If you could not tell teaching students and talking about the concept of time, as it relates to history, has always been interesting to me. I think it all comes from watching Back to the Future when I was five years old, the concept found a spot in my head and never left. So when it comes to teaching kids about the past I have always tried to find a way to make it simple, addressing the details about objects, and working off even the smallest thing.When I was trying to come up with ideas for a new program at the museum, one of the things that caught my eye was the telephone. In our exhibit Making Connecticut we have four kitchens set up from various time periods. One element that is consistent between them is communication. Looking at these four time periods within the exhibit is a good way to examine how times change along with technology.
From the early 1800’s,when the only way to communicate with someone far away was pen and paper, to the modern cell phone, the exhibit shows how our world has changed. Sure you may look at the phone in our early 1900’s kitchen and say well it’s huge and bolted to the wall, so of course it’s old. But there is more there to examine. When looking at these objects you have to not only look at it on the surface but look deeper, like the materials used, how people use the object, and where it is located. One example is what the phones are made out of, the older phones aren’t made of plastic, something that is everywhere today. Another example is we have in some ways come full circle, going from no buttons to dial phones, to buttonless touch screens. There are a lot of little changes that help to explain different time periods to students. So take a look and see- What you can find?