Inventors Have Tried to Reinvent the Textbook for Nearly a Century. They’ve Mostly Failed.

Pressey’s “teaching machine.” public domain/wikipedia If textbook publishers and ed-tech startups have their way, American classrooms may soon become very different learning environments. A new wave of software that draws on 21st-century technologies like cloud computing, online behavioral tracking, and machine-learning algorithms is beginning to replace print textbooks, as I reported in a lengthy Slate feature this week. These technological leaps won’t just affect the materials students learn, however. As I explain in my piece, they stand to reshape the processes of teaching itself. Will Oremus But while much of the technology is new, the concepts underlying these changes aren’t nearly as novel as you might think. “This whole ‘learn at your own pace’ idea has been the goal of education technology since the 1920s,” notes Audrey Watters, an education…


Link to Full Article: Inventors Have Tried to Reinvent the Textbook for Nearly a Century. They’ve Mostly Failed.