Film 1800s

     The Frenchman Louis Lumiere is credited as the inventor of the motion picture camera in 1895.  The film industry has come a long way from silent films, to having documentaries from all parts of the world to help educate the mass media. At first film was just used as a novelty, then during the 19th century and well into the 20th century, film developed to be one of the most important tools of communication and entertainment, and one of the greatest ways to reach a mass audience.  A Trip to the Moon (France, 1902), the screen's first science fiction story, was a 14 minute masterpiece. Today, educators all over America, as well as the rest of the world, use movies to better clarify a topic or to help students better connect with some part of history instead of just learning from the textbooks.


Radio 1900s
   The radio was introduced as the tool that would revolutionize classroom teaching in the 1920s. By 1923, the Radio Division of the Department of Commerce licensed time from commercial stations to broadcast education lessons. With this federal interest, parental financial backing and dropping equipment prices by 1930, many more schools and districts bought equipment and made plans to use the radio in classrooms. The radio impacted higher education when they began to implement “schools in the air,” offering classes from agriculture to business through the institution run radio stations. Educational technology supporters believed that the radio would eventually replace both schools and teachers. Today the radio still remains a powerful tool for English teachers. Giving students the opportunity to select material on the radio and bring it to the classroom is one of the many ways teachers use the radio in classrooms, giving them the chance to be more involved in class.

Photocopier 1900s

       In 1937 an American law student and inventor by the name Chester Carlson invented the first ever known Xerography, a copying process based on electrostatic energy. Carlson spend many years trying to sell his idea without any success. It wasn’t until later on in the 1950s the Xerox Company made it available for everyone to purchase one of these machines. Making the photocopier available helped teachers easily distribute course work for every student and made sharing information with the mass media more easier. The Xerox machine made it possible for teachers to make copies of only needed material, and change course work from time to time, and from class to class. The Xerox machine proves to be useful well into the late 1990s, up until the age of the computer.



Television 1900s

   Since the time television was first available for consumer use at the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, America’s love affair with the electronic box had started. What also started was the big concern the public and the American government had of televisions influence on youth and children. Since then till now, there have been many arguments that television plays a great role in the upbringing of our children. These issues touch on several subject such as advertising, violent behavior, educational tool, physical side effects and academic achievement, to name a few. Even though the television is believed to be a negative influence on children’s education due to long hours spend watching uneducational programs, it has played an important role in the classroom. Teachers put in videos to teach students about many different subjects.

Click here to see Article on Televisions Impact on Kids

Sputnik 1957

      There was fear among the Americans when they first heard the “beep” that had reached Earth on October 4, 1957, fear that the Russians were spying on them from outer space. Sputnik, the worlds first artificial satellite, which was the size of a beach ball, was launched into orbit by the Soviet Union. This created much paranoia and concern in many Americans that the Soviets have been them into space, thus sparking the revelation in scientific education in America. The federal law got involved, by passing the National Defense Education Act in 1958, which funded way over a billion dollars for the science curriculum, changing the classrooms, and educational tools being used at the time. More funding was put towards lab kits and overhead projectors, and educational films became part of the curriculum.

Technology In Education Website

National Defense and Education Act 1958

            Right after Sputnik was launched in outer space, American Congress responded by the National Defense and Education Act of 1958(NDEA). NDEA was launched in 1958 to ensure the security of the American nation by making sure all students get the fullest resources and technical skills.  Some of the many features of the legislation are include student loan programs for college students, and many pre-college teacher training programs.   The NDEA ignored the areas of humanities and social sciences, focused as it was on issues concerning national security and the need to regain technological supremacy. Four major provisions of the NDEA are the fallowing:

Title II. Loans to Students in Institutions of Higher Education

• Title III. Financial Assistance for Strengthening Science, Mathematics, and

Modern Foreign Language Instruction

• Title IV. National Defense Fellowships

• Title V. Guidance, Counseling and Testing; Identification and Encouragement

of Able Students.

   As you can see Sputnik sparked a great fear among the American Government, causing them to further focus on Education and improvement towards scientific and technological areas in education. Billions of dollars were being poured in the Education System, trying to improve many areas but this interest in the American Education System was as easily forgotten as it was sparked. 


Elementary and Secondary Education Act 1965

   Due to Lyndon Johnson’s  War on Poverty in 1965, the Elementary and Secondary Act 1965, was signed into law. The act states that the federal government gives over 11 billion dollars a year for kindergarten to the twelfth grade. The ESEA sends federal funds to poor schools, communities and children all over America.  The ESEA was originally one of President Kennedy’s proposals but right after his assassination, President Johnson reviewed his proposals and it was given to Congress. The Act was passed in as little as 87 days, and it helped fund primary and secondary education. Sections of the ESEA 1965 Law:

 Title I—Financial Assistance For Local Educational Agencies In Areas Affected By Federal Activity     Title II—Financial Assistance To Local Educational Agencies For The Education Of Children Of Low-Income Families
Title III—Supplementary Educational Centers and Services
Title IV—Educational Research And Training
 Title V—Grants To Strengthen State Departments Of Education
 Title VI—General Provisions



   In 1951 there was little use of technology in schools, mainly television, baby boom begins with resulting increases in class size, and the first-generation Univac computer delivered to the US census bureau. Few years later, in 1954, General Electric is the first business know to order a computer.  Then just about one year later, IBM’s first commercial computer is sold.  Then in 1958, the National Defense Education Act brings in some federal money which in turn brings in new technology in the classrooms, but mainly in vocational education.  Even though the computer made its way in the American school, it use was for storing student data and administration.  Also with the first ever computers, size was a big issue. Many thought that the computer was too big for the classroom. Before the invention of the new PC around the late eighties, the classroom did not have much use for computers. After the new PC, over 77% of schools had computers. In today’s time, every school has a computer for almost every student.


   The internet as we know and love today would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of many people. The Internet was the result of some visionary thinking by people in the early 1960s who saw great potential value in allowing computers to share information.  J.C.R. Licklider of MIT, first proposed a global network of computers in 1962, and moved over to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in late 1962 to head the work to develop it. Lawrence Roberts of MIT connected a Massachusetts computer with a California computer in 1965 over dial-up telephone lines. Roberts moved over to DARPA in 1966 and developed his plan for ARPANET. These visionaries and many more are the real founders of the Internet. Internet usage has widely spread over the years, from 111 hosts in 1977 to over two billion hosts in the year 2002. Due to the Internet, we are able to make contact with  people from all over the world. The Internet offers vast amount of information to the public, which is why educators readily adopted its use in the classroom by 1997. Many schools allow Internet usage in the classrooms but students are closely monitored because of the non-educational information that can be found.  Schools set up firewalls to filter out sites that are not educational, and make students take quick surveys to see their full understanding of internet usage.

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