While World War II greatly impacted our country's educational systems and beliefs, the growing ubiquity of audio-visual media in the post-war years — and the call from many quarters for increased educational broadcasting — made an interesting ripple in the pages of Teachers College Record
Whether this ripple was the result of TCR
's third editor, Max Brunstetter
(himself an expert in audio-visual education), larger societal forces or both
, discussions of educational technology in the journal (then just as now) reflected the simultaneous feelings of optimism, fear, resistance and possibility that accompany most change initiatives.
For example, Stanley (1946)
reported that when one educator learned of the Surplus War Property Board's ability to equip every school in the nation with a radio set, he immediately yelled out, “Heaven forbid!” Still, others like Klock (1954)
and Macandrew (1946)
recognized in new communication media important opportunities to deliver educational content in engaging and contemporary ways.
Ultimately, though, educational radio and television programming found itself at cross-purposes with more commercial endeavors, and many education-based initiatives failed to take off or simply petered out over time. MacAndrew (1946), for instance, pointed out that nearly 80 percent of the non-commerical, educational radio stations once in operation simply disappeared from the air as commercial radio grew in popularity — and, despite the FCC's 1952 allocation of 242 television channels for the exclusive use of educational agencies (nearly 12 percent of the nation's available airways!), less than half of those channels had been applied for 18 months later, and only three were in active operation (Klock, 1954; Wigren, 1952
Still, as we push forward with our own educational technology efforts, it is important consider what lessons, if any, we might learn from these earlier innovations — and to remember, also, that not too long ago, a group of dedicated and passionate educators were hard at work building the in- and out-of-school broadcasting stations that were to be the future of teaching and learning.
From Klock's 1948 NASSP Bulletin