'What's an overhead projector?': Modern kids baffled by old-school classrooms

"What's a floppy disk?"
"What's a floppy disk?" Photo: WOOLWORTHS

Overhead projectors and floppy disks are out, but clapping games, skipping and handball remain firm favourites according to a new report examining the changing face of classrooms in Australia.

Remember watching BTN on your school's only TV? Or reading lessons from a rickety overhead projector (after your teacher struggled for 15 minutes to get it working)? Well, today's classes are delivered a little differently.

As a result, three-quarters of Aussie school kids have no idea what an overhead projector is, while two thirds can't identify a floppy disk.

Way to make us feel old, kiddos!

The findings come from Woolworths' Earn & Learn Changing Classrooms report, ahead of the re-launch of their popular Earn and Learn Program. The program helps schools and early learning centres obtain a variety of educational resources, including sporting, mathematics, arts, science and technology equipment.

But overhead projectors and floppy disks aren't the only features of our childhood classrooms leaving kids scratching their heads - a whopping 90 per cent had no idea what a library stamp card is.

But if you think you're up on all the latest classroom technology, think again. According to the report, 96 per cent of parents weren't able to recognise a sphero (a popular robotics toy), 83 per cent couldn't identify a 3D printer and 100 per cent of parents had no idea what a USB Microscope is. All are apparently fixtures in many modern classrooms.

That said, while our kids' classrooms might be a little different, playgrounds remain the same - handball, footy, clapping games and doing cartwheels during recess are all still popular pastimes.


Matthew Arecco, Chief Operating Officer of Modern Teaching Aids, a company that has been providing teaching supplies since 1956 says: "The Woolworths Earn & Learn Changing Classroom Report serves to highlight just how much school has changed and resources have evolved over the past three decades, yet the one constant is kids' curiosity to learn.

"Parents can see a lot of change since they were at school. In particular, they have seen a flood of access to information through technology, combined with changing skills and resources required to prepare kids for the future.

"What's brilliant to see is that kids nowadays love school because of the interactive hands-on learning they are exposed to.

"Through the Woolworths Earn & Learn program, schools and learning centres can positively benefit and redeem resources that will inspire a world of learning, play and possibility."

Woolworths Managing Director, Claire Peters says the Earn & Learn program is one of their biggest community initiatives. "It's always fantastic to see everyone come together to collect stickers to help provide much needed equipment for future generations," she says, adding that since 2011, Woolworths has supplied over $50 million dollars worth of educational resources to schools and Early Learning Centres around the country.

"The last time we ran this program, schools received 300,000 pieces of new equipment to help them further their learning journey," Ms Peters says.

This year, Woolworths is also launching a 'Remote Schools Program' providing Aussie schools who are more than 100km from a Woolworths store with the opportunity to be involved in Earn & Learn.

"We strongly encourage remote schools to opt-in to the program and encourage our customers, who may not be collecting for their kids or their local school, to donate their stickers into the yellow Remote Aussie schools box in-store" she says. "This will ensure schools in remote areas can also benefit from the program."

Customers can earn a sticker for every $10 spent in store or online until stocks lasts from now until 25 June. The Earn & Learn stickers can then be put onto a downloadable sticker sheet or placed in the Collection Box at your local school or Woolworths store.

Schools can then redeem new equipment with the stickers collected, at the end of the campaign.

Find more information here.