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A short history offline (Richard Millwood) (September 2010)


Richard Millwood has produced a thorough history of the developments of hardware from the teletype to the smartphone and of software from punched card input to LOGO to cloud computing. Graphic displays, office productivity tools, interactive multimedia and social networking are considered in the context of the educational imperatives of the time and the development of communication and creativity among learners in each decade since the 1970s. The article looks at the implications of the way that technologies and pedagogies have interacted in the past to focus ideas for the educational technology of the future.


Richard Millwood BSc FRSA FBCS CITP

Richard is a founder and director of Core Education UK, a not-for-profit team devoted to innovation in learning and technology, across all phases and sectors in education. He combines this with a post as Reader in Distributed Learning in the Insitute for Educational Cybernetics, University of Bolton where he is engaged in developing new frameworks for work-focussed, action-inquiry learning at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Recent research, consultancy and development contracts are with the UK Improvement & Development Agency, UNESCO, the UK Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, Becta and Apple. Richard is also working to establish the National Archive of Educational Computing.

Richard co-developed the structure and ethos of Ultralab - one of the most successful innovation centres in learning and technology throughout the world, managing the research and development of Ultralab to build successful large-scale action research projects in education. He supported the creative, ethical and conceptual thinking at Ultralab and supervised PhD students in the field of educational computing. For ten years before joining Ultralab in 1990, Richard led software development in the Computers in the Curriculum Project after beginning his career as a school teacher in the late seventies.




This report is available to download in PDF (220KB), Word (786KB) or ODT (679KB).

Published: 23 September 2009

Comments [3]

Note: All comments will be reviewed by Becta before being published.

Posted by Rob Leach 29 October, 2009

Richard Sandford's article whih is now up offers some useful thoughts on symbiosis. Apart from these, maybe "6.2.12"- it is certainly true that this continues to wreak havoc, as with the current National Diploma difficulties, but the general anti-education bias is much lower - 40% of kids go to uni. Learning communities are doing better too, though again see RS re the challenges 20 years ahead. Ultralab has led to some major advances that will not go away.

Posted by Richard Millwood 24 October, 2009

Thanks Rob - kind words and hepful criticism, which in turn make me think! But do please clarify your comments - I'd be interested in which of the 'Failures' you feel do not ring true and why? I'd be particularly interested in other learner-centred analyses - can you reference? Finally you are right that my analysis foregrounds knowledge - gives me a strong impetus to transform the diagram.

Posted by Rob Leach 21 October, 2009

Great history of educational cmputing, very thought provoking, but the final list of enduring failures does not ring true: society and technology interpenetrate, as Richard Sandford will show in next month's article, and learning communities are everywhere along with the dominance of technology/industry in nearly all lives. Also the 'Learner at Centre' wheel is unimpressive, similar to many others (and foregrounding knowledge not skills or affective domain). But still, a brilliant history.

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