History of Instructional Media


The first school museum - St. Louis


Shortly after the school museum in St. Louis was opened, others were opened in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Cleveland, Ohio. These museums served as the central administrative units for visual instruction by their distribution of portable museum exhibits, stereo graphs (three-dimensional photographs), slides, films, study prints, charts, and other instructional materials.

Keystone View Co. published "Visual Education"


A teacher's guide to lantern slides and stereographs

First catalog of instruction films published


Led to Rochester, New York being the first public school system to adopt films for regular instructional use.

Thomas Edison proclaimed "Books will soon be obsolete..."


Department of Visual Instruction was created


Visualizing the Curricullum was published


Written by Charles F. Hoban, Sr., Charles F Hoban, Jr., and Stanley B. Zissman. In this book, the authors stated that the value of audiovisual material was a function of their degree of realism.

Division of Visual Aids for War Training Established


World War II - U.S. Army Air Force produced training films


During World War II, the United States Army Air Force produced more than 400 training films and 600 filmstrips. From mid 1943 to mid 1945, there were over four million showings of training films to U.S. military personnel. After the war ended, German Chief of General Staff said, "We had everything calculated perfectly except the speed with which America was able to train its people. Our major miscalculation was in understanding their quick and complete mastery of film education".

Post World War II audiovisual research programs

1945 - 1955

First concentrated effort to identify principles of learning that could be used in the design of audiovisual materials

Ford Foundation funds educational television

1950 - 1970

During the 1950s and 1960s the foundation spent more than $170 million on educational television.

Federal Communications Commission set aside 242 channels for education


Carnegie Commission on Educational Television


This commission concluded, The role played in formal education by instructional television has been on the whole a small one...nothing which approached the true potential of instructional television has been realized in practice...With minor exceptions, the total disappearance of instructional television would leave the educational system fundamentally unchanged.

DAI changed to AECT


The changes that occurred in terminology included educational technology and instructional technology replacing audiovisual instruction. The Department of Audiovisual Instruction changed to the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. The names of the two journals published by the AECT were also changed later in the decade. The Audiovisual Communication Review became the Educational Communications and Technology Journal. The Audiovisual Instruction became the Instructional Innovator.

Computers as Instructional Tools

1980 - Present

Although computers were first used in educational training at a much earlier date, widespread interest in using them as instructional tools did not occur until the 1980s. Advances in computer technology and software, particularly with regard to the increasing multimedia capabilities of this medium, continues to increase their use as an instructional tool to present day.