I am only 33 but I quite often have to explain life before technology such mobile phones and the internet to my 12 year old students when you had to sit around the house and wait for a phone call to organise a social event and mail had about a 1 week turnaround at best.
A video game took 30 minutes to load from an audio cassette and it had 2 colours on the screen; green and black... and so on and so on. They stare at me as if it were the dark ages. And I suppose in some ways it was.
Life really has changed and the above video of Americas top Morning Show host trying to work out what the '@' symbol is really highlights how quickly the information revolution took place and is a great discussion point for a writing or a history lesson. Watch it with your students and then get them to try and put together an explanation text about "What the internet actually is" now that we have been using for 15 years on a daily basis.
You might be surprised at how similar the explanations are. Be sure to visit writingfun.com for advice on writing an explanation text and I'd love to hear how you go with this lesson idea.