evolution of student devices

From Typewriters to Tablets: The Evolution of Student Devices in Education

The previous several hundred years have seen remarkable growth in the sophistication of educational technologies. While we have made great strides in improving how past generations have utilized educational resources, there is much more to learn.

The thrill of going back to class in September for a new term or semester still lingers for most students. Eventually, as the leaves start to change, it will be a hassle for the millions of school-aged children across North America to get up and take the bus. However, for many of them, it is still a unique experience.

Typically students who need someone to write my paper for me enlist professional paper writers from online essay writing services to complete their holiday assignments get up, eat a quick breakfast, and then cram their lunch, studying supplies, a binder, a laptop, AirPods, and a phone into their bags. While this seems normal today, it is a far cry from previous decades and centuries.

The traditional notion of buying school supplies for the coming year has evolved dramatically in the last several decades. Ads for the upcoming school year no longer showcase happy youngsters with patterned notebooks and squeaky sneakers. Instead, they show pictures of kids with the latest and most advanced smartphones and tablets.

This timeline details the historical development of educational technology. It also details when and why specific tools were initially developed.

The Typewriter – 1860s

The first typewriters appeared in the 1860s, and after being streamlined for classroom use, they quickly became the standard. Some models even helped students learn to type on the QWERTY keyboards that are still used today, and students could utilize them for both short and long-written projects. Typewriter proficiency was also viewed as something that could help educators.

Due to their convenience and ease of use, computers and word processors have replaced typewriters in today’s classrooms. Students worldwide use computers for learning and research. They also use them to find resources such as pro writers after reading through essay writing service reviews.

The Television – 1920s

Although the first televisions appeared in the 1920s, they were not widely employed in schools until much later. When they were present in schools, they were used to broadcast short films or programs that complemented the curriculum. Due to their versatility in playing back everything from VHS tapes to the latest digital media, they are still regarded as essential in today’s classrooms.

The Whiteboard – 1960s

The first whiteboard appeared in the 1960s. Whiteboards have replaced chalkboards because they improved upon their predecessors by providing a cleaner writing surface, longer-lasting writing implements (markers), and reduced cleanup time. Magnets and different colored markers are only two of the many unique and exciting features of modern whiteboards, which are still commonly used today, even in miniature forms.

The Electronic Book – 1971

In 1971, the first electronic books were released. They served the objective of making enormous volumes of text digitally accessible, even if they weren’t used in the manner we think of them now until the introduction of the tablet and eReaders.

Students in today’s classrooms can still benefit greatly from eBooks. They not only allow them to read literature without having to buy individual novels that would take up more space and money but also allow them to use digital highlighting tools, etc., to understand the subject better.

The Email – 1971

The first-ever email was sent in 1971. Emails have made it possible for educators, parents, and students to stay in touch. Many learners as early as the elementary level already have access to school email accounts and utilize them to submit, discuss, and receive assignments.

The Projector – 1980s

In the early 1980s, people started using overhead projectors for the first time. Teachers could now project information from a computer or other source onto a wall or whiteboard. Some classrooms today still utilize this type of projector (or even more sophisticated models), while others employ screen projection instead.

The benefit of the early projector was that the instructor or student could annotate the projected content, for example, to demonstrate the steps involved in solving a math problem.

The Laptop – 1981

In 1981, the first-ever laptop computer was created. Only after several decades did laptops become commonplace in schools. They made it possible for pupils to do assignments like typing papers and using online resources under the supervision of an educator. Some students were also allowed to take notes on their laptops, which helped them remain attentive and engaged.

The days of classroom laptops being the norm are long gone, as many students now bring their own gadgets to class. Today, most teachers also use laptops in their classes.

The Smartboard – 1991

The first smartboard appeared on the market in 1991. Smartboards are an excellent medium for integrating computer and display technology with whiteboard technology. Smartboards have made it possible to combine digital files with the capacity to write on, highlight, and otherwise edit them for the benefit of the entire classroom.

They’ve simply digitized the whiteboard’s traditional analog functions. Smartboards have been and will continue to advance in favor of the ever-evolving education sector.

Google’s Search Engine – 1996

In 1996, Google’s founders came up with the idea of a search engine. Many students who rely on paper writing services experts to complete their academic research paper and other assignments have benefited from using this type of search engine since its inception. It has given them access to scholarly articles and other publications that supplement what they may find in a library.

Google’s search engine (Chrome) has also been integrated into a wide variety of Google apps designed to enhance learning. Almost every modern classroom relies heavily on Google and Google products, and these resources constantly evolve to meet the demands of today’s students.

The Smartphone – 2007

Smartphones and tablets came into their own between 2007 and 2010. iPads have revolutionized the classroom environment and brought learning to new heights.


The trajectory from typewriters to cutting-edge tablets in the realm of education underscores the transformative role technology plays in shaping teaching and learning experiences. Each innovation, be it the whiteboard, laptop, or smartphone, has revolutionized the way we perceive and interact with knowledge, fostering a more dynamic, engaging, and accessible education system. As we look ahead, it is clear that technology’s impact on education will continue to expand, promising exciting new possibilities for future generations of learners.

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