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Sidney Pressey made the first one in the 1920’s. It looked like a typewriter, with a window where a question appeared, and keys to choose the answer.
Teaching machines were meant to individualize learning, liberate teachers from the burdens of drilling and testing, and save students from one-size fits all education. (Not unlike the promise of computers in classrooms today).
Unfortunately for Pressey, the machine was not a commercial success – 250 machines were produced but only 160 were sold. Pressey’s machine did influence later advocates of machine learning, like B.F. Skinner. And maybe Steve Jobs?
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.