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The Father of Distance Learning

  • Douglas ArchibaldEmail author
  • Sean Worsley
Column: History Corner
  • 19 Downloads

When a person thinks about distance learning, what do they tend to imagine? They probably think of students using computers to browse through learning modules and communicate with teachers and peers online. One might imagine second language learners being tutored by a native speaking instructor through video chat. They may even think of a rural high schooler filling out his online AP Calculus homework offered by a high school 100 miles away. It is nothing short of remarkable to witness classes like these where teachers and learners are interacting worlds away. When a person thinks of the technology that made this possible, it is hard not to imagine lightning-fast Internet connections and laptops. But distance learning has its origins in a much simpler and humbler technology: mail.

Most history articles or essays that discuss distance learning will mention mail, but often immediately dive into how radio, television, and computers have revolutionized the format (Phipps and Merisotis 1999...

Notes

References

  1. Baker, A. (1919). The life of sir Isaac Pitman (inventor of phonography). New York: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, LTD. Retrieved from https://openlibrary.org/books/OL7146616M/The_life_of_Sir_Isaac_Pitman_(inventor_of_phonography). Accessed 30 Sept 2018.
  2. CincyHistoryLuvr. (2013). The Benn Pitman house [blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.diggingcincinnati.com/2013/01/the-benn-pitman-house.html. Accessed 3 Oct 2018.
  3. Lotha, G. (1998). Sir Isaac Pitman. In Encyclopaedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isaac-Pitman. Accessed 3 Oct 2018.
  4. Phipps, R., & Merisotis, J. (1999). What's the difference? A review of contemporary research on the effectiveness of distance learning in higher education. Institute for Higher Education Policy. Retrieved from http://www.ihep.org/research/publications/whats-difference-review-contemporary-research-effectiveness-distance-learning. Accessed 29 Sept 2018.
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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications & Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brigham Young UniversityProvoUSA

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