Then and Now: 10 Ways Education Has Changed

Our kids’ experience of school is beginning to look quite different from our own.


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These days we marvel at the technological innovations being used in the classroom. And indeed, with so many new devices available, our kids’ experience of school is beginning to look quite different from our own. But beyond technology, there are other differences. Here are 10 ways your school experience may be different from your child’s.


1. Overhead projectors and filmstrips.

Remember those? Most of us jumped at the chance to be the student chosen to manually move the strip forward at the sound of the tone. We all wished we could be the one writing with squeaky markers on the overhead sheets. Plus, who among us didn’t try at least once to sneak in a quick nap when the classroom darkened? Now computers have taken the place of these audio-visual devices. PowerPoint presentations, digital projectors and videos do the job in our kids’ classrooms.


2. Peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.

With the prevalence of nut allergies and severity of risks, many schools now ban any peanut or tree nut products within their walls. This means no more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in school lunches, although alternatives, such as sunflower seed spread, are beginning to fill the gap.


3. Chalkboards.

Some classrooms still have one, but most are no longer used for writing. Instead, dry erase boards and computerized SMART boards (interactive white boards) take that role. No more staying after school to help clap erasers!


4. Playing tag during recess.

You read that right. Some schools have placed restrictions on any contact games during the school day, except in gym, due to the risk of injury.


5. Open front doors.

Gone are the days when you could walk right into an elementary school. Because of the potential for violence, many schools have installed security systems that require visitors to be buzzed into the building. Along with these measures have come “lock-down drills,” during which students and teachers practice what to do in the event of a school security breach.


6. Mimeographed papers.

Remember that smell? The days of duplicating via mimeograph machine are a thing of the past. Now teachers use photocopiers and printers for making multiple copies of papers for students.


7. Birthday treats.

No more bringing in smiley-face cookies to celebrate a student’s special day. In an effort to do their part in the battle against childhood obesity, schools have begun forbidding treats, with the exception of requesting foods and/or drinks for sanctioned school celebrations. This means no more homemade cupcakes. Also, some schools no longer allow teachers to use sweets and food as a behavior incentive.


8. Typewriters.

Since middle and high school students no longer use typewriters, they’re being taught “keyboarding” (formerly known as “typing”) at younger and younger ages. Now that there are computer labs in the majority of schools, teachers typically set time aside each week for students to practice their keyboarding skills and learn how to use common computer programs.


9. Fluoride rinse.

Some states still conduct regular fluoride rinse programs in schools. Others have ceased these programs. These days, many municipalities already add fluoride to their water supply, so there is less of a need for fluoride rinse programs.


10. Lunch money.

Thanks to the advent of scanners, many schools are phasing in the use of swipe cards to pay for school lunches. Parents send a check or go online to load the cards, then students use the cards to buy lunch. This is one change that any parent who ever had their lunch money stolen by the school bully can appreciate. It also means no more stolen or lost coins on the way to school.

No matter how much changes about the education system though, one thing remains constant: a child’s need for support and encouragement. Thankfully parents have been and will continue to be there to provide that.


Lara Krupicka, a freelance writer, is surprised how much things have changed since her eldest started elementary school 11 years ago. She has three girls — ages 16, 14, and 11.

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September 2018

Run Club meets every Sunday at 8 a.m. in Midtown Raleigh or Wake Forest. Stroller friendly; children invited. 

