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HCLE Winter 2018 Progress Report

Welcome to the winter quarter of 2018 HCLE progress report. Our Founder and Vision Keeper, Liza Loop, has been working for her Northern California neighbors who suffered great losses in the October 2017 fires. This has delayed some of our HCLE work.

We share many of the news items collected below via our outlets (wiki, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and reddit) and repeat them here for your and our convenience.

Our staff of 1.6 FTEs, volunteers and outside collaborators reached the following milestones in the winter (January through March) of 2018.

 

Outreach

  • Work began with Computer History Museum

Catalog

  • Improved functionality and content

Operations

  • Design Document update

Wiki

  • Current host closing, begin search for new host

 

Please pass our news along, especially if you know someone else who will want to contribute money, know-how, artifacts, stories, or connections. Even by glancing at what we’ve done, you’re helping make HCLE happen as you pass along the story. Thank you.


  • Collection

    • A temporary staff member, Bridget Kittell, helped organize about 10% to 20% of the Collection items that have not been digitized or catalogued.
    • A variety of digitization processes are being considered to expedite the scanning of the Collection. Each has advantages and disadvantages (cost, time, error rate, resolution, metadata, access). Possibilities being considered are:
      • off-site services (Internet Archive – possibly pro bono, particularly for videos and software),
      • off-site institutions (Stanford, etc.),
      • off-site HCLE staff operations,
      • on-site HCLE staff operations (as normal),
      • and on-site HCLE staff operations with more sophisticated equipment
    • David Brock, curator at the Computer History Museum, met with Liza Loop to discuss collaborating. The initial work will focus on period Apple photos and documents related to the reference manual for the VisiCalc program that HCLE founder, Liza Loop, wrote while employed by VisiCalc publisher, Personal Software (later known as VisiCorp) “Exploring the Microcomputer Learning Environment”.
    • Richard Wenn from Far West Labs – WestEd. This US federally funded research organization has pioneered in supporting computing in schools since the late 1970s and published HCLE Catalog Item 2976, “Exploring the Microcomputer Learning Environment” by Liza Loop and Paul Christenson in November, 1980. Richard donated 5 boxes of material. Also of interest within this collection are publications from the EPIE Institute (Educational Products Information Exchange).
    • Liza Loop has spent several days at the Special Collections Department of Stanford Libraries scanning selected pieces from the Liza Loop Collection.

 

  • Catalog

    • Staff and volunteers worked on improving the Catalog Maintenance System’s compatibility with Chrome/Chromebooks, and bug fixes.
    • Data entry includes filing new artifacts as well as filling fields like “blog URL”, improving descriptions, and clarifying the use of existing and candidate fields.

 

  • People/Volunteers

    • In addition to the various volunteers and staff members mentioned throughout, we are considering recruiting a “business analyst” to complete the details of our Salesforce database.

 

Social Media Traffic Report

1/1/2014 12/31/2016 12/31/2017 3/31/2018
Facebook 59 171 187 189
Twitter 67 493 543 536
WordPress 18 50 55 55
Wikispaces 12 69 74 74

 

  • Wiki

    • The HCLE wiki continues to act as a communications center and as a digital loading dock.
    • Unfortunately, our wiki provider, wikispaces, is closing this summer which means we must find a new host for the wiki. The task is complicated by the need to also define a new wiki architecture because wikispaces’ design was unique and proprietary. Leading candidates are Wikimedia (ala Wikipedia), Google Docs/Sites, and PBWorks. This is expected to be a large effort because our wiki has grown considerably in the last few years. Contractors are investigating the candidates with a focus on porting to Wikimedia.

 

  • Exhibits

    • Despite the imminent closure of the wiki, background information for exhibits continues to be collected on the wiki.
    • The search continues for a copy of History Channel’s History’s Lost and Found, episode 47, containing an interview with Steve Wozniak and Liza Loop. Any help is appreciated.

 

  • Operations

    • The Design Document for the Virtual Museum was revised, particularly with finer distinctions of the appearance and operation of the landing page, the Lobby. More graphical depictions were added.
    • We are considering rewording the mission of the museum. The intent and goals remain the same, but more concise and active wording is being tested.
    • Now that the bulk of the preliminary Salesforce work is completed, the volunteers have moved on to other projects. We thank them for their efforts. Seat licenses were freed up as a result.
    • Work on the Salesforce database continues with merging duplicate accounts, and establishing hierarchical connections between accounts and contacts.
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Did You Know Tic Tac Show

There was more to early EdTech than educational games. Oregon Trail, Carmen Sandiego, and Mavis Beacon Typing have survived the decades; but there were more games that came, taught, and disappeared – almost. We’re preserving games, both the familiar and the forgotten ones. Tic Tac Show will be remembered by some, though probably not by many. It and the company that created it, Computer-Advanced Ideas, may have faded, but the game is part of our Collection as item #1007, and is available to play at Internet Archive.

