Every now and then, a piece of technology comes around that changes the way we do things. In 1908, the production of affordable automobiles changed the way we move from point A to point B and, in the 1920s, the newly-released radio sparked a new wave of communication that would change the very fiber of our society forever.

According to How is Technology Changing the Modern Classroom? by Lee Watanabe-Crockett, as of 2009, 97% of teachers have 1 or more computers in the classroom and 93% of computers in the modern classroom have Internet access.

"From the days of carving figures on rock walls to today, when most students are equipped with several portable technological devices at any given time, technology continues to push educational capabilities to new levels." - Purdue University

In education, technology & innovation have slowly fueled an expansion of classroom equipment, allowing for extended learning opportunities for students. In this post, we would like to celebrate the technologies that have impacted our classrooms the most.

1) Blackboards (1850s)

The invention of the blackboard had an enormous impact on classroom efficiency. Due to their simplicity, effectiveness, economy and ease of use; the simple blackboard and its cousin, the whiteboard, have substantial advantages over any number of more-complex modern technologies.

2) Ballpoint Pen (1940)

The ballpoint pen made writing faster and easier. Students could now write down notes effortlessly, without having to dip their pen in ink (or waiting for the ink to dry.) Writing became more portable and appeased the anxiety of forgetting important information or ideas.

3) Videotapes (1951)

Schools began using videotapes as a new method of instruction in 1951. By 1970s, educators would make short-form animated educational programming, such as Schoolhouse Rock!, a regular part of early morning curriculum.

4) Photocopier (1959)

Xerox released the first easy-to-use photocopier in 1959, enabling widespread distribution of lesson plans, exams, and other class materials between departments and classrooms.

5) Television (1960s)

During the 1950s, TV became the primary medium for influencing public opinion and, in 1960s, color broadcasting was introduced and became a mass medium for advertising, news, and education.

6) Overhead Projector (1961)

While the first overhead projector was developed in the early 1960s, it wasn't until the 1970s that these presentation devices became a staple in classrooms across the nation.

7) Handheld calculator (1972)

The pocket-sized devices became available in the 1970s and were thereafter introduced to classrooms with some initial resistance out of fear that basic or elementary arithmetic skills would suffer.

8) Consumer Laptop (1985)

Computer-aided instruction gained widespread information acceptance in schools by the early 1980s. By 1989, computer usage shifted from being a relative rarity in American public schools to being present in nearly every school district.

9) World Wide Web (1990)

It's hard to imagine a world without search engines like Google as information sources but, before the use of the Internet in schools, students would have to gather information in libraries and encyclopedias.

10) Interactive Whiteboard (1990)

First developed by PARC in 1990, this board was used solely for small group meetings and round-tables. However, the industry quickly grew throughout the early 2000s, increasing the amount of IWBs per school. Now, even where traditional boards are used, the IWBs often supplements them by to a school network digital distribution system.

Each one of these breakthroughs in technology has helped us accelerate the pace with which we learn, helping us understand the world around us in different ways. Examining the past and reviewing the positive impact of each technological introduction helps us value the importance of innovation and makes us more open to trying new things in the classroom.

If you'd like to learn more about interactive whiteboards and other edtech devices, you can always visit our website. Additionally, you can ask us your questions at any time on social media!