Monday, July 7, 2008

Movies Will Replace Textbooks (1922)

The 2006 book Future Hype: The Myths of Technology Change by Bob Seidensticker is a fascinating read. From page 103:
Schools have had a longstanding immunity against the introduction of new technologies. In 1922 Thomas Edison predicted that movies would replace textbooks. In 1945 one forecaster imagined radios as common as blackboards in classrooms. In the 1960s, B.F. Skinner predicted that teaching machines and programmed instruction would double the amount of information students could learn in a given time. Filmstrips and other audiovisual aids were fads thirty years ago, and the television, now seen as a supplier of brain candy, once had a sterling reputation as an education machine.

See also:
Thinks We'll Do Our Reading On Screen (1923)
Movies to be Produced in Every Home (1925)

9 comments:

Hilary said...

We are hurtling towards the future; no one can deny that. But while consumers are already there, big companies are stuck in the past. If you've ever watched a video on YouTube, you should know that Viacom could identify you through this data. This order opens the door for corporations to use our private records at their will and without our consent. Tell Google to defy the court ruling and to refuse to hand over our records to Viacom. Sign this petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/petition/912395622?z00m=15670232

Will Doohan said...

This post makes me think about all the hype about computers in the classroom. "You HAVE TO have your school wired for internet, or the kids will fall behind!" Considering how American schools ARE doing, perhaps computers are the last thing they should worry about buying.

FredProgGH said...

Of course you do! Because there were no educated people before computers and multimedia.

Bonnach said...

Most of what I remember from American history classes is what I learned from my teacher's showing of movies. Mostly John Ford and Henry Fonda flicks. I loved that class!

Drums Along the Mohawk, Young Mr. Lincoln, How the West was Won, The Grapes of Wrath, Mr. Roberts... Ah, good times, good times.

Czar said...

We've been experiencing the kind of transition and I must say that there's nothing wrong with it. I believe that movies and other visual media are better than textbooks. My prime reason is that the former are more attractive than the latter. In that way, students will be getting a lot of infos they need.

min0taur said...

Come to think of it, some folks faked their way through literature classes using movies-of-the-books and Cliff's Notes. But I think the whole traditional notion of one technology "replacing" another is flawed. We just get distracted...

Yetused said...

Ha!

Our teacher once told us that tale about VHS tapes. He said in the 70s/80s people once believed that these tapes would replace exercise books of the students, as they now could do their homework on video.

And then he went on an told us that in about 3 years every student will only bring his laptop to school anymore. That was 2001.

Damian said...

As Will Doohan says above, this all looks eerily familiar. People should understand that education is not robotic knowledge transfer. It is at its core a human interaction -- a transferring of values, social behaviors and ideas from one generation to the next.

If you guys haven't read this, check it out:
The Computer Delusion
http://www.tnellen.com/ted/tc/computer.htm

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