Audrey Watters

education writer, recovering academic, serial dropout, ed-tech’s Cassandra, author of The Monsters of Education Technology. (And coming soon: Teaching Machines)


Buckminster Fuller and Education’s Automation


You can trace the history of ed-tech through many education philosophies and through many technologies. Too often we fail to trace that…


Data and Diplomas: On LinkedIn’s Acquisition of Lynda.com


I’m surprised to have seen so little thoughtful analysis of the LinkedIn acquisition of Lynda.com, particularly as Mindwires…


Lego Mindstorms: A History of Educational Robots


In the fall of 1984, Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen — then the CEO of Lego (and grandson of its founder) — happened to watch a television…


Buckminster Fuller and Education’s Automation


You can trace the history of ed-tech through many education philosophies and through many technologies. Too often we fail to trace that…


Gordon Pask’s Adaptive Teaching Machines


“Adaptive learning” might be one of the latest education technology buzzwords, one that’s often uttered alongside that other popular adjective…


SRA Cards: A History of Programmed Instruction and Personalization


I still shudder at the thought of having to choose a reading assignment from among the multicolored tabs in the big…


A Brief History of Calculators in the Classroom


Arguably one of the most controversial pieces of education technology to enter the classroom has been the calculator.

Certainly some classrooms long ago sanctioned the use of a different sort of calculating instrument, the slide rule. But the calculator seems to evoke all sorts of fears that students’ computational…


From Lunchboxes to Laptops: How Maine Went One-to-One


On March 2, 2000, Maine Governor Angus King unveiled a new program “From Lunchboxes to Laptops,” officially known as the Maine Learning Technology Initiative.

As the Bangor Daily News reported the following day,

Starting in 2002 and then every year into the indefinite future, the state…

How Steve Jobs Brought the Apple II to the Classroom


“Education is deep in Apple’s DNA,” the company’s senior vice president of marketing Phil Schiller said on stage at a press event in 2012 as Apple unveiled a number of new education-oriented features for the iPad. It was the first such event following the death of Steve Jobs, and the Walter Isaacson biography of Jobs had hinted that…


The History of the Future of Education


This talk was first was delivered at Ryerson University’s ChangSchoolTalks

It’s a refrain throughout my work: we are suffering from an amnesia of sorts, whereby we seem to have forgotten much of the history of technology. As such, we now tell these stories about the past, present, and future whereby all innovations emerge from…