universal constant.