The last fifty years has seen technology evolve from film projectors to computers to hand-held devices and from 1968 until 2011 the UK government continuously funded a series of national organisations and programmes to help develop and implement educational technology.
Over this time there has significant interest and investment in educational technology across the world and the UK has been seen as a leading pioneer and its work has been of great interest to many other countries. This history offers a real opportunity to explore and analyse the different approaches taken over the years, whether successful and unsuccessful, and see what lessons can be learnt.
Educational Technology has a long history predating the advent of computers. The use of equipment including film projectors, epidiascopes and other audio-visual equipment was well embedded in many schools including primaries (London Illustrated News, 1967). More powerfully the concept that education needed to be managed in an organised and systematic way (Hubbard) was gaining ground and early attempts at programmed learning . However it was the advent of the earliest computers that accelerated interest and activity in this area.
London Illustrated News. (1967, 15th April). School wired for sound and vision.Cross, N., Design Participation, Academy Editions, pp. 38–40.