Tech in the classroom foreseen 50 years ago

Excerpt from the July 31, 1965 issue of Science News Letter

kids with tablets

GOING DIGITAL  iPads and laptops are common in classrooms, a tech trend scientists predicted 50 years ago.

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Invasion of classroom by gadgets foreseen  Machines that may teach the students of the future are attracting both industrialists and educators. One gadget enables each student in the classroom to take tests that are corrected as they are given, with the student “talking back” to the teacher. Typewriters operated by the student will admonish and inform the learner when a wrong answer to a problem is typed.  — Science News LetterJuly 31, 1965


The 1970s saw the advent of the Scantron, changing the face of multiple-choice tests. The arrival of the handheld calculator in the 1970s and the graphing calculator in 1985 then altered math and physics classes. Mass-market computers appeared in the early 1980s and quickly invaded classrooms. Now students around the world attend class on the Internet, and 3-D printers (SN: 3/9/13, p. 20) produce parts that students can use to invent and engineer. But despite technological change, some things remain the same. Students retain more when they take notes with pens than with laptops (SN: 5/31/14, p. 14). 

Bethany was previously the staff writer at Science News for Students. She has a Ph.D. in physiology and pharmacology from Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

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