The History of Educational Technologies

Timeline created by tugceA
In History
  • 3,500 BCE

    Writing Systems

    Writing Systems
    Around 3500 B.C., various writing systems developed in ancient civilizations around the world. Educational Technology’s first examples in the ancient world were the tools that were used for writing. Various surfaces have been used as a medium for writing, including wax-covered writing boards, clay tablets, strips of bark from trees, thick palm-like leaves and parchment, made of animal skin.
  • -500 BCE

    Numerous Written Documents

    Numerous Written Documents
    By the fifth century B.C, written documents existed in considerable numbers in ancient Greece. According to Socrates, education has been on a downward spiral ever since. Although Socrates was against the use of writing, written forms of communication make analytic, lengthy chains of reasoning and argument much more accessible.
  • 1440

    The Printing Press

    The Printing Press
    Around 1440 in Germany, invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg represents a radical shift unprecedented until the arrival of computers today. The rapid creation of books brought with itself the rapid sharing of knowledge. And it was suddenly considered an incredibly important scholarly pursuit for the noble classes to learn Latin (the Lingua Franca until the 16th century). Though the perfected version of the machine was ready to use commercially around 1450.
  • The Magic Lantern

    The Magic Lantern
    Introduced in the 1600s, the Magic Lantern, which is a predecessor to today’s projectors, continued the idea of the importance of images in learning.
  • Chalkboards

    At the end of the 18th century, blackboards/chalkboards started to be used in schools.
  • Distance Education

    Distance Education
    The creation of a cheap and reliable postal system in the 1840s, led to the University of London offering an external degree program by correspondence from 1858. This first formal distance degree program still exists today in the form of the University of London International Program.
  • Television in the Classroom

    Television in the Classroom
    Around the 1970s, the use of television for education quickly spread around the world.
  • The Dynabook

    The Dynabook
    In 1972, Alan Kay devised a “Dynabook”. While the device was never actualised, many concepts and products came as a result of this original idea and it is claimed by many people that the inspiration for today’s notepads and laptops are a result of this early technology.
  • Seymour Papert's Prediction

    Seymour Papert's Prediction
    Seymour Papert predicted in his 1980 book “Mindstorms” that computers would help students gain “a sense of mastery over a piece of the most modern and powerful technology and establish an intimate contact with some of the deepest ideas from science, from mathematics, and from the art of intellectual model building.”.
  • Artificial Intelligence for Learning

    Artificial Intelligence for Learning
    In the mid-1980s, attempts to replicate the teaching process through artificial intelligence (AI) began, which initially focused on teaching arithmetic. Despite large investments of research in AI for teaching over the last 30 years, the results generally have been disappointing. It has proved difficult for machines to cope with the extraordinary variety of ways in which students learn (or fail to learn).
  • Invention of Google

    Invention of Google
    Google, created in 1999, which has become one of the primary search engines.
  • Social Media

    Social Media
    Social media started in the early 2000s. It covers a wide range of different technologies, including blogs, wikis, YouTube videos, mobile devices such as phones and tablets, Twitter, Skype and Facebook. At the time social media can be used for both formal and informal learning, but social media platforms have much greater potential for learning.
  • YouTube

    Starting in 2005 and being bought by Google in 2006, YouTube is increasingly being used for short educational clips that can be downloaded and integrated into online courses.
  • Computers in Schools

    Computers in Schools
    Computers and interactive whiteboards are becoming increasingly common in schools world-wide. For teachers and students technology is now mobile, and laptop computers, tablet devices and smartphones have become a normal part of the teaching and learning context in many schools.