EDUC8840/ EDUC 7100: Evolution of Educational Technology in Society, Education, and the Workplace

Page updated July 4, 2014


The primary purpose of this wiki is for keeping track of suggestions and ideas relating to EDUC8840/ EDUC 7100 at Walden University. Dr. Patricia Deubel, the first instructor for this course, set up this wiki to contribute to our efforts and maintains this page. EDUC8840 was offered for the first time in Fall 2008 to Ph.D. learners at Walden University. Since then, the course is now available to Ed.S. learners with course number EDUC7100. Beginning with Fall quarter 2012, the format of the course was changed from 12 weekly modules to 6 two-week modules.

Faculty and learners might wish to share insights and suggest improvements for the future. Readers might wish to also provide information regarding further historical developments in the evolution of educational technology beyond those presented in the course texts, or to suggest additional resources that will improve the learning experience.

All learners who take the course are required to develop a wiki for their own work as per the course syllabus.

The course management system at Walden University is Blackboard.

General Suggestions, Reflections, and Ideas for EDUC8840/ EDUC 7100 from Dr. Deubel:

Walden University uses for learners to submit assignments. Initial discussion posts can also be submitted to Major assignments include:
  • A short paper with reflections on educational technology
  • A table comparing behaviorism to cognitivism
  • A single timeline with six-strands of events principally tracing the evolution of educational technology from 1900 to the present
  • A podcast/paper analyzing that timeline for three decades 1950 to the present.

Work on the timeline should be an ongoing process during the course. Learners should select events carefully in consideration that they will need to eventually analyze interrelationships among strands. The two-part timeline project is more difficult than one might think, particularly in relation to analysis of it. One of the learners hit it on the head with its relationship to Bloom's Taxonomy. While the entire timeline development at part 1 addresses the lower levels in Bloom's for determining events to include in it, the culminating paper/project at part 2 addresses the upper levels in Bloom's.

Projects are posted to the learner's wiki. In relation to new technology, the wiki is often new to learners. However, the true nature of a wiki mightt not be felt as a group because the course is not designed for the requirement to use the wiki for other than posting the timeline project assignments.

Throughout the course, APA style is required. Generally, I have believed most learners show signs of growth in learning how to properly cite in APA format; however, how to cite content from web sites still poses a problem.

Other Media and Web resources of value:

Technology Requirements:

Part 1 of the Timeline project for the course:

As this course is on the evolution of educational technology, the focus of the timeline project should be on that theme. The best timelines have demonstrated that learners used readings and resources in the course and read extensively via their independent research, using those to identify events. For example, throughout his book, Saettler has numerous events that fit the timeline. Then one would need to examine the web further about those events to get a web reference on it for the timeline. Additional resources suggested in our discussion forums might also give ideas for events of significance in more recent time.

Part 1 of the timeline project will have at least 113 or 114 events, which is 2 events from each of the 11 decades from 1900 to 2000 (and to the present) for each of the strands 2-6, plus the strand 1 waves. As we are only a couple of years into the 2010 decade, learners can place events from those years within the 2000 decade. Strand 1 has the three waves with dates per Toffler's book, The Third Wave, plus a fourth wave, if a learner believes we've entered a fourth wave. Each strand is color-coded. For any software choice, be sure to include your color-coding legend for each strand at the beginning of the project. Also consider the following:

  • Strand 2: Technology: Advances and Innovations: The world is filled with technology advancements, but choose events related to educational technology. For example, Ford developing the Model-T is a technology event, as is the Wright Brothers invention of the airplane. However, unless you work in an area of auto manufacturing or aviation, these would not be the best choices. If you are an educator, the invention of moving pictures in the early 1900's fits strand 2, as would beginning of use of film in education, Pressey's early programmed instruction machine using multiple-choice, the generations of computers beginning with the ENIAC, Skinner's teaching machine, Papert's development of LOGO, TV in instruction, first digital camera, software for learning, the World Wide Web, mobile devices, and so on. If you are an elementary educator, an event like Texas Instrument's introduction of Speak and Spell might be of interest. In other words, choose educational technology events relevant to your workplace, so they all fit together and show an evolution.

