The Quick Report

10 Things Kids Don’t Have at School Anymore

If you’ve ever tried to talk to a modern kid about their experience at school, you’ve probably realized just how different things are these days. School for kids now has radically changed from when earlier generations attended. Classroom staples of yesteryear have modern kids today saying: “What is that?!”

Here are 10 things that kids no longer have at school.

10. TVs on AV Carts

TV Cart - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

In the school days of yore, kids loved it when they saw one of these AV carts with a TV mounted on top roll into the classroom. That meant movie time, which was way better than reading a book to study. Today, there are SMART Boards and projectors to take their place.

9. Card Catalog

Card Catalog - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Talk about ancient. This system of cataloging library items goes all the way back to Vienna in 1780. Card catalogs contained bibliographic information, including the author’s name, title, and location. Items are organized using the Dewey Decimal System (DDC) created by Melville Dewey in 1876. Most schools today use computers.

8. Chalkboards

Chalkboard - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Kids today will probably never understand the meaning of the phrase “nails on a chalkboard.” These messy relics of the past have been replaced by whiteboards or electronic boards. The new boards are easier to clean and offer brighter visuals. Plus, chalk dust can irritate allergies and asthma. Some older schools may still use chalkboards, though.

7. Globes

Globe - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Technically called a terrestrial globe, these circular, spinning maps were once a classroom staple. It helped students visualize geography through a scaled-down, spherical model of Earth. Today we have Google Maps and Google Earth to take their place. Still, these have an appeal their screen counterparts don’t quite offer.

6. Pull Down Maps

Pull Down Maps - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Another thing the aforementioned Google Maps and Google Earth (and other map apps) have replaced are wall-mounted, pull-down maps that were present in any classroom that taught geography and/or history. One common map was that of the United States, where students learned to identify each state and memorize its capital.

5. Mounted Crank Pencil Sharpeners

Pencil Sharpener - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Anyone who went to school in the old days can still recall the grinding sound one of these mounted contraptions made as you cranked it to sharpen your pencil. If you didn’t get it right, you might break off the tip and have to start over again. Today, most schools use electric sharpeners that do the work for you.


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4. Overhead Projectors Using Plastic Sheets

Overhead Projector - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

Teachers laid a clear acetate or plastic sheet on its glass top. The sheet had dark text or an outlined illustration imprinted on it. Light from underneath interacted with the mirror and lens above it. The sheet’s image would be projected onto a screen or white wall. Computer projectors, interactive whiteboards, and document cameras have replaced these since the 2000s.

3. Climbing a Rope in Gym Class

Climbing a Rope in Gym - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

There existed a time when schools saw no problem allowing kids with nearly no upper body strength to climb up ropes to reach very high gym ceilings. A lot of schools didn’t even put padding on the ground in case someone fell. What could go wrong? It’s pretty easy to understand why this PE trend is mostly over.

2. Firm Rubber Balls for Dodgeball

Red Dodgeball - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

I can still hear, smell, and feel these. In the not-so-old days, some balls used for dodgeball weren’t exactly made of the softest rubber. The school jerk(s) – we all remember some – loved to chuck these at fellow students, even when the game wasn’t in progress. It especially happened to the kids least likely to retaliate. Luckily, these rubber balls have been mostly replaced with foam ones.

1. Library Checkout Cards

Library Cards Checkout - Adobe Stock
Adobe Stock

In the past, borrowing a library book meant you pulled one of these cards out of the little sleeve attached to the inner cover of the book. You could see who checked it out before you. The librarian date-stamped the next empty line, and you signed your name. This is done on computers now and is more private, too.

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