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A Quick History of Educational Technology

Updated on March 27, 2013

“Every decade is the introduction of at least one new communication technology which will transform the informational and instructional technology.”

Eric Asbby was the first to identify that electronic media shall enter the field of education which gave way for the “fourth revolution”.

The following are the chronological advancement of educational technology:


Before, there was no printing press and teachers used manuscripts. Manuscripts are handwritten texts that are quite expensive. This then only asks teachers to dictate lessons and students to memorize.

This give way to the release of textbooks that is made affordable due to mass production. In effect, students could now have copies of their own and readings were assigned as homeworks.

In addition, John Amos Comenius published his book, the Great Didactic on 1628. There he emphasized that classrooms should be filled with visual materials such as charts, graphs and maps. He also published a picture-filled storybook for children entitled The World in Pictures written in Latin, the dominant language during the period.

At the same time, chalkboards, magic lantern and stereoscopes were also released.

Teaching Machine & Programmed Instruction

In 1925, automated instruction began when Sidney Pressey discovered that students were able to learn on their own by using a simple device.

In 1950, B.F. Skinner constructed more complex apparatus, a “teaching machine” which imparted subject matter in easy to learn, step by step sequences. This has technique for writing lessons consistent with behavioral theories of learning.

Audiovisual Materials

            Audiovisual media may bridge the unfamiliarity of others about written language and graphic symbols. It opens the world in the four walls of the classroom in a cheaper cost. This is also useful in distance learning, learning pronunciation and the like.

            Examples of these are: radio programs, films, phonographs and TV. Some of these materials are first used in military. At first TV is thought to have a small value in education but then it was later changed.


It has the capacity to store, process and communicate. This has been used for budgeting and record keeping. However, in 1960’s, programmers begin making educational programs. This is not affordable to public during 1970’s for it is too bulky, expensive and unaffordable. Until 1971, the first microprocessor, a chip containing circuitry of the Computer’s central processing unit is produced. Microprocessors and Memory chips are also incorporated with an output and input. In 1976, Apple II, Commodore PET, TRS 80 and other microcomputers were released.

IBM’s late entry to personal computer market is challenged by Steve Job’s Macintosh and Bill gates of Microsoft.

As of now, researches continue to pave way for advancement in technology. Much of focus is given to artificial intelligences and nanomachines. Definitely, however, the field of education will greatly benefit from it.


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