  • Strand 4: Education Theories of Learning and Instruction: While strand 4 on educational theories of learning and instruction might seem straight forward for what to select, not all learners have focused clearly on this theme. Saettler suggests many events, but research will be needed for anything past 1990 (e.g., for the use of the internet in instruction or mobile learning devices). Here the idea is to consider such theories as behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, social constructivism, connectivism, elaboration theory, social learning theory, and so on and methods of instruction such as related to film, radio, TV, computer-assisted instruction, individualized learning, group learning, and so on. There are many key players, including Watson, Kilpatrick, Thorndike, Montessori, Skinner, Bloom, Dewey, Gagne, Mager, Washburne, Parkhurst, Weber, Tyler, Bruner, Keller, Ausubel, Bandura, Siemens, for example.

  • Strand 5: Society and Culture: Events that determined thinking. Again, there's so many events in society and culture to choose from. Even strand 5 events can be selected to support the theme of the course. If you are an educator, an event like Franklin Bobbitt's influence on thinking around 1912 for a social efficiency movement and scientific management of schools and differentiated curriculum and courses (i.e., academic preparatory or vocational) fits this theme, as it led to tracking and ability grouping of youth in schools. Then there's Thomas Edison's influence on thinking around 1913 on individuals, businessmen and educators to enter the field of visual education with his prediction that motion picture use would make books obsolete in schools and completely change school systems within 10 years. Notice how this visual movement is now on the forefront with video use in instruction and podcasts (i.e., there's a reason for the event inclusion). We'll read in Saettler's book of contributions of Edgar Dale, Riley and Riley, George Miller, Marshall McLuhan, Sidney Tickton, and so many others. There's E. M. Rogers and F. Shoemaker in 1973 who wrote Communication of Innovations presenting their process of innovation-diffusion (note, this latter is with us in recent times with a theme of disruption of innovations). These are just thoughts. Yes, e-Bay has influenced society and culture, as has Amazon, Google, wars, and so on. World War II need for training films for soldiers did end up influencing what goes on in schools. Have a reason for your choice of events so that you can eventually analyze relationships.

  • Strand 6: Strand 6 of choice should be selected for a reason, perhaps related to professional interests, not just because one finds a timeline on the web from which to draw events on a topic. Learners found that a weakly chosen strand 6 and/or weakly chosen events within a strand made it impossible or very difficult to analyze for interrelationships among other strands when it came time to develop the paper/podcast. For example, if one is an educator, one choice for strand 6 might be" Political: Educational Legislation" related to technololgy use in schools.

The timeline part 1 requires that EVERY event includes a web page to serve as a reference for the event. So, while the Toffler book and the Saettler book are primary texts for the course, additional research on the event is needed in order to add the web reference. In past, some learners have cited course texts without doing that extra research for the additional web reference. Consider the scholarly nature of web references. Copy/paste of an event from another timeline posted to the web is not appropriate. Look for web references that provide textual content that elaborate on the nature of the event. The ACTS Model (Authoritative, Current/Correct, Truthful, Supported) provides a good rule of thumb for selecting quality online resources (or more traditional print-based resources). Learners should not rely on a single source for events in their timelines. Rely on readings you do throughout the course for events, and your independent research, and multiple web references for elaborations of those.

All learners should look at the rubric for grading the project to ensure that each element of the rubric has been met. I urge learners to not use someone else's timeline as the reference for an event in their own timeline. Select a web reference that will take the reader DIRECTLY (one click) to a page to learn more about an event. Also, web references should be publicly accessible. Learners might be reminded not to use any URLs to password protected content, such as pages within courseroom (e.g., Laureate videos) or membership only sites requiring a password to view content.

Timeline Software and Ideas
Each timeline project is unique. Timelines can be created in many ways, some are more sophisticated than others containing multimedia elements. A timeline has events in chronological order by year. Although events can be presented vertically or horizontally, events are easier to read when scrolling is vertical. Don't forget to include the year when the event happened. It's amazing to find that some have omitted this. There are numerous examples on the web to look at for ideas.

Students may select their own timeline software for creating the course project. When selecting software, ensure that it works before getting too far along in using it. However, do not submit a project as a pdf, jpg or graphic file, as comments can't be added to those, and hyperlinks to web references must be active links. Don't use a draw menu to create a horizontal timeline in Word or Excel, for example, with graphic elements such as lines with text boxes, arrows, and so on--114 events won't fit going across this way, as learners in past have found out.


  • Spreadsheet: Some have used a spreadsheet with Excel because of its data sorting capabilities, and this choice has made the project relatively easy to do. Events are shown vertically in rows. Using Excel, one might set up columns with headers: Year, Strand, Name of Event, Description/Significance of Event, Web Reference(s). Rows can easily be color-coded by strand.

