19721500 story Gates' Future of Education Straight Out of '60s 203 203 Posted by CmdrTaco on Monday March 14, 2011 @01:17PM from the bring-back-the-beatles dept. theodp writes "Bill Gates really should have talked more with ex-Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie. While Khan Academy's new self-paced exercises, coach management options, and game mechanics (merit badges/points) prompted Gates to gush to the high-rollers at Salman Khan's TED Talk that they 'just got a glimpse of the future of education,' Ozzie's seen this movie before, having written similarly-featured PLATO courseware as a student at Illinois. In the '70s. On plasma terminals. With touch screens. Fifty years ago last Friday, 27-year-old EE PhD whiz kid Don Bitzer and partner Peter Braunfeld demonstrated the nascent PLATO system to assembled dignitaries at the 'President's Faculty Conference on Improving Our Educational Aims in the Sixties.' Hey, everything old is new again! Gates is hardly the only tech luminary who don't-know-much-about-PLATO-history — CS Prof Daniel Sleator felt compelled to school the Web's founders on PLATO in '94."