An Analysis of Three Decades for Toffler’s Three Wave Theory Including the Projected Fourth Wave email@example.comStudent # A00310854Christina.firstname.lastname@example.orgNovember 20, 2011Eds in Education Specialization: Educational Technology Submitted to: Dr. Abbie Brown Educ 7100 Evolution of Education Technology
Introduction • Decades to be analyzed: 1970’s – 1990’s • I chose the decades because I was born in the late 1970’s. The decades will cover the first twenty two years of my life. I enjoy reflecting on the technology improvements and economic ups and downs of these decades. • Technological Advances: Optical Fiber (1970), Barcode (1974), Microsoft(1975), Super Computer (1976), Apple II (1977), Space Shuttle (1981), Artificial Heart (1982), Personal Computer (1983), Apple launch the MAC (1984), IBM released PC Jr (1984) Genetic Engineering (1985), Graphic User Interface (1988), World Wide Web, HTTP, and HTML (1990), Digital Answering Machine (1991), Pentium Processor (1993), Java computer language (1995), DVD (1995), Web TV (1996), gas powered fuel cell (1997).
1970 - 1979 • Toffler’s first two waves were complete. We were in the Information Age during this time. • The technology advances consisted of the Optical Fiber (1970), Barcode (1974), Microsoft(1975), Super Computer (1976), and Apple II (1977). These advances changed the way people communicated and performed business operations. The technology also influenced our educational systems. Many tasks could be completed faster using technology. Differentiated instruction could take place using computers. • The nature of work: Collaborative teamwork, flexible work hours and locations. More people working from home. “It comes as no surprise that one of the fastest-spreading innovations in industry during the 1970’s was “flextime” (Toffler, 1980, pg 246). Also part-time work became popular during this time. • Educational Theories: Instructional Design was popular at the time. Individually Prescribed Instruction (IPI), Programs for Learning in Accordance with Needs (PLAN), and Individually Guided Education (IGE) are systems that began strong then faded. Technology allowed students to have computer assisted instruction. The University of Illinois PLATO system was an influential source of CAI (Reiser, 1987, U.S. Department of Education, 2001). • Nature of Society and culture: The U.S. experienced some major changes during this decade. People were divided by the Vietnam War. The Paris Peace Accords ended the U.S. participation in the war in January 1973. Roe V. Wade legalized abortion. There was an increase in crime. Immigration increased after the Immigration Act of 1965 was passed. There were other movements involving farmers, women in politics, and equal rights for minorities. • Economics – The U.S. dealt inflation, recession, and high unemployment. There were many highly publicized labor disputes.
1980 - 1989 • Toffler’s first two waves were complete and the Information Age continued during this time. • The technology advances consisted of Space Shuttle (1981), Artificial Heart (1982), Personal Computer (1983), Apple launch the MAC (1984), IBM released PC Jr (1984) Genetic Engineering (1985), Graphic User Interface (1988), These advances changed the way people begin to think and live. Being able to explore Space was a big technology accomplishment. Having the ability to save a life using technology was a milestone for health care. Also, the PC enabled people to make work, school, and home activities mobile. Technology software became more user friendly with the invention of GUI. • The nature of work: Collaborative teamwork, flexible work hours and locations. More people working from home. The service industry began to increase. Technology allowed some labor intense jobs to be converted to automatic procedures. There was a decline in the use of labor unions. • Educational Theories: Computers were more accessible in schools. There was interest in the application of cognitive psychology principles during the instructional design process. The advancement of technology called for new models of ID. Computers began to be used “as tools to automate some instructional design tasks” (Merrill & Li, 1989). Reiser (1987) reported that “Due to its interactive capabilities, the computer can be programmed to adapt instruction to the needs of the individual learners” (Ying Wang, Chadha, and Dixon, 2006).
