What Are the Best Books about the History of Education Technology?

As many of you know, I’m working on a book proposal for Teaching Machines, a project I’ve had on the back burner for far too long now that is finally starting to come to a boil.

What do you think are the best existing works of history of the field of education technology?

Here are some titles that quickly come to mind – because I can read their titles on my bookshelf. (It’s worth noting, I suppose, that these are mostly quite dated, and they’re all by men. And I am not endorsing these as “the best.”)

  • Larry Cuban, Teachers and Machines: The Classroom Use of Technology Since 1920 (1986)
  • Brian Dear, The Friendly Orange Glow: The Untold Story of the PLATO System and the Dawn of Cyberculture (2017)
  • Bill Ferster, Teaching Machines (2014)
  • Bob Johnstone, Never Mind the Laptops: Kids, Computers, and the Transformation of Learning (2003)
  • David Noble, Digital Diploma Mills (2001)
  • William Schramm, Bold Experiment: The Story of Educational Television in American Samoa (1981)
  • Paul Saettler, The Evolution of American Educational Technology (1990)
  • —, A History of Instructional Technology (1967)

I must be missing a ton here, so if you have suggestions (particularly books by authors of color or white women and particularly histories of ed-tech outside the US), I’d love to hear them. (And I will try to keep this article updated with new titles.)

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