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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June 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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Dads play free mini golf with each paying player at regular price.

Cost: $7.99/person

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Adventure Landing
3311 Capital Blvd.
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Sponsor: Adventure Landing
Telephone: 191-987-21688
Contact Name: Mike Collins
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Join Mindful Families of Durham, a Buddhist-inspired spiritual community that supports area parents, caregivers, and their children in the practice of mindfulness and the understanding of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Erwin Road
Durham, NC  27705
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Sponsor: Mindful Families of Durham
Contact Name: Adam, Laura, Josh, Sumi
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5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Age 6 & under free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Art Therapy Institute of NC
200 N Greensboro St. Suite D-6 (2nd Floor Carr Mill Mall)
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Whole Foods Market (North Raleigh)
8710 Six Forks Road
Raleigh, NC  27615
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Compass Center for Women and Families
210 Henderson Street
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Barnes & Noble
760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Cost: $2/person

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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Barnes & Noble
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Raleigh National Cemetery
501 Rock Quarry Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Parkway
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3803B Computer Drive, Suite 106B
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Cost: Free

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Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Cost: Free

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Chatham Marketplace
480 Hillsboro St.
Pittsboro, NC  27312
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Sponsor: Chatham Marketplace
Telephone: 919-542-2643
Contact Name: Craig Kolman
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Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2760
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
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5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
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Cost: Free

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: Free

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Marbles Kids Museum
201 E. Hargett St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Cost: $5/person. Free for ages 2 and younger

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The Halle Cultural Arts Center
237 N. Salem St.
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Cost: Free

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


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $10/resident, $13/nonresident

Where:
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 with admission

Where:
Pump It Up Raleigh
10700 World Trade Blvd, #112
Raleigh, NC  27617
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Telephone: 919-828-3344
Contact Name: Owner/manager Kellie Paterson McHugh
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Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
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Cost: $18

Where:
Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
Contact Name: Rebecca Quinones
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Cost: Free

Where:
Open Table United Methodist Church
824 N. Bloodworth Street
Raleigh, NC  27604
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Sponsor: Open Table UMC
Telephone: 919-561-2637
Contact Name: Andrea Chapman
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Cost: $15/person

Where:
The ArtsCenter
300-G East Main Street
Carrboro, NC  27510
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Sponsor: The ArtsCenter
Telephone: 191-992-92787
Contact Name: Patrick Phelps-Mckeown
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Cost: See website for fees

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Alamo Drafthouse Cinema
2116-D New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC  27610
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The summer heat is back, and so are the insects! Join us in the Finley Center exhibit hall to do some fun insect-themed crafts. We will make butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, and other insect...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Get the real scoop on turtles, how they “earn a living," and hear a story. Ages 5 and older. Register online.

Cost: $1/person

Where:
Blue Jay Point County Park
3200 Pleasant Union Church Rd
Raleigh, NC  27614
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Telephone: 919-870-4330
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Transform a plastic storage box into a worm bin suitable for indoor use. Materials provided. Suggested for ages 6 and older. Register online by June 17. Choose course #220017.

Cost: $45/family for City of Raleigh residents; $60 for non-residents

Where:
Walnut Creek Wetland Park
950 Peterson St.
Raleigh, NC  27610
View map »


Sponsor: City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources
Telephone: 919-996-2761
Contact Name: Stacie Hagwood
Website »

More information

Go nutty for nature as children satisfy some of their curiosity about the world around them and parents share in the joy of discovery. Ages 3-5 with parent. Register online.

Cost: $10/resident, $13/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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After a shaded walk out to the creek entrance, take nets into the water to see some of these creek critters up close. Discuss some of the reasons it’s so important to keep these aquatic...

Cost: Free

Where:
Johnston Mill Nature Preserve
6001 Turkey Farm Rd.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Sponsor: Triangle Land Conservancy
Telephone: 191-990-80054
Contact Name: Molly Richard
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Little ones enjoy storytime.

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
5959 Triangle Town Blvd.
Cary, NC  27616
View map »


Website »

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Enjoy Little Golden Books' "Jurassic Park." This action-packed and age-appropriate title is great for dinosaur lovers, both new and old. Activities to follow. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Barnes & Noble
760 S.E. Maynard Rd.
Cary, NC  27511
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Read stories together and enjoy an arts and crafts activity based on the books.

Cost: $5

Where:
Read With Me
111 E. Hargett St., #110
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Dorothea Dix Park
2105 Umstead Dr.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (ages 60+), $3/Child (ages 7-16), Age 6 & under free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Cost: $17.25

Where:
Durham Performing Arts Center
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Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: American Dance Festival
Telephone: 919-684-6402
Contact Name: Sarah Tondu
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Cost: $17.25/person

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123 Vivian Dr.
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Cost: $15/person. Free for ages 12 and younger

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Bunn, NC  27508
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Cost: Adults (18+) $10; Youth (7-17) $4; Children (6 & under) Free.

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City of Raleigh Museum
220 Fayetteville St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27603
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