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The History of Technology in Education

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  • 0:01 Technology in the Classroom
  • 1:39 Evolution of Technology
  • 3:06 Technology Today
  • 4:26 Technology Tomorrow
  • 5:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brian Fraga
In this lesson, we are going to look at technology in education and how it has changed over the past 40 years. We'll look at the earliest forms of technology, where we are today, and what technology will look like in the future.

Technology in the Classroom

Many of today's classrooms no longer resemble the classrooms that we may remember as children. Chalk has been replaced with a stylus pen, and with a touch of the screen, you can change what color you want your stylus pen to write in on the board. Textbooks have been replaced with e-readers, and parent-teacher conferences can be conducted via video conferencing.

Technology serves different purposes within the classroom. Technology can be used as a research tool for class projects and to enhance lessons. Technology can also be used as a communication device for students that have limited verbal abilities. This lesson will focus on the evolution of technology within the classroom - how we've moved from the chalkboard to personal devices.

First, we must define the term technology in relation to education. Technology is any tool that can be used to help promote student learning, including Smartboards, digital cameras, cell phones, tablets, the Internet, social media, and, of course, the computer. The Office of Educational Technology wants school districts to create relevant learning experiences that mirror students' daily lives. As educators, how often do we see our students using their personal devices, such as cell phones, throughout the course of the day?

It doesn't matter how young or how old the student is - all students gravitate towards technology. The more technology you use within the classroom, the more students are engaged. Think back to when you were a student. What did technology look like for you during that time? What did it look like when you first began teaching? What does it look like today in your class? Let's take a look at how classroom technology has changed over the past 40 years.

Evolution of Technology

Classroom technology started out as very primitive. Teachers stood at the front of the classroom and wrote instructional material on a chalkboard. Notes, messages, and the like were written on these boards with chalk. Later it would be paper and pen being used at each desk.

Around 1972, the first handheld calculators began to appear within the classroom. This allowed students to quickly solve math problems. Around that same time, teachers were able to quickly grade tests thanks to the development of the Scantron machine. Scantron machines would automatically score tests and analyze results for teachers.

In 1981, IBM introduced its first personal computer. Although many knew that the computer would change the world of education, it had serious limitations. Computers during this time were used for basic word processing. We wouldn't see the full benefits of the computer until the birth of the World Wide Web in 1990. With the World Wide Web students were able to conduct basic research without setting foot in a library. Communication was becoming easier as more students, teachers, and parents began to adopt this new technology.

In the 2000s, social media further enhanced the ways we could communicate with our students and parents. Schools are continually looking at various ways to incorporate technology into everyday use, from accessing webpages to communication with parents. Teachers are able to use cell phones to record attendance, as well as scanning documents to quickly grade tests.

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