How The Past Viewed Technology Of The Future

learning materialsWe have reached a stage in our lives wherein technology is so rooted into our lifestyle that we  cannot imagine life without them. We can hardly finish our work without a computer or laptop. We never leave home without our phones. And we stay up late at night just browsing the Internet.

It can be said that we will find it hard to live without technology. But have you ever wondered where the gadgets we have today came from?

How about some trip back on memory lane? Let us see how the geniuses of the previous generations conceptualized technology as we know it today.

  1. During the turn of the 20th century, a man named Villemard imagined that the 2000s will have robot barbers, an increase in flying machines and picture phones. In terms of learning, he imagined a machine that can translate books into audio and pumped directly into the heads of students. That is what we now call audio books that were already available during the 1930s but only gained popularity in the 1980s.
  2. In the 1920s, people then imagined that students in the future will no longer have to read about history any more. Instead, it will be shown on screen. This prediction was published on March 18, 1920 at the Cedar Rapids Gazette. This prediction can be seen through this link.
  3. In the 1930s, it was also imagined that the TV technology can be transformed and used to deliver images from a blackboard into the home TV screens of homes even in rural America. This sounds a whole lot like remote learning through the Internet and virtual classrooms. IT destroyed distance as a hindrance for students to learn.
  4. Another prediction of the virtual classroom was done back in May 20, 1938 by an NYU professor. Dr. C. C. Clark set up the 62nd floor of the RCA Building to have 15 TVs set up in a long room. The students sat there watching him being projected on all TVs at the same time. This experiment prompted education consultant Dr. James Rowland Angell to state that in a few years, schools will be equipped with televisions for learning purposes.
  5. After World War II, there was a hunger for education in America that put a strain in the education system. In the 1950s, they decided that the answer to the overcrowding in schools is to inject more technology into it. They called it the Push-button education wherein each child will have their own high-tech workstation at their desk. Sounds a lot like computers right?
  6. In the early 70s, there was this “answer machine” that display the answer to your question on a screen if you type it on a keyboard. This was the early version of the search engines. Now, most students know how to use it for their school requirements. If you want something answered, all you have to do is to Google it.
  7. Asynchronous learning was already in the mind of Neil Ardley when he wrote World of Tomorrow: Work and Play. He said that the computer revolution will bring forth the possibility of learning at your own pace. It even goes as far as to say that the world will soon do away with classrooms and teachers.

All of these data were originally lifted from an article published in You can view it to read the other predictions about learning in the future.

Was it interesting to view our future in the eyes of the people in the past?

Image courtesy of olovedog for