Cost: $10/run or $100/annual pass

Where:
Optimist Park Community Center/Greenways
5900 Whittier Drive
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Sponsor: FIT4MOM
Telephone: 919-348-0472
Contact Name: Missy Currin
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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: Free

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Erwin Road
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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Downtown Durham
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Durham, NC  27701
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Cost: $5 for Adults $4 for Seniors (ages 60 & over) $3 for Children (ages 7–16)* *Ch

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Hux Family Farm
1923 Shaw Rd.
Durham, NC  27704
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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675

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Garner Performing Arts Center
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Downtown Clayton
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Barnes & Noble
760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
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Herbert C. Young Community Center
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Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd.
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Cost: $12-$57

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PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
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Cost: $4/child

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: $5 for Adults $4 for Seniors (ages 60 & over) $3 for Children (ages16 & under)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675

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Cost: $5/person

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Renaissance Centre
405 Brooks St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Cost: Free

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Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
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Sponsor: Lake Crabtree County Park
Telephone: 919-460-3355
Contact Name: Carol Cunningham
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Cost: $12-$57

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PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
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Telephone: 703-850-2282

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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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Jack Smith Park
9725 Penny Rd.
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Hayes Barton Baptist Church
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
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Cost: $12-$57

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120 Country Club Road
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: See website for fees

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Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
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Cost: $18

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Cost: $18

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Cost: Free

Where:
Hayes Barton Baptist Church
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Cost: $15/person

Where:
Mordecai Historic Park
1 Mimosa St.
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Cost: $1/Person

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Contact Name: Ashley Martin
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Cost: $25

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The Scrap Exchange
2050 Chapel Hill Road
Lakewood Avenue
Durham, NC  27707
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Cost: $12-$57

Where:
PlayMakers Repertory Company
120 Country Club Road
Chapel Hill, NC  27599
View map »


Sponsor: PlayMakers Repertory Company
Telephone: 703-850-2282

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Cost: Free

Where:
Bond Park
801 High House Rd.
Cary, NC
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Cost: $24

Where:
Garner Performing Arts Center
742 W Garner Road
Garner, NC  27529
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Sponsor: Heartwood Montessori
Telephone: (919) 465-2113
Contact Name: Virginia McCollum
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The autumnal equinox signals the beginning of fall. It is the point when there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness at the equator. Mark the change of seasons by heading to the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Rodeos, a mule-pulling contest, arts and crafts, vendors, carnival rides, street performers, bluegrass shows and more are all part of Benson Mule Days. 

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Benson
500 S. Market St.
Benson, NC  27504
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: $5 advance tickets; $8 at the door. Free for ages 12 and younger

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Booth Amphitheatre
8003 Regency Pkwy.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Hollow Rock Nature Park
692 Erwin Rd
Durham, NC  27707
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Sponsor: Ali Wolfe
Contact Name: Ali Wolfe
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Cost: Free

Where:
Hope Valley Farms YMCA
4818 S. Roxboro St.
Durham , NC  27713
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Sponsor: Hope Valley Farms YMCA
Telephone: 919-401-9621
Contact Name: Kelly Johnson
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Raleigh Convention Center
500 S. Salisbury St
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: Free

Where:
Project Enlightenment
501 S. Boylan Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Project Enlightenment
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Cost: Free for general admission

Where:
The Hub Farm
117 Milton Rd.
Durham, NC  27712
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Cost: Free

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Quail Ridge Books
4209-100 Lassiter Mill Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27609
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Cost: $3/child

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson staff
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Cost: $5 for Adults $4 for Seniors (ages 60 & over) $3 for Children (ages 7–16)* *Ch

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675

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City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Where:
Raleigh Little Theatre
301 Pogue St.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Cost: Free

Where:
Hayes Barton Baptist Church
1800 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC
View map »


Website »

More information

In celebration of the 151st anniversary of emancipation, MOJAA Performing Arts Company presents a theatrical experience that leads guests through Mordecai Historic Park to experience plantation...

Cost: $15/person

Where:
Mordecai Historic Park
1 Mimosa St.
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $2

Where:
Wilkerson Nature Preserve
5229 Awls Haven Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-6764
Contact Name: Wilkerson Nature Preserve
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PlayMakers Repertory Company presents Ken Ludwig's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood, a rip-roaring romp through Sherwood Forest with all the thrills and romance you could ever...

Cost: $12-$57

Where:
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120 Country Club Road
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