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"I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development."
- Arthur C. Clarke

Mechanical Teacher  
  A computer device able to teach children.  

Margie went into the classroom. It was right next to her bedroom, and the mechanical teacher was on and waiting for her. It was always on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday, because her mother said little girls learned better if they learned at regular hours.

The screen was lit up, and it said: "Today's arithmetic lesson is on the addition of proper fractions. Please insert yesterday's homework in the proper slot."

From The Fun They Had, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Children's Magazine in 1951
Additional resources -

The mechanical teacher is further described, after being repaired:

...there it was again, large and black and ugly, with a big screen on which all the lessons were shown and the questions were asked.

The mechanical teacher was adjusted to fit the needs of each individual child.

Readers may also compare the mechanical teacher with the accelerated schooling made possible by a group of artificially intelligent machines (the City Fathers) from James Blish's 1957 story Cities in Flight.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Fun They Had
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to The Fun They Had
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Mechanical Teacher-related news articles:
  - Universities Irrelevant By 2020
  - Saya Humanoid Robot Teacher
  - Korean Robot Teaching Assistants
  - AI Chatbots Teach English Online
  - Affective Autotutor, Emotion-Sensing Teaching Software
  - Projo Robot Teaching Assistant

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