History of Educational Technology

History of Educational Technology

History of Educational Technology
History of Educational Technology

The introduction of computers and the Internet into today’s educational systems has been a long and

arduous process.

From the use of one-room schoolhouses to automated classrooms, we’ve come a long way.

Yet, while Apple and Microsoft would like us to believe that they’ve led technology in education, there are

some other contenders for this title.

In today’s blog post, we’ll explore how early pioneers such as Vannevar Bush and Doug Engelbart helped

provide the groundwork for our

current innovations in education. We’ll also take a look at some of history’s worst classroom technology ideas

– from control panels with

only four buttons to robots that would rate kids on a scale from A+ to F-.

History of Educational Technology

Originally published by the U.S. Office of Education in 1966, “Educational Technology: A Report to the

President and the Congress” was a

History of Educational Technology
History of Educational Technology

compilation of the computer and science education initiatives currently underway at various institutions,

including Harvard University,

University of California at Berkeley, Stanford Research Institute, Carnegie Institute of Technology, and

Washington University – St. Louis.

The report was based on data collected from July 1965 – July 1966.

The first chapter deals with the history and general development (primarily within business applications) of

History of Educational Technology

computers as well as current

uses for this technology in schools (primarily as tools for instruction).

The second chapter discusses what current knowledge was known about computers and their education

applications at the time.

It also covers the need for research into this area – especially concerning student attitudes towards

computers, teachers’ ability to integrate

technology into instruction, and the role of computer laboratories within institutions.

History of Educational Technology

The third chapter begins with a discussion of academic computing centers at institutions but then transitions

into a report on efforts to

make computing equipment available in other areas, such as small colleges. There is also a section on the

early history of educational uses.

History of Educational Technology
History of Educational Technology

The remainder of this chapter is devoted to detailing computerized testing – especially as it relates to teaching

evaluation systems that use

student responses as inputs for other software programs, usually related to grading or records management.

The fourth chapter focuses on advancements made in computer production, memory capacity, and speed.

History of Educational Technology

The section on mainframe computers details the use of “a network of regional centers to provide computer-

based services for instruction,

administration, maintenance of student records”. This section is followed by another one on time-sharing


The fifth chapter discusses current efforts to improve computer-based instruction by focusing on the

following areas: Simulations for

learning; Increasing use of computers in homes or schools; Education via TV studios or schools under remote

control; Education via

satellite; Experimental programs using television as a substitute for computers.

History of Educational Technology

The sixth chapter focuses on how to make computers more “teachable” and covers such areas as Establishing

a theoretical foundation for

computer-based instruction; Developing taxonomies of instructional methods; Developing an understanding

of the learning process;

Development of instructional software.

The seventh and final chapter is devoted to assessing the value and effectiveness of computer-based

instruction. It covers Theoretical

frameworks for assessing educational technology; the Value of computers in special education; The economics

History of Educational Technology

of educational computing;

Comparing computer-based instruction with other types; New research trends in educational computing.

In 1956, MIT professor Vannevar Bush published his groundbreaking essay, “As We, May Think,” in the Atlantic

Monthly magazine.

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