February 3, 2011

Books obsolete?

"Books will soon be obsolete in the schools...Our school system will be completely changed in the next ten years"
 Thomas Edison, 1913, speaking about motion pictures.

I've loved this comment ever since I read it on a technology teachers discussion group back in 1995.  What do you think will become obsolete soon? Doesn't matter if you're wrong like Edison. (and I'm glad he was wrong!)

1 comment:

Enbrethiliel said...


This is interesting! For a second, I thought you were writing about eReaders! ;-)

This kind of reminds me of the two years I was a high school teacher. My students had grown so used to TV, movies and the Internet that it was a real struggle for them to rely primarily on print. So many teachers had to resort to video learning aids, and even in English class, we'd screen up to four movies a year! Which was the pragmatic strategy, but not necessarily the best one where literacy was concerned. =P

So I'd say that Edison was prophetic about "motion pictures" threatening books--but just not in the way he was thinking.