This book examines the history of electronic media in education, from film through radio, television, and automated instruction, ending with a look at contemporary educational techlogy. It shows how every new educational medium is argued to be compatible with the popular theories of learning, pedagogy, and curriculum of its time, and is embraced by school reformers as a means toward achieving the changes they desire. In particular, the book highlights the common themes that run through these stories, and that characterize today's discussions of educational techlogy. There is much to be learned from this history that is currently being igred or discounted. The book is unique in that it makes a concerted effort to place this history of educational techlogy in context. It relates that history to ideas about what schools are for, how teachers should teach, how students learn, who has the right to control what goes on in public schools, what the curriculum should consist of, and what the agenda for school reform should be. It places contemporary ideas about educational techlogy in the context of Americans' longstanding love affair with techlogy, their belief in progress, and their tendency to connect progress, techlogy, and public education. Finally, it examines the question of what public education for a democracy should consist of, and how techlogy, in particular, should or should t come into play in fashioning public education for democratic citizenship.