“Mr. Pepper” certainly enjoyed the “punch line” to the blackboard article he shared with the school board in a recent blog; but historically, he was known for how he mobilized the financial, material, and human resources of the community to establish Pepper Kindergarten in 1894. Just as the original Mr. Pepper was an advocate for early childhood education in the 19th Century, their was also another “Mr. Pepper” who returned to his beloved river town to talk about making greater use of “technology in education” for the coming 21st Century.

He was noted for challenging the Petaluma area schools to look to the future by asking: “Are we preparing our children for the past … or the future? We know it takes an entire village to educate a child. What about our Global Village … one that is accessible by telecommunications? The communications superhighway stretches before our students like a pathway into the future, and the schools of California are moving into the fast lane. Where is your child’s school?”

New words were added to our Petaluma Tech Corps vocabulary, such as: Cyberspace and Cybernaut. New signposts like Digital Village, SMART Community, Tele-Comm-Unity, and Networked World appeared around town inviting both parents and teachers to programs that introduced them to the Information Age revolution that had been taking place in society and how a group of volunteers from the community, representing a wide range of interests and expertise, could assist teachers to become more knowledgeable and skilled in the use of computer applications appropriate to their learning goals.

A new slogan were even created … Think Globally About Cyberspace, but Act Locally in Your Cyberplace

Stay tuned as we continue our Information Highway journey and learn what was  accomplished after local CyberCity Roundtables were established in the late 1990s and who were some of the Cybernauts who guided them. Was it possible that these earlier 20th Century “Information Highway” projects were paving the way for creating a tech friendly city in the 21st. Century?