Teaching Machines

Teaching Machines
Title Teaching Machines PDF eBook
Author Audrey Watters
Publisher MIT Press
Pages 325
Release 2023-02-07
Genre Education
ISBN 026254606X

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How ed tech was born: Twentieth-century teaching machines--from Sidney Pressey's mechanized test-giver to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box. Contrary to popular belief, ed tech did not begin with videos on the internet. The idea of technology that would allow students to "go at their own pace" did not originate in Silicon Valley. In Teaching Machines, education writer Audrey Watters offers a lively history of predigital educational technology, from Sidney Pressey's mechanized positive-reinforcement provider to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box. Watters shows that these machines and the pedagogy that accompanied them sprang from ideas--bite-sized content, individualized instruction--that had legs and were later picked up by textbook publishers and early advocates for computerized learning. Watters pays particular attention to the role of the media--newspapers, magazines, television, and film--in shaping people's perceptions of teaching machines as well as the psychological theories underpinning them. She considers these machines in the context of education reform, the political reverberations of Sputnik, and the rise of the testing and textbook industries. She chronicles Skinner's attempts to bring his teaching machines to market, culminating in the famous behaviorist's efforts to launch Didak 101, the "pre-verbal" machine that taught spelling. (Alternate names proposed by Skinner include "Autodidak," "Instructomat," and "Autostructor.") Telling these somewhat cautionary tales, Watters challenges what she calls "the teleology of ed tech"--the idea that not only is computerized education inevitable, but technological progress is the sole driver of events.

Teaching Machines

Teaching Machines
Title Teaching Machines PDF eBook
Author Audrey Watters
Publisher MIT Press
Pages 325
Release 2021-08-03
Genre Education
ISBN 0262363755

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How ed tech was born: Twentieth-century teaching machines--from Sidney Pressey's mechanized test-giver to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box. Contrary to popular belief, ed tech did not begin with videos on the internet. The idea of technology that would allow students to "go at their own pace" did not originate in Silicon Valley. In Teaching Machines, education writer Audrey Watters offers a lively history of predigital educational technology, from Sidney Pressey's mechanized positive-reinforcement provider to B. F. Skinner's behaviorist bell-ringing box. Watters shows that these machines and the pedagogy that accompanied them sprang from ideas--bite-sized content, individualized instruction--that had legs and were later picked up by textbook publishers and early advocates for computerized learning. Watters pays particular attention to the role of the media--newspapers, magazines, television, and film--in shaping people's perceptions of teaching machines as well as the psychological theories underpinning them. She considers these machines in the context of education reform, the political reverberations of Sputnik, and the rise of the testing and textbook industries. She chronicles Skinner's attempts to bring his teaching machines to market, culminating in the famous behaviorist's efforts to launch Didak 101, the "pre-verbal" machine that taught spelling. (Alternate names proposed by Skinner include "Autodidak," "Instructomat," and "Autostructor.") Telling these somewhat cautionary tales, Watters challenges what she calls "the teleology of ed tech"--the idea that not only is computerized education inevitable, but technological progress is the sole driver of events.

Never Send a Human to Do a Machine's Job

Never Send a Human to Do a Machine's Job
Title Never Send a Human to Do a Machine's Job PDF eBook
Author Yong Zhao
Publisher Corwin Press
Pages 136
Release 2015-07-01
Genre Education
ISBN 1452284644

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Do what you do best and let technology do the rest Technology has transformed lives. Why then, has it not transformed education? What needs to change to ensure integration that empowers students and enhances teacher depth? Learn how to let technology cultivate student autonomy, creativity, and responsibility while focusing on lessons that hone higher-order and critical thinking skills. See technology as a complement rather than a replacement Embrace its creation potential over consumption Encourage personalized learning, autonomy, and creativity over outcomes Celebrate digital competence over curriculum improvement Focus on tech-pedagogy over product usage

The Technology of Teaching

The Technology of Teaching
Title The Technology of Teaching PDF eBook
Author B. F. Skinner
Publisher B. F. Skinner Foundation
Pages 271
Release 2016-04-26
Genre Education
ISBN 099645392X

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On Parent's Day, in 1952, B. F. Skinner visited his daughter's fourth grade math class. As he watched the lesson, he became increasingly uncomfortable. Almost every principle of effective teaching that he had studied for more than 20 years was being violated in that classroom. Yet it was a typical class. The teacher showed how to solve the day's problems, then gave the students a worksheet to do. Some children began to work readily while others shifted uncomfortably in their chairs, or raised their hands for help. The teacher went from desk to desk, giving help and feedback. Skinner knew what was needed. Each student should be given a problem tailored precisely to his or her skill level, not to the class average, and every answer needed to be assessed immediately to determine the next step. The task was clearly impossible for one teacher. That afternoon, Skinner set to work on a teaching machine. Today's computers have made the mechanical machine obsolete, but the principles of how to design instruction in steps that lead from a basic level to competent performance are as valid today as they were in the 20th century. This book brings together Skinner's writings on education during the years he was most involved in improving education.

