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Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 60355th Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0807727928
ISBN-10: 080772792X
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press; 60355th edition (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: #601,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 by Larry Cuban, published by Teachers College Press in 1986, explores the use of technology in the classroom as a teaching tool and as the possible replacing of classroom teachers with new technology. The book emphasizes the patterns that have existed in the use of technology since the onset of "modern technology," 1920's. The majority of the introduction of technology into the classroom has been conducted through a top down, or administration led push of pedagogy. The teachers that are in the classroom with the students have had very little influence in the policies concerning the use of technology in the classroom until after the new technology has been added. This book examines the trends that have existed through the early 1920's to the 1980's with the promise of the addition of computers into the classroom.

The first part of the book examines the use of film and radio into the classroom. The later part of the book discusses possible trends that may occur with the introduction of the personal computer. Criticism concerning the use of fads in public schools has been a prevailing topic from the 1920's until the present. Cuban describes the conflicting social messages teachers and public schools have faced. Some of these conflicting notions are:
1. "Socialize all children, yet nourish each child's individual creativity.
2. Teach the best that the past has to offer, but insure that each child possesses practical skills marketable in the community.
3. Demand obedience to authority, but encourage individual children to think and question.
4. Cultivate cooperation, but prepare children to compete (p 2).
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