From chalkboards to lectures on YouTube, the way we learn has changed in many ways over the past century. Here’s a look at some of the progress that’s been made and how technology is helping to educate more people.

Classrooms are where teaching and learning takes place. They can be found in schools, religious institutions, corporations or even outdoors. Classrooms need not consist of much, but are usually equipped with a board the instructor can write on and chairs and tables where the students can sit and take notes. Some of the more remarkable inventions that enabled more focused learning include:

The slide projector:

A slide projector is an opto-mechanical device to view photographic slides. They were very common from the 1950s to the 1970s and used as a form of entertainment as well as an educational tool. Art history teachers for instance could collect slides of paintings or sculptures and then plan their lecture around the order of their slides.

The computer:

The first electronic computers were developed around 1940-45. Originally they were the size of a room and consumed as much power as several hundred personal computers. Computers made it possible for people write long documents, save them and edit them at a later date.

The internet:

The internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite to serve billions of users worldwide. The internet in many ways, has globalised the marketplace. People are able to do work and send it to each other all over the world. Email eliminated communication barriers a number of years ago. People were able to send each other messages inclusive of attached files instantly. Since then there have been a number of technological developments that have led to greater real-time communication. MSN was a Microsoft creation that allowed users to converse in real time through short messages. Facebook was one of the first large social platforms that allowed users to write to each other, post pictures, links and other content they wanted to share with friends in a public or private way. Facebook set the precendent for the social media boom we are currently living in. Today there is a huge variety of platforms in which individuals can communicate with one another as well as brands with their consumers.


Of these social sharing sites, YouTube has made the biggest difference to the education world. Through video students around the world can listen to and watch lectures on any number of subjects. One of the most popular online teachers is Sal Khan, a Harvard graduate who lectures on a variety of subjects from his house. He is admired by many high profile people including Bill Gates. TedTalks are another example of education being transmitted via online video.

These technological advances have not only given more meaning to what students are learning, but they’ve contributed towards a positive globalised world. They’ve removed the need for the traditional four walls of a classroom and made education accessible to all.