LUBBOCK, Texas — What were once simple school supply lists comprised of pencils, notebooks and erasers have now transformed into an array of tech gadgets and digital necessities. spoke with some local educators, who shared changes they’ve witnessed over time.

Shelley Mann, Principal at Seagraves Elementary School, said when she first got into education about 28 years ago “there was zero technology.” Mann said the biggest change she’s noticed is that students must now have over the head headphones.

“We still have paper assignments for homework,” Mann said.

But as a “1 to 1 district”, a program where schools provide each student with their own personal device, Seagraves students use Chromebook computers in class. When computers first took center stage in schools, it began with traditional computer labs.

Shelley Herrera, an Amherst ISD teacher with 13 years of experience, said that she also noticed that school supply lists “have grown longer.” Now, the lists are getting more specific to colors, brands, sizes and more. Herrera echoed Mann’s sentiments, pinpointing technology as a big shift she’s seen.

She emphasized these changes were no longer just for high schoolers but have now trickled down into elementary schools.

“Supply lists may now include items such as earbuds, USB flash drives, tablets, etc.,” said Herrera.

Bonnie Avey, Superintendent for Seagraves, said after “…being a principal for so many years” she’s also noticed all students need “good working headphones.” 

The shift in school supply lists not only impacts what students carry in their backpacks but also marks a fundamental change in how modern education embraces technology as a vital tool for learning.