Simulate My Own Teacher

I learned the code from a ham radio operator. He ran a class in the basement of the town library. Five of us would sit at a table copying random letters as best we could. It wasn't random though. He would watch us copy. He knew which letters needed practice and that's the letters we got. He'd test us with old letters when we were doing pretty well. Then he'd introduce some new ones, a few new letters each session, until we could copy the whole code.

That was high school. In college I used radio to keep in touch with high school friends. Next thing you know I'm teaching college kids the code. But I haven't got so much time, what with school and all this computer stuff I was learning. Then the microprocessor was invented.

With a little computer it could be right there with you. It could send you a letter and watch you type it. It could check you and time you and model your short and long term learning. I checked out the idea on a big Control Data computer. I programmed up a model student and the program to teach it code. I looked at error probability histograms to fine tune teaching heuristics. Then I put the teaching part into a microprocessor and gave it to my students. They loved it.

See More History.

The mechanisms used by the program are the original invention of the author. However, as is often the case, others have tread the ground before. See:

Pask, G. (1960). Electronic Keyboard Teaching Machines, Teaching Machines and Programmed Learning, Vol. 1 (Ed. Glaser R. and Lumsdaine A.), Nat. Ed. Assoc., Washington, pp 336-349.

See also the 1956 entry for Pask in Wikipedia, or their history of adaptive instruction:


Last edited February 7, 2013
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