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Teachers Shock Students in 1938

Teacher shocks student
Teacher shocks student (1938)

I found this picture at the Library of Congress. It is entitled: “Teachers shock students at George Washington University, Washington, D.C., Aug. 2”. The photograph reminded me that the use of technology in education sometimes gets really weird. The so called shocking machine, invented by Dr. Willard Hayes Yeager, Head of the department, was intended to take the “ahs” “ers” and “ums” out of the diction of public speaking students. Yeager is shown putting on the shocker to Jane Hampton, 17. When the student made a mistake the professor at the other end of the room notified her by a gentle electric shock. Maybe this took out some “ums”, but it put in some other “ahs” for sure. Will people look back in 70 years from now and wonder, what we were doing when introducing new technology in education? They probably will.

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i.

iPad – a new school slate?

Was the old writing slate an inspiration for Apple’s iPad?

People were speculating about something called the iSlate long before the product’s presentation in January 2010. From the very beginning I had the strong impression, that the iPad could be far more than another gadget for geeks, but THE next learning device for all students from primary level to university. What worked in schools 100 years ago should work tomorrow as schools didn’t change a lot since then.

Nostalgic Apple-fans can already order the nice wood case from versaudio for about $80. Maybe that is why the iPad will gain new markets especially in the area of lifelong learning. A journalist put it like that: “Here are some reasons why I will buy an iPad for my Grandma (and not for myself)”.

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