Teaching Machines: Learning from the Intersection of Education and Technology

Front Cover
JHU Press, Nov 17, 2014 - Education - 199 pages

The allure of educational technology is easy to understand. Classroom instruction is an expensive and time-consuming process fraught with contradictory theories and frustratingly uneven results. Educators, inspired by machines’ contributions to modern life, have been using technology to facilitate teaching for centuries.

In Teaching Machines, Bill Ferster examines past attempts to automate instruction from the earliest use of the postal service for distance education to the current maelstrom surrounding Massive Open Online Courses. He tells the stories of the entrepreneurs and visionaries who, beginning in the colonial era, developed and promoted various instructional technologies. Ferster touches on a wide range of attempts to enhance the classroom experience with machines, from hornbooks, the Chautauqua movement, and correspondence courses to B. F. Skinner’s teaching machine, intelligent tutoring systems, and eLearning.

The famed progressive teachers, researchers, and administrators that the book highlights often overcame substantial hurdles to implement their ideas, but not all of them succeeded in improving the quality of education. Teaching Machines provides invaluable new insight into our current debate over the efficacy of educational technology.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Sage on the Stage
18
3 Step by Step
50
4 Byte by Byte
93
5 From the Cloud
123
6 Making Sense of Teaching Machines
157
Notes
177
Index
195
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2014)

Bill Ferster is a research professor at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education and the director of visualization for the Sciences, Humanities & Arts Technology Initiative (SHANTI). He is the author of Interactive Visualization: Insight through Inquiry.