Historical overview of learning and technology
Steps in human development: learning and technology
The major stages in human development are referred to as paradigmatic shifts: major changes in
society, learning, technology and knowledge.
Four major paradigmatic shifts/ socio-technological shifts:
1) Speech (40,000BC)
-the communal history of knowledge, beliefs, culture and skills could be passed from one
generation to the next
-enabled ‘oral histories’ to be pass from one person to another/generation to generation
-important tool for sharing, archiving and transmitting information and knowledge
2) Writing (10,000BC)
-numeracy and literacy developed as result of the surplus of food and goods (from trade)
-storage and trade of goods required a form of recording- writing solved that need
-enabled knowledge to be communicated/ archived—historically
Formalized learning focused on skills of writing, reading and counting. Formal education was
based on exclusivity. Only people from privileged backgrounds were allowed to learn the skills.
3) Printing (1600A.D)
-inventor Johannes Gutenberg in 1439
-enabled books such as bibles to be printed in large numbers for less cost than
handwritten which were only available to the Church and elite
-motivated people to learn to read/ seek formal education
4) Internet (2000A.D)
-the invention of computer networks in late 1960s and Computer-mediated
communication in the early 1970s initiated a shift in how we understand our most basic
concepts of education, community and society
-satellite technology 1957
-Internet—World Wide Web (1990)
World Wide Web was designed to meet the demand for information sharing among scientist
working in different universities and institutes around the world.
-Arpanet invented 1969
-email over packet switched networked 1971
-computer conferencing/forums were invented 1972 -public internet launched 1989
-world wide web invented in 1990 and released to public 1993
Earliest precursors is Hypertext:
-American inventors :Ted Nelson and Douglas Engelbart.
-Nelson coined the words Hypertext and Hypermedia in 1965
-a computer system that enabled writing and reading that was nonsequential and presented the
potential for cross-referencing and annotating.
-Engelbart developed a system called oNLine System (NLS) 1968
-marked later as Augment- providing tools to support collaborative knowledge work
- enabled idea structuring/ idea sharing
Computer conferencing was invented to support group communications and decision making,
and the first system EMISARI was developed by Murray Turoff in 1971.