This Computerized Desk was supposed to make classrooms extinct… in 1960

Ok, it’s much bigger than a tablet, but pretty close to MOOC-thinking.

So, how can we define ‘closer than we think’?

Found this picture via the as always great Paleofuture with a link to an even earlier version from 1958.

This was the text supporting the image:

Classroom automation may foreshadow an end to schoolhouses. Lessons would be televised to students “going to school” at home, where their work would be done and transmitted to a control center for correction and grading.

Dr. Donald E. P. Smith of the University of Michigan believes teaching machines will appear in all classrooms before long. A typical one projects questions in one panel, then, after an answer is written in a second panel, the right solution appears in still a third. Such machines are now intended for classrooms, but application of similar principles to educational TV would make schoolhouses a thing of the past.

But than again, wasn’t it Skinner who invented the iPad.

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