As inevitably as the apes lit the first spark that introduced fire to human life, so did technology lit the education sector, initiating a learning revolution. The evolution of EdTech has been continual, so much so that every time you look among the many options available, it gives a Pandora’s Box like experience, promising a new treasure every time you open it. Here is the Infographic showing it in detail.
Over the years, technology has made the four walls of a classroom lose the rigidity and limitations of time and space. It has given students the wings to explore by engulfing the entire world within the physical space of the learning room. Here is a timeline that traces the evolution of education technology through the ages.
At a time when the Industrial Revolution was almost two centuries away and the only form of technology were feather pens and printing systems, formalized education began with the inception of the Boston Latin School, the first private school in the US in 1635.
Next John Dury in 1651 propounded the concept of the modern library that opened public access to books and introduced the profession of the educated librarian.
One of the most commonplace objects around the world today i.e. the pencil was still unknown to most of humanity until 1795 when Nicolas Jacques Conte pressed a mixture of graphite and clay between two half cylinders of wood. Although not considered a milestone development in its time, a world without this little technology would seem so different today!
The next milestone in the evolution of education technology was the invention of the typewriter in 1868 by Christopher Sholes using the now popular QWERTY keyboard that gave a tech form to writing.
The Computer Wave
The 20th century saw major developments. The first computer that was used for instruction came in 1950 at MIT where a flight simulator trained pilots. This was followed by the IBM 650 that was the first commercially available computer with a memory 2kb, costing $500,000.
The predecessor to our modern day hand held calculators was invented in 1967 by Texas Instruments. Though expensive at its time of invention, math students today know who to thank for tech-olving their calculations.
With the coming of Apple II by Apple computers in 1967, a common fruit became synonymous with personal computers.
1977 was also the year that saw the incorporation of personal computers into schools, such that by 1981 18% of US public schools had one or more computers for instruction.
Evolution of education technology continued and brought gaming under its ambit. The Oregon Trail became the first educational game to be widely adopted by schools in 1985.
The history of EdTech further evolved such that by 1991, one in every 18 students had access to computers. In 1994 in his quest to encourage education technology, President Clinton increased funding by 3000%, thus challenging the nation to connect every school to the web, despite internet access being limited to only 3% US schools.
Their efforts bore fruit and by 1996, one in every 12 students had computer access.
New Forms of Learning
Distance learning entered the picture in 1997 and brought education to the doorstep for willing students. At this time around 78% four year public higher educational institution were providing this facility.
The beginning of the millennium brought an unprecedented access to EdTech. While in 2000, every five students could access one computer; in 2004 54% of K-12 schools had laptops available for students. The next year, 94% schools had classrooms with internet access.
Online education eased time and space constraints like never before. In 2007 nearly one in every five college students was taking an online class
With the introduction of Poll Everywhere in 2008, EdTech could be used to enhance classroom education. The launch of this resource allowed teachers to live poll students in the classroom by submissions via text, email or twitter.
Online Education became further developed. In 2011, University of Southern California’s online Master of Arts in teaching program (MAT@USC) was the first to include real time elements such as live sessions, break out rooms and collaborative learning.
By 2011, use of technology in education became a commonplace occurrence. For instance, as part of a pilot program, NYC public schools ordered over 2000 ipads for its teachers and students in this year.
Just as the only constant thing about life is change, EdTech too continues to evolve bringing more and more treasures and innovations for generations to come. The following infographic sums the journey of education from classrooms and notebooks to internet connection and ipads.
The infographic originally appeared here.