The First Catalog Of Instructional Films

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In 1910, the first catalog of instructional films was published in the United States (Reiser, 2001). Shown through magic lanterns (lantern slide projectors) and stereopticons (stereograph viewers) in the latter part of the 19th century, then through the motion picture projector, in 1913, Thomas Edison said, “Books will soon be obsolete in the schools…It is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture. Our school system will be completely changed in the next ten years” (Saettler, 1968). While public schools did not completely abandon their textbooks, instructional media did emerge as educational television in the 1950’s, the infancy stages of technology-based education in the 1970’s, and finally the emergence of the supercomputer and high-bandwidth communication networks in the 1980’s (Molnar, 1997). All of these have contributed to a major reconstruction era in education, where, perhaps, Edison’s optimistic prediction may finally come true. Learning, is in fact, changing, because students are, in fact, changing. Marc Prensky said in his 2001 journal article, Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants: “Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.” An immense “shift” has taken place in the needs of the young learners of the present, much more than in previous generations. This shift is so profound, that even in 2001, the average college graduate had spent more than

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