The history of ed tech is…the future!

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!

References

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

 

 

6 Replies to “The history of ed tech is…the future!”

  1. I really liked this topic! So large and so many “rabbit holes” to explore. AN “epidascope”! Who knew!?! I loved the image of an epidiascope that you included, Sue. I particularly appreciated your description of it: “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.” 🙂

    Like you, I thought a knew quite a lot about ed tech and its “history” prior to this assignment. AND also like you, I am committed to figuring out how ed tech can best enhance learning…

  2. Great blog post! You stumbled on quite the interesting invention. It reminds me of how far projectors have come. I remember in school where teachers would use overhead projector with transparent paper and markers to teach. Then I went off to university and discovered the docu camera where the professor would just put their textbook under it and teach from there. So much simpler! I’m sure by now there are other fancier gadgets to make showing documents easier.
    The point you made about “ed tech should not be about the newest, fanciest tool, rather it should focus on the effectiveness of the learning” really resonated with me. There can be this constant need to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies, but sometimes you have to just make due with what you got!

    1. Absolutely! And I think our experiences of what has been done in the past cannot be undervalued as we move forward. Regardless of the number of years, it is the value of past experiences, and our full exploration of them, that will aid us in informing best practices in the future of ed tech.

    1. I know! At first I thought it was a ‘made up’ thing, one of the many ideas that litter the Internet. (Which I love, garbage and all, by the way 🙂

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