Educational technology is commonly associated with computing. In fact, there are many other educational technologies that play an important role in education—some dating as far back as antiquity. This entry explores that history as the context for a larger discussion of the revolution in education created by the computer and the Internet.

Early Tools

The term tabula rasa, which is now used as a metaphor to describe the idea that humans are born with no built-in knowledge of the world, literally refers to the Latin term for a “scraped tablet.” Although the term is associated with the phrase “blank slate,” it actually refers to a smooth wax slate on which Roman schoolchildren inscribed their lessons. It was an educational technology.

Historically, the most important educational technology has been ...

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