There is power in education. There is also power in understanding our history. 

Which is why we decided to look at both in this issue. 

When you look at education over the last hundred years, it sometimes seems like the evolution of what children learned on a day-to-day basis was a slow and steady transition. 

Closely examine smaller increments of time, however, and you'll see a totally different truth. When it comes to education, things change at a rapid pace. Take for example the idea of computers in the classroom. A decade ago, it was considered novel that some schools gave students laptops and incorporated them as part of their day-to-day curriculum. 

Now, it's commonplace for school work to be completed on iPads. Students are even beginning to learn the basics of computer coding as early as kindergarten.

As technology changes our world at nearly lightning speeds, education will continue to transform to meet new needs. What is considered commonplace today will, in just a few short years, be seen as merely the tip of the iceberg. 

It's interesting to see just how far we've come in the last 100 years or so. Nowhere is that progress more evident than in education. Not only has technology in the classroom gotten a massive upgrade from the chalk and blackboards that teachers like Rebecca Dallis were using in the 1930s, but even the way we build gymnasiums has starkly changed since the 1960s — a change that is especially evident when you look at buildings like the Coolidge roundhouse. 

Some changes have been for the better; others many question. 

This Pinal Ways takes a glimpse at all of those transformations. We hope, by examining them, to gain a better understanding of where we have been and where we are headed. 

New to this issue is "Discover Pinal," a short guide to day trips you can take within the borders of the county. It includes suggestions on dining and other activities. For its debut this issue, we looked at some Pinal historical sites worth exploring. We hope this short guide is helpful to those who want to experience the history of Pinal, or at the very least, learn more about it. 

Whether this issue serves to give you greater understanding of the history of education in our county and what may yet come, or simply gives a glimpse into the old days, there's likely something within these pages for anyone who seeks to learn from our past or the future. 

Happy Holidays from all of us here at Pinal Ways! 

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