I started teaching in 1977. That year or the next, I bought a 4 function calculator that was small enough to fit in my purse to average grades on! (You have no idea how wonderful that was!)

In 1980, I got my first classroom computer, a 32K Commodore Pet with a cassette drive, and a book called Training Your Pet. I taught myself BASIC programming, and took every workshop the school district offered on using a computer. The next year, I had my first computer lab, with 25 16k Pets.*

When Texas decided that every 8th grader needed a computer literacy class (part of HB72, which most people remember for No Pass, No Play) we had 1 summer to plan and implement a curriculum. The problem was that because the class had never been offered before there were no teachers certified to teach it. They offered a test, and I was one of the first teachers in Texas certified to

teach Computer Literacy at the middle school level.

*One of my favorite stories of teaching with computers came from that year. We had a program for students with special needs. One of the programs (DOS based) that we had was to teach how to make change for $100, the old-fashioned way, by counting out pennies, nickels, dimes, etc. Even with calculators and play money, none of the students could count the correct amount. I rewrote the program, limiting it to $10, and we tried again. Those kids came in once a week, for one 55 minute class period. By the end of the year, every one of them could made change for $10 in their heads, as fast as they could type the numbers, and more than half could go to $100. I was absolutely hooked on the power of computers in education from then on.