Everyone seems to have a different starting point to judge when technology first began to be applied to education. Was it cave paintings, the chalkboard, or was it the advent of radio what really signalled the integration of technology and education? Regardless of where the line is painted, the reactions to new technology and the actual effects of that technology over time diverge quite drastically. For example, in 1913 Thomas Edison famously predicted that the books were soon to be obsolete in schools as “It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture.” A 100 years later textbooks are still a staple in most classrooms.
So, is “technology doing the same things in a more shiny way”? (Grey, 2012. 5:34). Over the last hundred years numerous studies have been done to answer questions about; is video more impactful or a live lecture, is an animation superior to pictures and text. The results do not always fall in favour of technology. We as educators have learned useful tips from these studies that have improved learner engagement but there has yet to be a complete overhaul of the class of students, with one teacher model of education.
The integration of technology and education has been a personal and professional obsession of mine for most of the last decade. It is immensely exciting to be part of this field at a time when we are reaching such a deep level of technological integration. We are very close to where VR and simulators can create digital visualizations almost indistinguishable from reality, machine learning and AI can provide customizable and meaningful learner analytics and student feedback.
However, it remains to be seen if we are finally at the precipice of education technology revolution or if in 100 years our descendants will still be staring at a chalkboard while a teacher lectures.
Muller, D.A. [Veritasium]. (2014, Dec 1). This Will Revolutionize Education [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEmuEWjHr5c
Grey [CGP Grey]. (2012, Nov 5). Digital Aristotle: Thoughts on the Future of Education [Video file] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vsCAM17O-M
E-ducation: A long-overdue technological revolution is at last under way. Retrieved from https://www.economist.com/leaders/2013/06/29/e-ducation