Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Browse by Decade



Amazon Fun

« Mono-Scoot (1965) | Main | Streamlined Cars of the Future »

Movies Will Replace Textbooks (1922)

The 2006 book Future Hype: The Myths of Technology Change by Bob Seidensticker is a fascinating read. From page 103:

Schools have had a longstanding immunity against the introduction of new technologies. In 1922 Thomas Edison predicted that movies would replace textbooks. In 1945 one forecaster imagined radios as common as blackboards in classrooms. In the 1960s, B.F. Skinner predicted that teaching machines and programmed instruction would double the amount of information students could learn in a given time. Filmstrips and other audiovisual aids were fads thirty years ago, and the television, now seen as a supplier of brain candy, once had a sterling reputation as an education machine.

See also:
Thinks We'll Do Our Reading On Screen (1923)
Movies to be Produced in Every Home (1925)


PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (34)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (10)

We are hurtling towards the future; no one can deny that. But while consumers are already there, big companies are stuck in the past. If you've ever watched a video on YouTube, you should know that Viacom could identify you through this data. This order opens the door for corporations to use our private records at their will and without our consent. Tell Google to defy the court ruling and to refuse to hand over our records to Viacom. Sign this petition:" REL="nofollow">

July 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHilary

This post makes me think about all the hype about computers in the classroom. "You HAVE TO have your school wired for internet, or the kids will fall behind!" Considering how American schools ARE doing, perhaps computers are the last thing they should worry about buying.

July 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWill Doohan

Of course you do! Because there were no educated people before computers and multimedia.

July 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFredProgGH

Most of what I remember from American history classes is what I learned from my teacher's showing of movies. Mostly John Ford and Henry Fonda flicks. I loved that class!

Drums Along the Mohawk, Young Mr. Lincoln, How the West was Won, The Grapes of Wrath, Mr. Roberts... Ah, good times, good times.

July 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBonnach

We've been experiencing the kind of transition and I must say that there's nothing wrong with it. I believe that movies and other visual media are better than textbooks. My prime reason is that the former are more attractive than the latter. In that way, students will be getting a lot of infos they need.

July 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCzar

Come to think of it, some folks faked their way through literature classes using movies-of-the-books and Cliff's Notes. But I think the whole traditional notion of one technology "replacing" another is flawed. We just get distracted...

July 9, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermin0taur


Our teacher once told us that tale about VHS tapes. He said in the 70s/80s people once believed that these tapes would replace exercise books of the students, as they now could do their homework on video.

And then he went on an told us that in about 3 years every student will only bring his laptop to school anymore. That was 2001.

July 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterYetused

As Will Doohan says above, this all looks eerily familiar. People should understand that education is not robotic knowledge transfer. It is at its core a human interaction -- a transferring of values, social behaviors and ideas from one generation to the next.

If you guys haven't read this, check it out:
The Computer Delusion

July 10, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDamian

nice movies

February 11, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterfree movies

This is one case where technology may finally be catching up with prediction. The rise of online universities and laptops in the classroom means that students can finally do away with bulky books. I recently heard about one school that, instead of requiring students to buy books, required them to buy an iPad instead! Not everything lends itself to video presentation (especially when that video presentation is done badly), but textbooks can easily be replaced with PDFs at the very least -- convenient, searchable, economical and environmentally sound...

I remember filmstrips -- in school, I was the AV geek who always wanted to run the projector.

January 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>