In considering the historical foundations of instructional technology, it is difficult truthfully to select only two points of history that were particularly interesting.
Another topic that I was particularly interested in was relationship of radical behaviorism to educational technology. My undergraduate degree is in behavioral studies and anthropology, and I’ve long had an interest in how environment, socio-cultural status, and economics interact with mankind. Radical behaviorism greatly impacts educational technology due to the application of its primary technique known as operant conditioning in teaching and learning problems (Molenda, 2008). In response to analyzing the problems of group-based traditional instruction, B.F. Skinner created a teaching machine, which is a mechanical device for applying operant conditioning to academic instruction (Molenda, 2008). Creation of the teaching machine led to the creation of audio-visual coordinators and the view of instructional strategies as a technology of teaching, which eventually led to a change in the name of the field to educational technology. The reorientation of the field was a major paradigm shift that led to the frameworks of digital formats and online distance education (Molenda, 2008).
Molenda, M. (2008). Historical Foundations in Spector, J. M., Merrill, M. D., Van Merrienboer, J. & Driscoll, M. P. (Eds.). Handbook of research on educational communications and technology (3rd ed.) (5-18). New York, NY: Taylor and Francis.