    CAUTION: Microsoft has a template for creating timelines with Excel; however, I viewed the YouTube video for creating simple timelines with Excel and find the template shown in the video will NOT be appropriate to use due to the size of this project, which ends up with 113 or 114 events.

  • PowerPoint: This works and can make for an attractive project. If you opt to use PowerPoint, include an introductory title slide, and include your color coding legend. Set up your template to automatically number the slides. Remember to place events in chronological order for a timeline. You can indicate on the slide the name of the strand into which an event fits and color-code the slide (e.g., a background color and unique image for each strand). You can put one event easily on a slide, so that slides can be rearranged for chronological order. The slide would have the year of the event, its strand, name of the event, a brief description and significance of the event, and its web reference to learn more about the event.

    Although images and video are not required, you can consider the following if you add those. AuthorSTREAM Desktop is free add-on software that works with PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 versions. It enables you to "insert images and videos from the web - without leaving PowerPoint. You can search images from Bing, Flickr and videos from YouTube and Vimeo from within the PowerPoint." You can also upload your presentation to AuthorSTREAM to share publicly or privately.

  • Word (table or list): Word works, too. However, rows in a table cannot be sorted automatically for chronological order as one can do with a spreadsheet. Rows in a table can also be color-coded and additional rows can easily be inserted. The key here is to insert the event in order by year as you enter it, or move rows from one location to another. A benefit is that hyperlinks to full web references are easily created for selected words in a cell/row. Using Word, one might set up columns with headers: Year, Strand, Name of Event, Description/Significance of Event, Web Reference(s). Rows can easily be color-coded by strand.

  • Commercial Timeline Software: You do not need to buy dedicated timeline software for the project. If you really desire to use commercial software, be sure it comes with a downloadable viewer. A prime consideration in choosing software dedicated to making timelines is that the timeline when posted to the learner's wiki for the course project must be able to be viewed by anyone who does not have the software used to develop it installed on their own hard drives. Learners are advised to access their posted project from a computer on which the software to develop it has not been installed.

    Look for a "viewer" that comes with any commercial timeline software, and post a link to the viewer on your wiki, which enables those who wish to look at your project to download the viewer first. Some software does not come with a viewer, such as Timeliner by Tom Snyder Productions, which is a drawback to its selection as learners have found. It's good software, but one must have the software to view the project with their file extension ".tl"--converting projects to pdf format is not advised, as hyperlinks to external web sites might be lost in the process.
    Not free:
    • Timeline Maker: This one comes with a viewer for those who wish to look at your timeline, but do not have the software on their own hard drives. Learners have used this software successfully for the timeline project.

  • Free Online Timeline Software: There's free software on the web for creating and then hosting the timelines, and learners have been successful with it. I make no specific recommendation as to the merit of each of the following, but these titles might be considered. For any choice before proceeding, check that it meets project guidelines for color-coding and web references for each event, and availability for viewing of the final project. I recommend selecting software where events can also be viewed in a list mode, as scrolling left and right to see events can be cumbersome and ultimately more difficult to view:
    • Dipity: is a web-based time line tool, which is free, and collaborative. Each point on the time line can include text, images, and streamed video. A search with key words: education or educational technology will reveal some interesting timelines to view. Some are obviously more complete than others.

    • Tiki-Toki: allows color-coding, too. Learners have also used this software successfully. When you provide your web reference, also ensure that a web reference is shown following the description/significance of the event so that viewers can see what the URL was without necessarily going to the source. There are several viewing options for the timelines. Learners should make those available when they design their timelines. Note: It is important to enable "timeline controls" for viewers and for events NOT to overlap when viewing the timelines. In a response (personal communication, January 24, 2013) from Tiki-Toki on this issue, Tiki-Toki stated: "If your students enable "timeline controls", then it is possible for a viewer to modify how events are shown, and filter by categories. Our latest blog post ( has instructions on how to do this. You may also want to advise your pupils to use the Equal Spacing 1 mode ()see the Spacing option in the Settings tab for a timeline) - this ensures that events are all spaced out equally with no overlap." That blog post is titled: Set up and use viewer controls" and was made on January 18, 2013 by Tasha G:

