What qualifies someone to be an HCLE EdTech Pioneer? Our philosophy is inclusive. We are focusing on “unsung heroes” so that we can highlight the depth of thinking of those who explored the use of computing for learning early on. Some of these ideas have endured and informed current and upcoming applications. Many have been forgotten. Their loss impoverishes the field and means that they have to be reinvented in order for future generations to benefit from them — unless we rediscover them and encourage their originators to restate and elaborate them. Without input from edtech pioneers we risk losing both context that clarifies and experimentation that facilitates evaluation of educational innovations.
Of course, some old ideas are bad ideas. The problem with forgetting them is that they tend to recur. If they are not part of recorded and accessible history we waste time and effort retracing the experience that extinguished them in the first place. Our human ability to learn from recorded, as well as living, memory permits us to accelerate our evolution beyond the pace of random “natural” selection.
As for the “sung” heroes, those innovators who have managed to ensure the endurance of their intellectual legacy amid the current deluge of advertising and hype, HCLE has something to offer them as well. HCLE’s gaze surveys the whole panorama of learning about, for, and with computing, not just the latest, greatest, electronic song and dance. We are a platform for better-known innovators and leaders to demonstrate how and why their processes benefit learners in the long term. We enhance their voices by blending them into the chorus of lesser-known participants and provide a richer tapestry by weaving together the threads spun by other thinkers.
HCLE EdTech Pioneers are not only the most charismatic public speakers or the writers and inventors who capture popular attention by asserting their own importance and uniqueness of their ideas. They are also the more modest contributors, those who see ourselves as riding on gigantic shoulders, as part of a crowd of concerned workers who did and are still doing their part to enhance tools for learning.
So, are you one of those quiet individuals whose creative thinking brought an enhanced way of teaching into schools, workplaces, recreational centers or homes? Did your work with computing change the learning of hundreds, if not thousands, of children or adults? Do you have cautionary tales? If so, consider joining our chorus — you don’t have to be a soloist. Just let us know what you did, how it incorporated new media, and why you believe it helped to improve teaching and learning. We’re not out to flatter you or make you famous. We just want to do the best job we can of learning from the past to make a better future.
Thank you for being willing to add your chapter to this larger story.