1650 – HORN-BOOK Wooden paddles with printed lessons were popular through the colonial era.
1850 – FERULE A pointer and a corporal punishment device – all in one convenient instrument
1870 – THE MAGIC LANTERN The predecessor to the slide machine, the magic lantern projected images printed on glass plates.
1890 – SCHOOL SLATE Widely used throughout the 19 th century
1890 - CHALKBOARD Perhaps the most durable instrument of American education, it would remain a standard tool from the era of the one-room schoolhouse to the computer age.
1900 - PENCIL In the late 19 th century, mass- produced paper and pencils became more readily available, gradually replacing the school slate.
1905 - STEREOSCOPE At the turn of the century, the Keystone View Company began to market stereoscopes – three-dimensional viewing devices popular in home parlors – to schools, with educational sets containing hundreds of images.
1925 – FILMSTRIP PROJECTOR The cousin to the motion- picture projector: Thomas Edison predicted that, with the advent of projected images, “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.”
1925 - RADIO New York City’s Board of Education was the first to pipe lessons to schools through a radio station. Over the next two decades, “schools of the air” would broadcast programs to millions of American students.
1930 – OVERHEAD PROJECTOR Widely used by the U.S. military to train forces in WWII, the overhead projector eventually spread to schools.
1940 - MIMEOGRAPH Surviving the Xerox age, the mimeograph produced copies through a hand- crank mechanism.
1950 – LANGUAGE-LAB HEADSET Inspired by theories that students learned languages best through drills and repetition, schools began to install cubicle farms with headsets and audio tapes.
1957 – READING ACCELERATOR With an adjustable metal bar that helped the reader march down a page, the device was meant to improve reading efficiency.
1957 – SKINNER TEACHING MACHINE The behavioral scientist B.F. Skinner developed a series of devices that allowed a student to proceed at his or her own pace through a regimented program of instruction.
1958 – EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION By the early 1960s, there were more than 50 channels that included educational programming on the air across the country.
1960 – LIQUID PAPER A secretary made the white liquid in her kitchen and sold her company to Gillette for nearly $50 million.
1965 – FILMSTRIP VIEWER All the benefits of a filmstrip projector, personalized.
1972 – THE HAND-HELD CALCULATOR Though studies showed that calculators improved students’ attitude toward math, teachers were slow to adopt them for fear that they would undermine the learning of basic skills.
1972 - SCANTRON The Scantron Corporation eliminated the hassle of grading multiple-choice exams. The machines were free to use, but the company made money by charging for proprietary grading forms.
1980 – PLATO COMPUTER Public schools in the United States averaged one computer for every 92 students in 1984; in 2008 there was one computer for every 4 students.
1985 – CD-ROM DRIVE A single CD-ROM disc could store an entire encyclopedia, plus video and audio.
1985 – HAND-HELD GRAPHING CALCULATOR Cartesian equations made easy!
1999 – INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARD The traditional whiteboard was reinvented using a touch- detecting white screen, a projector, and a computer.
2005 - ICLICKER It allows teachers to poll or quiz students and receive results in real time.
2006 – XO LAPTOP The device’s creators seek to supply “one laptop per child” and sell it in developing countries for less than $200 each.
2010 - IPAD The school slate reimagined. Is it the end of the textbook?