The Evolution Of Technology, Children and the Classroom (#EME 5050)

Posted on: September 15, 2012

Today one of my SEVEN YEAR OLD students came up to me and said, “The new iphone 5 came out, so I’m going to get that for my birthday!” I stopped and thought, 7 years old? Really?! What the heck could you be doing with an iPhone!! She was telling me how she calls people and uses FaceTime. When I was that age I only talked to my Grandma! Technology has taken over the lives of everyone and surely has become part of the everyday classroom. 

After talking to my student, I had to sit back and remember what technology was available to me growing up. The biggest thing for us was the am/fm portable cassette player, and the biggest thing was when the portable CD player was introduced. While I was in High school the Apple introduced the ipod and the world has been taken over since. In school we had computers with the black and green screen (no color) and now classrooms have ipads for the entire class. I decided to take a look at how technology has evolved through the years…

Back in 1925, Thomas Edison once said “books will soon be obsolete in schools.” Thomas Edison could not be more right!

In 1960, The Horn Book, was a wooden paddle that had printed lessons, such as the alphabet and a religious verse on it.

In 1870, The Magic Lantern, was the first example of a projector. The Magic Lantern projected images printed on glass plates in a dark room. 

In 1890, The Chalkboard was invented and was considered one of the biggest inventions to classroom technology. 

1925, the Radio was first invented. New York City’s board of education was the first organization to send lessons to school through a radio station. 

The Magic Lantern was replaced with the Overhead Projector in 1930.

The headphones were introduced in 1950. Listening centers were now implemented in the classroom . Headphones are still used in the classroom today for computers and listening centers. 

What would we do without a calculator? In 1970, the handheld calculator was invented  and introduced in the classroom. 

In 1984,the Plato computer was introduced in schools, there was 1 for every 92 students avilable. Now there is about 1 computer for every 4 students. 

In 1999, schools got to say goodbye to the chalkboard and say hello to the Interactive White Board. The interactive whiteboard uses a touch screen, projector and a computer. 

Steve Jobs was one of the most brilliant people in the world! The Apple iPad was introduced in 2010 and has been a success in classrooms across the United States. 

After seeing how much technology has evolved over the years, I am excited yet very nervous to see what the future holds for technology in the classroom. Will teachers even be needed? Will there even be schools open if children can learn from a computer? With anything in life there are always positives and negatives. What are your feelings about technology?


Dunn, Jeff (2011). The Evolution Of Classroom Technology. Retrieved From:


2 Responses to "The Evolution Of Technology, Children and the Classroom (#EME 5050)"

I had to chuckle when reading your blog;; because some technology resources, I have never seen… others I have had but probably shouldnt have… and then some I thought came out recently apparently have been in the school systems longer than I knew.
For instance, I had the old school video/projector with the slides of film when I was in 6-8. I had went to a catholic school that still used various older versions of technolgy.
However, interactive smart boards came out in 1999? I am astonished that it has taken almost 10 years for it to be implemented into the classrooms. And ironically; there are many schools who STILL do not have have access to the simplest supplies (whiteboards) let alone smartboards.

I wonder what is out now that we are not aware of and probably will not encounter for X amount of years!

Hello Amanda,
We have come a long way, and I absolutely love your pictures. The way you added the pictures really showed how much we have achieved in such a short time. I am also surprized when I see how young students now how to use technology. I still have my daughter come over to show me how to use different programs. Pretty soon, my grandson will probably be able to help me.
Jodie G

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