The field of educational technology has links that go back for almost a hundred years, at least to the museum movement in the early part of the 20th century. The museum movement and the success of training and development work during the two world wars were major factors in the development of the field. Educational technology flourished in the 1950's and continues to play an important role in many colleges of education. .
The particular sub-discipline of educational technology we will explore in this paper does not have a long history. Information technology and teacher education (ITTE) is now a scholarly and professional discipline, but it has only recently become so. During the 1970s and early 1980s, while most educational technology programs continued to emphasize more traditional concepts and skills such as the systematic design and development of instructional materials, a separate group of graduate programs emerged that provided some of the foundations for ITTE. These programs, usually at the master's level but sometimes at the doctoral level, were generally known as "educational computing" programs. They dealt with skills and concepts needed to support the educational uses of computers in schools (and to some extent in business and industry). During the 1970s, the use of computers for education was quite limited, and many programs attempted to be all things to all people. However, as the field developed and the technology available became more diverse and complex, it became obvious that there was a need for specialization. .
While many of the educational computing programs have matured into general educational technology programs, some have elected to specialize in a subdiscipline. One of those sub-disciplines is now known as technology and teacher education or ITTE. The doctoral program in educational technology at Iowa State University is one example of this type of specialized program.