Screenshot 2018-03-28 at 10.20.54

Computerized Tic-Tac-Toe games were one of the earliest games to program. Tic Tac Show combined the classic game, the TV version, and the technology into an educational technology tool. Players had to do more than pick three squares in a row. They had to answer the questions correctly and finish their row before their opponent. To make it more fun;

“Tic Tac Show uses animated color graphics to present a wide range of subject matter in a manner similar to that of popular TV game shows.”

Screenshot 2018-03-28 at 10.26.19

Tic Tac Show, the game, is very similar to Tic-Tac-Dough, the show. Understandably, the game was more personal and involved far less money and prizes.

As an educational game, the focus was on answering questions. A variety of subjects were provided. Some required rote answers, like state capitals. Others required solving problems, like in arithmetic. Two players could compete, but there was also a one-player mode played against the computer.

Such a game could be limited by the number of questions supplied, but Tic Tac Show was expandable and customizeable through a feature that allowed users to create new categories and questions for the players. While the game was directed at younger learners, it could handle any question and answer session that fit in the storage.

The storage limit is a hint of the age and the era of the game.

“Welcome to Tic Tac Show, another of Computer-Advanced Ideas’ entertaining educational computer programs for your Apple* II, II+, or lie, IBM, or Commodore 64 micro-computer. ”

“Using Tic Tac Show requires that you have a 48k Apple II, 11+, or lie, and a Disk II system (either 13or16 sector)*, an IBM** with DOS 1.1 and disk drive, or a Commodore 64 *** with disk drive”

With storage capacities as low as 48k, frequent floppy interactions were required. Boot, program load, and extra categories required swapping floppies. This was an improvement over earlier games that required tape cassettes, but before higher-density floppies or hard drives became common.

The game taught lessons, but players also had to learn how to use the computer to be able to play the game. The manual includes instructions that are seemingly simple now, but new then, like;

“This is called a cursor.”

“After you press RETURN, the disk drive will go on and the game will be loaded into the computer.”

“If you make typing mistakes. use the back arrow key to erase one character at a time.”

“You are limited to 9 characters in the name you type.”

For advanced or adventurous users, there were also instructions about how to use both upper and lower case letters, an innovation at the time that required altering the keyboard, a hardware ‘fix’ they warned would possibly void the warranty.

Other hardware details required far more computer knowledge than users are expected to know today.  

“This software does not support RAM driven printers. If you do not know which slot your printer interface card is in, either talk with your dealer or check your reference manuals.”

Adding new Subject Areas introduced the user to early line editing commands that preceded today’s command conventions.

“EDIT COMANDS

ctrl-C:Erase Text

ctrl-l:lnsert Space

ctrl-D: Erase Letter

ctrl-X:Erase Line

return: Next Line

<-: Move Left

-.: Move Right ”

Users also were introduced to the necessities of simple user interfaces. Players would inevitably answer in a variety of ways. If the user only defined one answer, the game may miss other correct versions. Washington D.C. may be the correct answer, but the user may want to accept DC or District of Columbia as well.

Today’s EdTech solutions may seem far more sophisticated, but similarities continue. Companies can proclaim they are a “Major publisher of quality educational and technical products”, but there’s no guarantee they will persist. Hardware and software changes eventually can change a leading-edge product into an anachronism (saved only by archives.) The basic need remains while decades later the industry continues to innovate as they search for EdTech solutions, as they search for answers that will help them win the game.

Visualizing School: Then, Now, When?

Aspen Ideas 2012
Aspen Ideas 2012

Last year I happened across of video of a panel discussion from the 2012 Aspen Ideas Conference entitled “Visualizing Information Creates New Ways of Learning” At the end of the hour-long presentation the following question came from the audience (about minute 1:10:20):

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.24.21 PM

“Dan Sharp with the Eisenhower Foundation and I want to ask you a question about the application of your new theories to the field of education. You showed a slide of the classic lecture to a large group and you implied that that was going to change. The internet is being used really for the same kind of classic education with universities putting existing courses [online]. Innovations like the Kahn Academy still are top down. Can you project the way in which your theory of visualization will impact the theory of education?”

