Marketplace has a new podcast for kids, "Million Bazillion!" EPISODE OUT NOW
Learning Curve

1924: Teaching Machine.

Marketplace Contributor May 14, 2014

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?

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.