Speak & Spell: A History
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
The shared features in most definitions of teaching machines include automation, immediate feedback, and self-pacing. The Speak & Spell has all three, using “contingencies of reinforcement” to establish appropriate spelling behavior. (Some of its engineers thought it would be funny if the user received a raspberry or a funny comment when they spelled a word wrong. But this idea was rejected as it would “reward” incorrect spelling.)
Like so much of education technology, the Speak & Spell takes a behaviorist approach to teaching and learning.
That’s noteworthy, because I would argue that the Speak & Spell has profoundly shaped how we think about electronic educational devices – what we expect these devices to do.