What a great book! I have only about two years of experience in education and everything I’ve done to this point as been instinct or relying on coworkers for assistance. I’ve developed and delivered several courses for online (and more for face-to-face) but had never considered the history of educational technology. As with most educators (I assume), this was from lack of time rather than interest. This book is providing so many insights about my own thoughts and has offered a window into what was going on in educational technology when I was a child, watching the internet grow and change. I learned to write HTML in my early teens (around ‘96–’97) and most of it was through online resources or studying the code generated through tools I had at my disposal: Hot Dog Professional and then Dreamweaver (that WYSIWYG function was a disaster). I was so excited by the internet’s potential, but never really gave any thought to the educational side of internet technology.

I enjoyed Weller’s accounts of the shifting of perceptions within educational technology and how ideas moved from tool to pedagogy. I take this so much for granted now, since the tools provided so many affordances and I can focus primarily on my intent without wondering if the tool can accomplish it. Watching how these tools and ideas were conceptualized and failed (or succeeded) reminded me of the printing press (also educational technology?). While it is simplest to credit Gutenberg, he was simply at the end of a long line of inventors and visionaries. Educational technology, I’m sure, is no different. There must be a myriad of people who tried new ideas, those ideas failed but were adapted, and those adaptations led to successes. The failure of an idea does not mean it is wrong, it may just need to wait for the right time and implementation.

X-Ray Specs by @visualthinkery is licenced under CC-BY-SA. Remixed by David Piechnik