When I was in the third grade computers came into my school, but they were really only for teachers then. I remember the screens were attached to the keyboards and the screens glowed with green text. They machines were white, and looked like something out a science fiction story...or something from Star Wars. They probably cost a small fortune. I think they had three machines sitting in a spare classroom in the fourth grade wing.
When I was in the fourth grade, my mother got involved. She was then and still is to this day the Elementary School's reading teacher. The administration wanted to get computers and wanted to use her Title 1 funds to buy a lab's worth of machines. Enter 25 Apple II e computers into the classroom directly across the hall from my mother's classroom. My mom's room was lucky number 3. It had high ceilings, large windows, upholstered chairs (for reading in comfort!), wooden floors, an honest to goodness pencil sharpener attached to the wall, large slate chalkboards, oak chalk trays, oak built-in cabinetry filled with art supplies, and good books to read. Everything was available to me after school from 3pm until 5pm. I'd sit and keep busy while Mom finished up her lesson plans and got things ready for the next day. And then the computers arrived. The school built large custom wooden tables 20' long with power strips down the middle and sitting just the right height for typing on the Apple keyboards. (They made a loud click sound, I recall.) With the machines came the high school kids and their 5 1/4" floppies filled with the latest games. I remember the first floppy I saw with a brand name on it's dust slip. "Verbatim" in red and blue. Bold. I had to have one. Mom bought a box of 50 for the school. Somehow I got one.
I started playing games immediately. Like Olympic Decathlon and Oregon Trail. My buddy in 5th grade, Chris, would end up programming his own games by the 7th grade. I never tried. No interest at all in creating the code to play. I just wanted to play. I figured out how things worked, but never under the hood. In the 6th grade I remember the pride I felt in being called out of class to help a group of teachers print a document. It was an original taupe Imagewriter, where you had to push the tall button in to get the two green lights to light up. I knew how to do it. Somehow. They were relieved. I was stoked.
When I was in junior high my mother would bring home the Apple II c. With it's CPU and keyboard fitted into the sweet bag slung over your shoulder, you had two arms free to haul that clunky monitor. The metal stand attached to the monitor was a real pain! I suppose Steve Jobs thought owners would buy two monitors? We didn't have that luxury. Only one other kid in my class could bring home a II c to write papers on. He and I ended up with the highest marks. I wonder if it had anything to do with the little white II c's? Last I knew he was working for a software firm out west somewhere.