Summary Blog–History of Distance Learning

In “The ultimate History of Distance Learning,” Tom Clark details the evolution of online learning through many of the rudimentary stages. With the advent of the Boston Gazette seeking short-hand students in 1728 to the birth of GoToMeeting access for every student in a higher institution of learning, his work shows a very detailed undertaking.

All these developments are, according to Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, and Curtis W. Johnson (2011), “disruptive innovations” that have and will continue to revolutionize education, the way teachers instruct, and the way students learn. Just like Tom Clark, the authors of Disrupting Class followed the progress of technology in and out of the education arena in order to determine the impact of technology on student achievement.

What has been dubbed “student-centric” education is focused on online learning that will allow educators to tailor technology-centered instruction to each student. School districts are trying everything financially possible to close the gap in student achievement across schools and are spending millions of dollars in technology programs with the hope that gaps will close and raise student success where all other efforts seem to have failed.

Another author who chronicles the progress and process of technology adoption and usage is Everett M. Rodgers in Diffusion of Innovations (2003). He discusses the elements of diffusion and traces the innovation-development process through generation of innovations.

I have been reading a lot about different perspectives of the stages, progress, and evolution of the different facets of technology and the inroad and impact of these revolutions into education. I have been blessed to be at the forefront of technology adoption before or as it makes its way into the larger population.

I might not have been born during the early part of the technology adoption of previous centuries, but since the 1980’s and 1990’s, I have remained conversant with technology upheavals (or disruptions) as they upset, upstage, and revolutionize learning. I have tried to be one of its champions. All those years of being on the sidelines as a helper of those who are challenged have spurred me finally to pursue a career in the front and center of technolog.


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