25 Years of Ed Tech

25 Years of Ed Tech
Title 25 Years of Ed Tech PDF eBook
Author Martin Weller
Publisher Athabasca University Press
Pages 225
Release 2020-02-26
Genre Education
ISBN 1771993057

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In this lively and approachable volume based on his popular blog series, Martin Weller demonstrates a rich history of innovation and effective implementation of ed tech across higher education. From Bulletin Board Systems to blockchain, Weller follows the trajectory of education by focusing each chapter on a technology, theory, or concept that has influenced each year since 1994. Calling for both caution and enthusiasm, Weller advocates for a critical and research-based approach to new technologies, particularly in light of disinformation, the impact of social media on politics, and data surveillance trends. A concise and necessary retrospective, this book will be valuable to educators, ed tech practitioners, and higher education administrators, as well as students.

Failure to Disrupt

Failure to Disrupt
Title Failure to Disrupt PDF eBook
Author Justin Reich
Publisher Harvard University Press
Pages 337
Release 2020-09-15
Genre Education
ISBN 0674249666

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A Science “Reading List for Uncertain Times” Selection “A must-read for anyone with even a passing interest in the present and future of higher education.” —Tressie McMillan Cottom, author of Lower Ed “A must-read for the education-invested as well as the education-interested.” —Forbes Proponents of massive online learning have promised that technology will radically accelerate learning and democratize education. Much-publicized experiments, often underwritten by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, have been launched at elite universities and elementary schools in the poorest neighborhoods. But a decade after the “year of the MOOC,” the promise of disruption seems premature. In Failure to Disrupt, Justin Reich takes us on a tour of MOOCs, autograders, “intelligent tutors,” and other edtech platforms and delivers a sobering report card. Institutions and investors favor programs that scale up quickly at the expense of true innovation. Learning technologies—even those that are free—do little to combat the growing inequality in education. Technology is a phenomenal tool in the right hands, but no killer app will shortcut the hard road of institutional change. “I’m not sure if Reich is as famous outside of learning science and online education circles as he is inside. He should be...Reading and talking about Failure to Disrupt should be a prerequisite for any big institutional learning technology initiatives coming out of COVID-19.” —Inside Higher Ed “The desire to educate students well using online tools and platforms is more pressing than ever. But as Justin Reich illustrates...many recent technologies that were expected to radically change schooling have instead been used in ways that perpetuate existing systems and their attendant inequalities.” —Science

The Flickering Mind

The Flickering Mind
Title The Flickering Mind PDF eBook
Author Todd Oppenheimer
Publisher Random House
Pages 523
Release 2007-12-18
Genre Education
ISBN 0307432211

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The Flickering Mind, by National Magazine Award winner Todd Oppenheimer, is a landmark account of the failure of technology to improve our schools and a call for renewed emphasis on what really works. American education faces an unusual moment of crisis. For decades, our schools have been beaten down by a series of curriculum fads, empty crusades for reform, and stingy funding. Now education and political leaders have offered their biggest and most expensive promise ever—the miracle of computers and the Internet—at a cost of approximately $70 billion just during the decade of the 1990s. Computer technology has become so prevalent that it is transforming nearly every corner of the academic world, from our efforts to close the gap between rich and poor, to our hopes for school reform, to our basic methods of developing the human imagination. Technology is also recasting the relationships that schools strike with the business community, changing public beliefs about the demands of tomorrow’s working world, and reframing the nation’s systems for researching, testing, and evaluating achievement. All this change has led to a culture of the flickering mind, and a generation teetering between two possible futures. In one, youngsters have a chance to become confident masters of the tools of their day, to better address the problems of tomorrow. Alternatively, they can become victims of commercial novelties and narrow measures of ability, underscored by misplaced faith in standardized testing. At this point, America’s students can’t even make a fair choice. They are an increasingly distracted lot. Their ability to reason, to listen, to feel empathy, is quite literally flickering. Computers and their attendant technologies did not cause all these problems, but they are quietly accelerating them. In this authoritative and impassioned account of the state of education in America, Todd Oppenheimer shows why it does not have to be this way. Oppenheimer visited dozens of schools nationwide—public and private, urban and rural—to present the compelling tales that frame this book. He consulted with experts, read volumes of studies, and came to strong and persuasive conclusions: that the essentials of learning have been gradually forgotten and that they matter much more than the novelties of technology. He argues that every time we computerize a science class or shut down a music program to pay for new hardware, we lose sight of what our priority should be: “enlightened basics.” Broad in scope and investigative in treatment, The Flickering Mind will not only contribute to a vital public conversation about what our schools can and should be—it will define the debate.