HCLE Vision Club

Vision Club

A group of individuals who are offering significant financial support to HCLE…

As of December, 2013, the Vision Club has its first active member.

The pitch is this. There are many museums and collections which are documenting the computer industry as a whole but no one else is documenting the in-depth story of how computing became integrated into formal and non-formal educational practice. We can build better learning environments in the future if we learn from our past. When computers became available to the public we began to learn a new way to learn. When computing came into the classroom we began to learn a new way to teach.

To keep this past available, we must preserve, provide access to, and interpret the stories, documents and artifacts that remain today. HCLE’s accumulated documents, notes, letters, newsletters, memos, etc. from 30 years of pioneering in the educational computing field are the basis of a core of artifacts that will be built upon. We have been in touch with many of our contemporary colleagues, most of whom have responded with enthusiasm about contributing their collections to this preservation/interpretation effort. Everyone can contribute oral histories explaining how he or she learned about computing and how computing enhanced learning other subjects.

The History of Computing in Learning and Education Project (HCLE) has grown from a gleam in our Founder’s eye to a major undertaking of LO*OP Center, Inc. We have a vision, a plan, an advisory board, and an incipient infrastructure to support the building of a virtual museum. A few of us (including a core team of volunteers) have done this on one person’s money alone, but that can only go so far.

Here’s the idea. If you and at least nine other individuals each donate $1,000 to the project now, HCLE will use this first $10,000, collected from these “Vision Club” members, to seed a serious development campaign, both conventional and crowdfunded. At the end of 2014, if you like what we have done with your first $1,000, we will ask you for an additional $9,000. That will round out a $100,000 development campaign for the year and provide money for the key position of development director for 2015 (salary and expenses).

The initial systems design and archival processes for the Virtual Museum Proof of Concept have already begun — cautiously and frugally. The Vision Club plan will provide the means to fund scaling up these first steps. We have a phased budget estimate, beginning with the Proof of Concept, for building HCLE that we would like to share with you. As with all estimates, much will change as the work proceeds. By taking it slowly, we will limit inefficiencies and be able to redesign and re-plan prior to each major commitment. The initial estimate is HCLE will need to spend about $100,000 per quarter over the next 3 years to bring the HCLE Virtual Museum to fruition resulting in a resource that is both interesting and usable by scholars and by the general English-speaking public.

The Vision Club will permit us to push two snowballs onto the downhill slope: the development campaign and the Proof of Concept. The more people who are involved, the quicker momentum for HCLE will accumulate, the further the word will spread, and the less any one of us will feel pressured to make sure HCLE happens. We could fundraise without appealing to “friends and family”, but that task will be much easier to accomplish after we’ve demonstrated financial commitment through the Vision Club and after we’ve shown our ability to execute our plan. We may even be able to include in our Proof of Concept some original research into how tomorrow’s students can benefit from yesterday’s lessons.

Do you need to hear more before you join the Vision Club? Let us know. We’ll be happy to share as much detail with you as you wish. Also please visit our wiki at hcle.org

If this isn’t a direction you want to go at the moment, let us know that too. We’re all busy enough, and no one likes to be bothered by repeated appeals for projects that don’t interest us. If, on the other hand, you are enthusiastic about this project, become a Vision Club member now.

In addition, you may want to contribute a story, some documents, software, artifacts, or even volunteer some time and skill. Seemingly innocuous documents can inspire wonderful revelations and memories. Our small crew is already having fun working together — you’re invited to join in. You’ve done great things before! Let’s not lose these stories and artifacts.


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