So today (or yesterday for my Australian friends) is Safer Internet Day, and so to celebrate (is it a celebratory event?) Google are giving all their users a 2GB storage top-up to their online storage.
I know what you are thinking young-people, “2GB…meh, that is nothing….” (or if you look at it this way, it is only 57 seconds of 4K recorded video)
But this is where the whole “Man I feel old…” part comes in.
I can think back to 1995, those were simpler times. Young Daniel was wide eyed (and possibly far cuter), using his awesome 486 Computer (mostly pulling it apart to see how it worked) and starting to get into digital design and animation. However those things were tough back then, no YouTube for online lessons, the internet was just starting to be a thing (we were still a while away from cat memes) and storage was expensive!.
I remember that our little 80MB (that’s MB kids, not GB) was struggling. Windows 3.11 was struggling. So I did what any forward thinking, proactive, early teen would do… nag my mum.
After a month long campaign involving the aforementioned nagging,
doing chores, more nagging, we purchased a shiny, new 1GB hard drive – for $500!. Yes, it was pricey, but this was 1GB people…1000MB, this thing was going to last my entire lifetime, my future grandkids will still have space for their hover-boarding pictures.
But of course that didn’t happen. Technology moved forward at a blistering pace.
I think fondly back to that 486, and how it laid the course for my future (and I owe all of this to my mum really for putting up with my nagging – Thanks Cathy).
From that first machine I got a love for tinkering, pulling things apart to see how they worked (both hardware and software) and the best thing of all, learning that you could use these machines to make stuff. From MS Paint to Photoshop 3.0, I learnt it all on that machine, and the machines that would follow. I taught myself the tools that I would use in future careers, MS Paint led to my work in Graphic Design, 3D Studio 4 led me to my work making video games and then traveling the world designing toys (and of course I then took all of this experience into the classroom as a teacher)
For every new career path, I would take the skills I had learnt in the previous role and empower me to try things just out of my grasp.
It was a great time.
But I am getting off track here. What makes me so looking forward to tomorrow is that, like Google giving away 2GB of storage…2GB for free, (young Daniel would not be able to comprehend this!, but I am sure young Daniel wouldn’t be able to believe iPhones, iPads and Girls were in his future also), young people today have an almost limitless supply of freely available technology, resources and information to create, well, almost anything.
And this to me is the key, our young people have the tools, they can teach themselves the techniques…. but the ideas, the dreaming, the freedom to be creative and different, these are things we need to foster and empower in them… they can do the rest.