Time Line Examples from the Web and Ideas for Events
    • Evolution of Classroom Technology: a web page of events listed vertically with images: Again, these provide ideas for events to consider.
    • History of Educational Technology: a PowerPoint file:
    • NSF and the Birth of the Internet Timeline: A multimedia interactive National Science Foundation Timeline on the birth of the internet from the 1960s to the present, organized by decades
    • Major developments in instructional technology during the 20th century. Citation: Treat, A., Wang, Y., Chadha, R., & Dixon, M. (2006). Major developments in instructional technology during the 20th century. Retrieved from I particularly like is that it shows a design organized by decades, as final timelines should be. The design lends itself well for indicating events by strands, too. The design would lend itself well for a spreadsheet or a Word doc. It's easy to see events in relationship to each other.
    • In the Smithsonian collections, there is content fitting for events in the timeline projects. For example, there's a Steve Jobs Exhibition: and a computer collection: While the collections might suggest events, be sure to look for a web reference to learn more about the event itself.
    • is a web site with multiple timelines created collaboratively. This site can give you a general understanding about various events in history in multiple areas. You can search for events within decades and years. However, as it is a relatively new site that began in April, 2009, you might not find a specific timeline on educational technology. If you use it for events (e.g., the nature of society and culture), be sure to go to the original source for the description of the event.]
    • The Tech&Learning 100@30 at is a project related to Tech&Learning's 30th anniversary in which the top 100 individuals from 1980 to the present who have influenced technology in education are listed. You'll find names such as Bandura, Jobs, Gardner, Bloom, Gates, McLuhan, Gagne, Papert, Thornburg, Skinner, and others whose work could provide additional entries in the timeline project. Learners would need to do some additional research to provide an appropriate web reference and content for each of those key people; however, Tech&Learning provides an introduction to the achievements of each individual as evidence for why they were selected.
    • 15 Influential Innovations of the Past 50 Years: There are some interesting event possibilities at this site for the timeline project (e.g., society and culture, technology, etc.). For the timeline, be sure to research the innovation for a web reference to learn more about the innovation.

Good time management is essential for completing the part 1 timeline. My advice is to keep things as simple as you can to meet project objectives. I encourage learners to select events as you read each week that can fit the timeline, do your research, and add several events each week.

Here's a big tip: Each time you add an event to your timeline, consider its significance and its relationship to other strands. As these relationships occur to you, add those to the description of the event. Think of these relationships throughout the course. The point of the project is to develop an understanding –the big picture -- of the evolution of educational technology within decades from 1900 to the present and how within each decade there are multiple influences (those strands) on that evolution. A technology development (strand 2 event) might influence or make possible the occurrence of one or more events in other strands, and one or more events within those other strands might then influence or eventually lead to development of another new technology (another strand 2 event). So events that can be seen in relation to each other for analysis and synthesis purposes will serve you best when you get to part 2 of the project, which is the podcast/paper analyzing three decades of your choice from 1950 onward.

Part 2 of the Timeline project for the course:

It is interesting to hear voices in podcasts. However, many learners have preferred to write a culminating paper for analysis of the timeline projects. I suspect part of the reason is learning another technology, but if we are in a program for educational technology, such an experience is one learners should have. The option of paper/podcast is still needed, as there are accessibilty issues to consider and individual differences on how one can best demonstrate one's learning. In connection with that podcast, one of the learners provided a transcript of his podcast (actually a vodcast), which is an accessibility recommendation for those who might not be able to hear.

Podcast Software:

For Part 2 of the Culminating Project: Time Line Analysis Podcast or Paper, you might consider the following, if you need suggestions for creating audio for a podcast. You are not limited, however, to selecting from the following, as again these are not meant as endorsements:

Podcast/Video Hosting:Some learners have created slides for video to accompany their podcast presentations and successfully used for hosting those.
Podcast Legal Issues:
Podcasting Legal Guide: Rules for the Revolution:


Wikinomics: How mass collaboration changes everything [expanded edition]. Available via: This book takes Toffler's ideas to a new level in my view. According to the web site, "Today, encyclopedias, jetliners, operating systems, mutual funds, and many other items are being created by teams numbering in the thousands or even millions. While some leaders fear the heaving growth of these massive online communities, Wikinomics proves this fear is folly. ...A brilliant primer on one of the most profound changes of our time, Wikinomics challenges our most deeply-rooted assumptions about business and will prove indispensable to anyone who wants to understand the key forces driving competitiveness in the twenty-first century."

Further Historical Developments:

Course Texts:

    • Saettler (2004) indicates that the lengthy 1977 definition provided by the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) for educational technology, noted on page 6 of the text, “is seriously outmoded and is in need of revision” (p. 7). AECT has addressed this issue in Educational Technology: A Definition with Commentary, edited by Alan Januszewski and Michael Molenda (2008).“The first chapter begins with the one-sentence definition of educational technology and proceeds with a rationale for each of the major terms in the definition” ( However, the definition is not easily found at the AECT site itself. Unless you have the book or membership, which enables access to the book online, there is an alternative source in TechTrends. Rita Richey stated, “The Board of Directors of the Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) has approved a new definition of the field. This is the fifth officially endorsed definition of the field, replacing the one approved in 1994. The new definition is: Educational Technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using and managing appropriate technological processes and resources” (Richey, Silber, & Ely, 2008, p. 24).

