This photograph of an IT suite at Edge Hill probably dates from the late 1980s or early 1990s. The computers are all Macintosh (or Mac) personal computers made by Apple. It is likely that one of the main reasons this photograph was taken was because it would have been seen as quite an innovation to have a room filled with just Macs. Microsoft computers were the more frequent addition to school, college and university classrooms, so this suite of Macs may have felt like something different and so worthy of being photographed.

At this time, many students will not have used computers for much of their work, but they were gradually becoming a resource for teaching, learning and coursework. It is quite possible that many of Edge Hill’s students at this time will not have had any need for a Mac and will have submitted much of their coursework as handwritten documents. However, the times were rapidly changing and personal computers were becoming more common in households across Britain. This photograph is representative of this period, with computers also starting to become more central to the teaching activities of educational institutions.

Can you imagine how different our lives might be without access to computers, mobile phones and other technology? You might like to write a historical piece about the early days of computers or a short story or poem about their impact on the lives of ordinary people. You may even want to create an electronic artwork inspired by this photograph.