As noted in the assignment, we were asked to research the topic before reading the unit readings, which I thought was an interesting way to explore a subject that I thought I knew quite a lot about. I was surprised to learn that there was an invention called an epidiascope, which I had never heard of! According to Parkin’s article it was used in classrooms as the first projector (2019, para. 16). The article doesn’t give dates, but I was interested enough to find out more. I learned that it was used in the early years of the 20th century. (“What is an epidiascope?”, n.d., para. 1) The epidiascope was used to display a transparent, or opaque image through the illumination of a large lamp, which used mirrors to reflect the image onto a wall, or a screen. It sounds a bit ethereal, but if you look at the picture below, it looked more like a cross between a camera and a rather ugly, wood burning stove.
After getting over my unexpected fascination with the epidiascope, I then discovered this short video which manages to capture some of the technological highlights while also illustrating how much education has evolved. The video is a concise snapshot of the remarkable leaps that have been made in educational technology and ends with the statement, “This is just the beginning” (Scott-Bellow, 2009, 1:20). I think most of us would agree that the upcoming possibilities of ed tech are numerous and exciting.
As exciting as the future may look, it became apparent to me during my research that the beginning of ed tech did not ‘start’ on a specific date because there were a lot of differing opinions on that subject. That said, the general direction that emerged is that there will be many new technologies that will be available. Additionally, there seemed to be general agreement that ed tech should not be about the newest, fanciest tool, rather it should focus on the effectiveness of the learning. And if that is the future ‘take’ on education, I AM IN!
Parkin, T. (2019). A personal history of educational technology – one teacher’s view on the 20 items that changed life in the classroom over the last 50 years [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://thirdspacelearning.com/blog/history-of-educational-technology/
What is an epidiascope? (n.d.) Retrieved from https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-an-epidiascope.htm
Scott-Bellow, A. (2009). A brief history of technology in education [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ0nlh5FU5A