Learning Technology Timeline

1436 – Johannes Gutenberg built the first printing press, opening knowledge beyond clerics.

1455 – The Bible is published.

1664 – Pierre Petit develops the “magic lantern”, precursor to slide projector, used in education into 1900’s. 1690 –  The New England Primer used to teach reading, 3m copies printed.

1728 – Shorthand correspondence courses were offered by a Boston 

1806 – Lancastrian system of master teachers, monitors, and sand boxes–eventually replaced with slates.

1841 – Horace Mann champions chalk boards in schools.

1888 – Thomas Edison made 341 films with a “kinetoscope” proclaiming the end of books in education.

1890 – Typewriters begin to be used in secondary schools.

1918 – Chicago public schools used 8,000 magic lantern slides.

1923 – Radio is used for instruction in schools starting at the Haaren High School in NYC.

1931 – Twenty five states had media or film departments

1938 – My mother wrote and performed radio plays to teach home economics for the Dept. of Agriculture.

1930-1957 – Radio, film, typewriters gains fail to cause growth due to cost and lack of teacher training.

1957 – The launch of Sputnik sparked a strong flow of investment in instructional television. 

1959 – PLATO computer based learning software is developed at the University of Illinois.

1960 – Development of the overhead projector using clear film.

1967 – Stanford’s Patrick Suppes learning research leads to Computer Curriculum Corporation (CCC) 

1969 – Taught animated filmmaking in a Philadelphia public high school while in college.

1971 – Ivan Illich develops the concept of “learning webs” as a model for people to network learning.

1972 – Seymour Papert develops Microworlds, children become mathematicians via programming.

1980 – Video conferencing systems begin to be developed.

1982 – SIS- First student information systems developed, NCS- SASI, Eagle, Aeries, etc.

1983 – Apple computer introduces Iie into schools achieving greater implementation due to ease of use.

1984 – First accredited distance learning University, National Technology University

1984 – Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) shortens testing, individualizing learning in over 30,000 schools.

1987 – TERC innovated with elementary Inquiry-Based Learning networks, probeware and data collection.

1987 – Interactive whiteboards support computer and video integration into classroom instruction.

1988 – 3 million computers in schools are used by students for an average of 30 minutes each per day.

1989 – ChannelOne News satellite school network launched bringing TVs and connectivity to schools.

1990 – LMS- First learning management systems developed, EKKO in Norway, Softarc in the U.S.

1995 – Project- Based Learning initiatives begun by Autodesk.

1994 – Open educational resources (OER) freely accessible openly licensed text and media begin.

1999 – GalaxyClassroom STEM teacher-led, videos, hand-so-kits, online labs, and online communications. 

1999 – IMS Global supports integrate based on LTI (Learning Technologies Interoperability) standards.

2002 – Moodle free open-source LMS launches, now used by 220k in 241 countries

2002 – AssessOnline – Georgia statewide adaptive assessment of teacher technology integrations skills 

2009 – Common Core Standards launch.

2011 – PBS Learning Media, NBC Learn, and other OER and freemium media launch.

2011 – 160,000 students enroll in the first MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) at Stanford.

2011 – Chromebooks offer cloud-based inexpensive option for schools and families.

2014 – Google Classroom launches delivering classroom, teacher, managed lessons.

2015 – Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessment state consortia launch requiring more school computers. 2019 – Leading web-based SIS, Powerschool, acquires and integrates Schoology, rapidly growing LMS.

2020 – COVID-19 spurs the spread of online systems causes increase in virtual learning, shortage of chromebooks, likely to cause greater lasting integration into learning.

Test for the Good of the Learner – Adaptively with Immediate Feedback

How about adaptive tests that are shorter because they zero in on skills and knowledge levels of each learner?

How about giving these tests 3 times a year instead of long tests at the end of the year?

How about having immediate results so that teachers, students, and families know what gaps need filling, skills need practice, gains need celebrating?

Two states are currently working on replacing end of year summative tests (like Smarter Balanced) with these MAP online adaptive tests given three times a year and providing guidance immediately to teachers instead of sending information to the next year’s teacher on last year’s student.

Read about it here:

Inside the Digital Transformation – Part 1

This article lays out important understandings of the need to design systems and organize technologies and content to deliver effective learning. With strategic planning, care, and appropriate architecture, our teachers and students could be supported in using the vast wealth of open education resources while making progress and needs easily visible to learners, teachers and parents.


74 Interview: Democrats for Education Reform’s Shavar Jeffries Pushes Feds: Coronavirus a ‘Historic Opportunity’ to Lead National Effort to Rethink Education | The 74

Shavar Jeffries is the president of Democrats for Education Reform, a former Newark, New Jersey, school board president, an ex-assistant attorney general for New Jersey and a parent. An influential education advocate, Jeffries is a key voice in the intra-Democratic debate about schools. While he is experiencing the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic like the […]
— Read on

Pandemic – Learning Side Effects

1 in 5 teachers in USA Today poll say they may not return to school in the fall!

Click the image above to read the article.

This pandemic gives public education a multi-dimensional wake-up call.

A major rethink, redesign, and massive implementation is needed.

How we can better use our network of real estate, buildings, administration, teachers and staff, learning content, and communication capabilities to support preK-12 and lifelong learning in today’s world?

> Schedule appropriate to the physical, emotional, economic needs of learners,
relevant to our times.

> Respect teachers in status, compensation, working conditions, professional regard and authority.

> Enable authentic learning work rather than make work.

> Assess progress as learning work happens, rather than interrupting learning for “tests” that waste the time available for learning ,respect and elevate teachers.

> Implement innovations to make learning more personal, effective, engaging, and timely.