Monday, August 23, 2010

Top 10 Technology Advances of All Time

Kate, over at f(t) inspired (pun intended) me to write a little about technology after reviewing a TI seminar she attended.

So without further ado...
The 10 Most Important Technological Advances in Math Education (chronologically):
1.     Writing utensil (to write on cave walls)
2.     Paper (because cave walls are hard to take with you)
3.     Ruler (and, in general, the concept of measuring devices)
4.     Abacus (yeah for being able to do large arithmetic problems quickly)
5.     Printing press (makin’ a copy)
6.     Slide Rule (yeah for being able to do large arithmetic problems quicklier)
7.     The industrial revolution (education for the masses…errr…where we learn to sit still and follow directions)
8.     Sputnik (not directly used in math ed, but this played a huge role in shaping our current curriculum)
9.     Computers (beginning with its mad arithmetic skills, case checking skills and evolving into its use for modeling)
10. The internet (for resources, networking, social media learning, etc)
And as a bonus…
11. The TI n’spire

Initially, I put #11 on here in jest but I’m beginning to consider the actual importance of this technology (and not in a good way).  Specifically, I believe that the n’spire and it’s predecessors have played a significant role in shaping standardized testing and that this standardized testing has shaped recent curriculum as much, if not more, than sputnik or the industrial revolution.

Without much thinking, my first criticism of this list is that it is pretty 20th century-centric.  Anyway, something to ponder.  Anything you would add? 

1 comment:

  1. O via Buzz: 20th century centric... but you have to imagine the sheer volume of technology invented in the 20th century is greater than all other period combined. Then again, is something of more value because it precedes other things. For example, is an abacus of more value because without it it there would likely be no computers? Your list seem to suggest as much.