Sunday, January 3, 2010


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Many technological innovations of the 20th century have promised breakthroughs in the methods and effectiveness of teching. Some of the most promosing innovations included film strips and motion pictures, teaching machines (mechanical devices that present systematic instruction to students), and programmed instruction (instruction delivered in a graded sequence of steps, usually by means of a computer or other device). But the promise generated by much of this new technology proved illusory, and most changes in teaching methods became nothing more than short-live fads.

Two very different technologies, however, may have far greater effects on educational practise than their predecessors. The revolution in computer and communications technology holds out hope that all students will connect with more information and more people than ever before, and that learning might become more individualized. The other promising technological advance is in biochemistry and genetic engineering. Innovations in these fields suggests that certain barriers to learning, such as short attention spans or faulty memories, might one day be reduced by means other than the tradional reliance on sheer effort alone. For example, medical reseachers conduct studies on the brain and central nervous system in hopes of discovering ways to enhance memory and intelligence.

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