The Long and Surprising History of ‘Teaching Machines’

People don’t talk much today about early teaching machines, some of which were made out of wood and brass. And that’s no accident, according to Audrey Watters, a longtime critical observer of edtech who is out with a new book called Teaching Machines: The History of Personalized Learning. On this episode, we’re dusting off these old teaching machines from all the way back to the 1920s, to see what these low-tech devices can teach us about education today.

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