The History of Educational Technology

  • 30 BCE

    Cave Drawings

    Cave Drawings
  • 105


    Traditionally, paper was invented in the early 2nd century CE. The invention of paper greatly helped the spread of literature and literacy, making books more convenient to use and cheaper. Scholars at the Imperial academies were issued with thousands of sheets of paper each month by the government. Further, the combination of brush, ink, and paper would establish painting and calligraphy as the most important areas of art in China for the next two millennia.
  • 1450

    Printing Press

    Printing Press
    The impact of the printing press on education became clear right away. While Gutenberg's printed Bible is his most famous creation, one of his first creations may have been a textbook. The Ars Minor was a fourth-century Latin work widely used in teaching Latin, the language of science and learning in Gutenberg's time.
  • The Blackboard

    The Blackboard
    While individual slates were used in classrooms during the early 1800s, it was not until 1841 that the classroom blackboard was first introduced. Shortly thereafter, Horace Mann began encouraging communities to buy blackboards for their classrooms. By the late 1800s, the blackboard had become a permanent fixture in most classrooms.
  • Film Strip Projector

    Film Strip Projector
    The kinetoscope, which is now known as the motion picture, was invented in 1889. Over the next decade, film equipment was developed and refined. And in 1902, Charles Urban of London began exhibiting the first educational films.
  • Radio

    Like the early days of film, radio was heralded as a tool that would revolutionize classroom teaching. In 1923 Haaren High School in New York City became the first public school to use the radio in classroom teaching. Many more schools and districts bought equipment and made plans to use the radio in classrooms. Falling equipment prices in the 1930s further increased interest in the instructional use of radio.
  • Overhead Projector

    Overhead Projector
    In the 1930’s the overhead projector was widely used by the U. S. Military to train forces during World War II and eventually the device spread to schools.
  • Television

    the first documented use of closed circuit television was in Los Angeles public schools and at the State University of Iowa in 1939. Some administrators and government officials hypothesized that television could provide students with a better education at a lower cost. To this end, a few school systems, such as Hagerstown Maryland and American Samoa, attempted to substitute a large portion of teacher-led classroom time with educational television programming.
  • Videotapes

    Bing Crosby Enterprises (BCE) gave the world's first demonstration of a videotape recording in Los Angeles.
  • Computers

    The research in the 1950s and 1960s on programmed instruction laid the foundation for the development of more advanced learning systems. Computers were first used in education in the 1960s in a way that was intended to individualize instruction. This method became known as computer assisted instruction (CAI).
  • The Internet

    The Internet
    Today, the Internet is one of the more popular forms of educational technology used in classrooms. The Virtual High School (VHS) was launched in the late 1990s. Since then, VHS has grown and served approximately 3,000 students in more than 150 schools with 134 online courses in 2001.