Think how students learn in the classroom today, using smartboards where videos and various science and math oriented animations help them to grasp complicated information and relationships. Seems so futuristic compared to how classroom information was explained 20 years ago. We all learn so much from the blizzard of videos available through our smartboards, cell phones, computers and tablets—think YouTube and the many other sources of cyber videos out there.
In 1910-1912, Edison was expanding his motion pictures industry and making great overtures about how movies would be making great inroads in the classrooms of tomorrow…even trying to get some local schools to work with him. Thomas Edison envisioned an end to textbooks, in favor of movies that explained not only educational subjects but showed how commonplace items were made from raw resources. Today, you can watch on various cable channels how things are made and brought to our tables…..something very few teachers and students grasp even today, seemingly removed from how our whole economy works.
While Edison seems to have been right on the mark about the power of visual learning in the classroom, his ideas created quite a storm from educationalists of the day. His boat rocking was not so well received. He was way ahead of his time, with an interview that appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in late 1912, entitled “Going to School at the ‘Movies’.