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Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 Paperback – January 1, 1986

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807727928 ISBN-10: 080772792X

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Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 + Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America (Technology, Education--Connections (Tec)) (Technology, Education-Connections, the Tec Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press (January 1, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080772792X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807727928
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a former high school social studies teacher (14 years), district superintendent (7 years) and university professor (20 years). I have published op-ed pieces, scholarly articles and books on classroom teaching, history of school reform, how policy gets translated into practice, and teacher and student use of technologies in K-12 and college.

Recent research projects have been a study of school reform in Austin (TX) 1954-2009, a large comprehensive high school in Mapleton (CO) being converted into several small ones between 2001-2009, and how structural change in U.S. schools over the past century have had little effect in altering how teachers teach. The Austin book was As Good As It Gets (2010. The Mapleton study written with Gary Lichtenstein, Arthur Evenchik, Martin Tombari, and Kristen Pozzoboni was Against the Odds (2010), and the book on structural change and teaching is Inside the Black Box of Classroom Practice: Change without Reform in American Education (2013).

I currently blog at:http://larrycuban.wordpress.com

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Cuban reviews the attempts to adopt technology into American classrooms throughout the 20th century. Moving pictures, radio, TV, and other technology-based improvements were loudly acclaimed to herald a new paradigm for education. All attempts failed to make a dent in established curriculum and teaching. Cuban analyzes these failures, and applies his ideas to the current wave of technology edu-euphoria, the computer.
I'm not sure his dire 1986 predictions are valid now, with the saturation of classrooms and tool-orientation that the modern computer offers. However, his book is essential reading if you want to think carefully before adopting technology in a school system. Learn from history, don't repeat it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Shamburg on April 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
Excellent history of technology in 20th century eduction (until 1984). Radio, TV, film...all with promises, trajectories, and pitfalls similar(though not the same) to computers and the Internet. Cuban's description and analysis of the reactions of teachers, schools, and the educational establishment to technology are credible and insightful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kimberly Sena Moore on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In his book "Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920," Larry Cuban--a Stanford professor and expert at the time in the history of education and educational policy--provides an analytic overview of the use of technology in the educational classroom in the 20th century. Cuban focuses primarily on film, radio, and television and their impact on educational policy and practice, then ends his review with a brief overview of computers and how they were beginning to be incorporated into the classroom in the early 1980s. With each of those mediums, Cuban notes how they were initially touted and praise, how they were implemented and used, and how various barriers--including policy barriers, infrastructure barriers, and teacher training barriers--stopped them from being fully and completely embraced in the classroom.

Overall, I recommend this book. It is well-written, easy-to-read, and makes an important contribution to the literature on the history of educational technology. I believe that this book provides a lot of value in giving us an accurate history of the use of technology in the classroom and reinforces for the readers how many of these trends--especially trends related to the barriers of education technology practice--continue to be relevant today. In this way, Cuban provides a valuable overview of where we have come from and gives us insight into what needs to change to achieve the highest level of educational opportunities for students as possible. Finally, from a historical standpoint, Cuban's book provides an interesting perspective of the hesitancy early in the computer age to embrace it and to realize it's true potential.
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By David Price on February 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book deals with the use of technology in the classroom over the past century and the trends that have occurred with the implementation of film, radio, television and computers. Cuban points out the dichotomous enthusiasm of policy makers in the implementation of seemingly revolutionary technologies compared to the actual implementation of these technologies by administrators and teachers in the classroom. Cuban shows that even though much has been accomplished in education theory and technology in the past century little visible change has actually occurred in the classroom due to the misunderstandings between policy makers and educators. This book points out the obstacles that have occurred with the use of technology in the classroom and makes predictions about what the future holds about the use of the computer in the classroom.
Even though this book was written over twenty years ago the trends that are discussed and the problems dealing with the relationships between policy makers and educators still ring true today. Cuban is able to organize the evolution of technology and policy in a way that relates to the modern implementation of technology in the classroom. It discusses the evolution of developmental theory and its application to the implementation of technology in the classroom in dealing with the effectiveness of technology to engage, interest, and develop students' knowledge and skills. Policy makers, administrators, and teachers can gain a better understanding of how the past has influenced current policy on technology in the classroom from reading this book. This book is a quick and seemingly easy read that will provide the reader with insight into how technology has been used, or not used, in the classroom over the past century and can possibly help to ensure that we do not continue to repeat the same mistakes that in our future implementation of policy as it deals with the use of technology in the classroom.
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