1980 – 1989 cont. • Nature of Society and culture: Families changes continued from the 60’s and 70’s more divorces, more single parents, and more unmarried people living together. Two income families were more common. More women earned college and advance degrees. These women had fewer children. Medicare was created with the help of the late Senator Ted Kennedy. (Whitley, P. 2008). • Economics – The U.S. experienced a deep recession throughout 1982. Farmers were affected, as agricultural exports declined, crop prices fell, and interest rates rose. By 1983, inflation had eased, the economy had rebounded, and the U. S. began a sustained period of economic growth (U.S. Department of State, 2011 About.com)
1990 - 1999 • Toffler’s first two waves are complete we were in the Information Age heading into the fourth projected wave the Communication Age. • The technology advances: World Wide Web, HTTP, and HTML (1990), Digital Answering Machine (1991), Pentium Processor (1993), Java computer language (1995), DVD (1995), Web TV (1996), gas powered fuel cell (1997). The advancements in technology made the 90’s the digital or electronic age. The internet enhance the way we communicated. Cell phones gave us greater accessibility to our family, friends, and co-workers. Information became easier to access also using the internet. Computers became even smaller making them even easier to transport. Online education became more popular during this time also. • The nature of work: Collaborative teamwork, flexible work hours and locations. More people working from home. Internet businesses were created. Global collaboration using technology. • Educational Theories: Enrollment in distance learning facilities for higher education increased. Educational technology became one of the six top issues in schools (Roberts, 1996), the National Educational Association emphasized the importance of preparing new teachers to use technology, and the Office of Educational Research and Improvement awarded five grants for Regional Technology Centers to provide technical assistance to schools (Ying Wang, Chadha, and Dixon, 2006). The ERIC went online during this time.
1990 – 1999 cont. • Nature of Society and culture: Society as a whole was more diversified. The increased diversity will continue into the next decade. The U.S. begin to police or protect other countries. Sometimes the U. S. would act alone or with our alliances. The Gulf War began during this time and some people were for the wars while others were against them. Our troops became involved in many situations involving other countries. The U.S. attempted to play peace keeper, enforcer, and arbitrator throughout the world (Whitley, P., Bradley, B., Sutton, B., and Goodwin, S. 2011). • Economics –Unemployment was low because of the booming economy. Minimum wage was increased to $5.15 The stock market was high and individuals learned how to use the internet to buy and trade stock.
Conclusion • During these three decades the technological advances influenced or society in many ways. The work environment was changed through increased productivity, flexibility, and collaboration. The health and science field were changed because some of the inventions made healthcare easier to manage. Education changed drastically because the technology supported different types of teaching strategies. Communication evolved into email, text, instant messaging, cell phones, and internet chats, etc. Information went for being something we had to seek to find to something that is right at our fingertips. As we continue to move into the Communication Age I hope we don’t lose sight of the foundation of face-to-face communication. I think there is still a need for this no matter how tech savvy we get. IPhones have a “face time” features which is proof that some people would like to see who they are talking to sometimes.
References • Saettler, P. (2004). The evolution of american educational technology. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing • Gillis, C. "1970-1979." (2010) American Cultural History. Lone Star College-Kingwood Library, Kingwood, TX. Retrieved from http://wwwappskc.lonestar.edu/popculture/decade70.html • Whitley, P. (2008). 1980-1989. American Cultural History. Lone Star College- Kingwood Library, Kingwood, TX. Retrieved from http://wwwappskc.lonestar.edu/popculture/decade80.html • Whitley, P., Bradley, B., Sutton, B., and Goodwin, S. (2011). 1990-1999. American Cultural History. Lone Star College-Kingwood Library, Kingwood, TX. Retrieved from http://wwwappskc.lonestar.edu/popculture/decade90.html • Ying Wang, Chadha, and Dixon, (2006). Major Developments in Instructional Technology: During the 20th Century. Retrieved from http://www.indiana.edu/~idt/shortpapers/documents/ITduring20.html • Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2008). Evolution of educational technology in society, education, and the workplace. Baltimore: Author.Toffler, A. (1980). The third wave. New York: Bantam.