      Additional References:
    • Januszewski, A. & Molenda, M. (Eds.) (2008). Educational technology: A definition with commentary. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum Associate
    • Hlynka, D., & Jacobsen, M. (2009). What is educational technology, anyway? A commentary on the new AECT definition of the field. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 35(2). Retrieved from
    • Richey, R. C., Silber, K. H., & Ely, D. P. (2008). Reflections on the 2008 AECT definitions of the field. TechTrends, 52(1), 24-25.doi:10.1007/s11528-008-0108-2 [Note: This can be retrieved from the ProQuest database].

    • In Saettler (2004, p. 308), there is reference to Computer Curriculum Corporation. Note that this company is now known as Pearson Education (, which used to be called NCS Learn.

Course Articles:

Chapter 2.2: Technologies for Tutorial Learning from Using Technology to Support Education

Events in the News:

BBC News (2012, September 11). World's first colour moving pictures discovered. Retrieved from BBC News (2012) reported: "The world's first colour moving pictures dating from 1902 have been found by the National Media Museum in Bradford after lying forgotten in an old tin for 110 years" (2012, para. 1). "The previous earliest colour film, using the Kinemacolour process, was thought to date from 1909 and was actually an inferior method. The newly-discovered films were made by pioneer Edward Raymond Turner from London who patented his colour process on 22 March 1899" (para. 3-4).

Plato Learning gets a new name: Edmentum. (2012, November 16). EClassroom News. Retrieved from Plato Learning "was acquired by a private equity firm in 2010" ("Plato", 2012, para. 1). The name was changed to reflect the company's growth of online product offerings. Edmentum's site at its launch will be This news article also provides a guick look at the history of Plato Learning: "Plato Learning descended from Control Data’s PLATO mainframe computer-based education system of the 1970s. It evolved to programs on disks and CDs and, eventually, to today’s online software-and-service model. The original PLATO—an acronym for Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations—was a favorite project of the late Control Data CEO William Norris. In 1989, then-shrinking Control Data sold the PLATO trademark and education software rights to what became Plato Learning" (para. 8-9).

Of Interest:

Rebirth of the Teaching Machine through the seduction of data analytics: This time it's personal [for the love of learning, Blog post, April 29, 2013]: This was written by Phil McRae. It delves into the history of the teaching machine and mentions Pressey and Skinner and concepts of personalized learning. McRae indicated that adaptive learning systems are the latest versions of the teaching machine. "Notions of mechanized teaching machines captured the imagination of many in the late 19th and 20th century. Today, yet again, a new generation of technology platforms promise to deliver “personalized learning” for each and every student. This rebirth of the teaching machine centers around digital software tutors (known as adaptive learning systems) and their grand claims to individualize learning by controlling the pace, place and content for each and every student. This time around it is personal." (para. 1).

What We Can Expect From The Next Decade Of Technology by Greg Satell, Digital Tonto Jul. 7, 2013 posted in Business Insider:

The Aspen Institute. (2013, December 3). Leveraging learning: The evolving role of federal policy in education research. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from This document contains a "series of essays, infographics, and briefs that outline the current federal landscape of education R&D and envision its future." It begins with an essay titled "A Brief History of Federal Efforts to Improve Education Research." The section on the current federal role includes Regional Education Laboratories, the Comprehensive Centers Program, National Education Research and Development Centers, Special Education Research and Development Centers, National Research Centers for Career and Technical Education, and provides an overview of investing in innovation in education. Highlights of the future of the federal role in education research include such essays as "Why We Need a DARPA for Education (ARPA-ED)" and "New Directions in Education Research: The Federal Role." This document is a good addition to advance knowledge from chapters in Saettler on the federal role in education and is highly recommended.

50 Years of ERIC: 1964-2014. Retrieved from This document provides a history of ERIC (Education Resources Information Center) in a timeline format. ERIC began in the Office of Education on May 15, 1964. The first director was Harold Haswell. It is currently sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. When it began “It was an office without funds and an office without a program,” (50 Years of ERIC, 2014), but over time has grown to include a database known worldwide influencing research, practice, decision-making, and professional development.