I was particularly interested in the response of one of the panelists, Mark Wigley, then Dean of the Columbia University School of Architecture. Earlier in the presentation Mark had discussed a new institute to be launched at Columbia. Here’s how he responded to Dan’s question:

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 8.18.55 PM

“Just a quickie rejoinder, that’s a fantastic question and I agree with Ed that education is one of the first victims of this concept, in a way. In other words, it transforms education. I would say not just from removal of the top down model. But most of the technologies for distance learning, even the most successful examples we know today, are very very narrow and depend on the kind of knowledge that can be easily communicated and tested. There are lots of great examples of that. I think we have to develop an architecture of education. That is to say the equivalent of a school. That is to say what is the sort of space in which we would gather together that is a more global, more horizontal community. In current models of telepresence, current models of exchanging data, these, I think, are not adequate to the concept of education. I really love this question because if we could answer you well then we wouldn’t start this institute of data visualization [at Columbia School of Architecture] because we wouldn’t need it. Part of the mission here — if visualization is just a word for how we communicate — [there is] no more important communication than that within a school. But we don’t currently have a very good image of what is a school in the global environment, a school that is disrespectful of academic vs. professional, that is very disinterested in the age of the participants. In the current situation we have an extraordinarily narrow understanding of education and inevitably it will have to be the same level of innovation in education that we’ve seen in so many other fields. It is boarder line criminal, it’s over the boarder actually, on the other side of the boarder, that we have not risen to the challenge of education. And I’m speaking globally, not — and I’ll give you an example. The US has the world’s worst high schools and absolutely the world’s best research universities. America has an astonishing leadership in higher education, amazing, amazing level. But in terms of the new strata of global responsibility in education no country has a monopoly. I don’t see a good model out there and we need to get on this right away.”

From George Leonard’s 1968 depiction in “Education and Ecstasy” to Neal Stephenson’s “Diamond Age”, visionaries have been offering models of how digital technology might revamp our conception of “school”. In my next several blogs I’ll showcase some of the predictions of our Ed Tech Pioneers and comment on why, fifty years later, we still haven’t come close to realizing the promise of educational technology. Mark has it right. This is beyond criminal.

A Glance at Early EdTech a la DEC

Screenshot 2018-02-03 at 09.42.14

Digital (also known as DEC and Digital Equipment Company) did more than sell one of the first so-called minicomputers. It also published some of the first educational software to be used in regular subject classrooms and pioneered in supporting computing teachers. Our Collection includes several documents in the EduSystems series; “computers are for kids – EduSystems – expandable, economical”.

Screenshot 2018-02-03 at 09.41.27

See, for example, HCLE Item 1015: Advanced Problems for Computer Mathematics. For $2, students and teachers received a 75 page resource manual that took at least two approaches to teaching programming and problem solving. (Today you can get it for free by clicking on the linked title above.)

As the general headings in this booklet suggest, approaches to mathematics can be dry, with abstract titles that are correct and descriptive but not particularly exciting.

  • General Mathematics
  • Intermediate and Advanced Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Probability and Statistics
  • Mathematical Analysis and Physics

Under these headings you find sets of increasingly difficult problems that might be solved more easily using a computer program that either paper and pencil or calculator. Today, an educational software company would be likely to supply the student with either 1) a graphically fancy, game-like program that provides a solution to the student followed by a multiple choice quiz; or 2) a computer-generated video that lets the student make predetermined choices within the problem space without requiring that the student understand how to state the problems or generate the answer. In the mid-1960s when Advanced Problems for Computer Mathematics was published there were not computer graphics or videos. Only images created with typewriter characters could be made. There was no internet and no common medium on which to supply and store the programs. The most practical way to share the software was to print the program itself in the booklet and let the students type it into whatever computer they had access to. This process built a bridge between the academic discipline being studied (mathematics, in this case) and computer programming.

In Advanced Problems for Computer Mathematics problems were frequently presented in a way that suggested the steps required to solve them. Then, the student is instructed to; “Write a program…” (in BASIC.) A sample program is provided to demonstrate one possible solution. If the learner’s program actually worked (ran) after a couple of tries s/he could move on to a harder task. But the computer isn’t actually doing any teaching. It’s role is more like a laboratory or playing field.  When the learner must troubleshoot and debug a teacher (or fellow student) will be a key tool for learning. Digital’s early approach to educational software illustrated the utility of the computer along with experience of computers’ limitations. It also demonstrated that answers might be approximations, not exact. There’s even a study of how rapidly and accurately (or inaccurately) π can be calculated. “At 10,000 terms, the approximation to π is off by 1 in the 4th decimal place.

Advanced Problems for Computer Mathematics provides some abstract problems but several are word problems that suggest a variety of practical, real-world applications for computer programs.  

  • What’s the volume of a potato? A study in calculus.
  • How far must someone travel to get from various places in Possible Gulch over Bell Mountain to Probable Junction? Bell Mountain has the shape of the normal distribution curve, providing a study in statistics.
  • How does a crosswind affect a plane’s flight? An exercise in a simple simulation.

While the utility of the computer is demonstrated, alternatives to the latest technology are also supplied. For the potato problem, they include a solution Archimedes used over 2,000 years ago. Sometimes a bowl of water is all you need. As it says in the text; “Hey, that’s a good method…keep the beaker and get rid of the computer.” The computer is presented as a tool, but not the only tool. An interesting perspective considering the publication is from a computer company.

The document itself is worth studying. Even though the publication is about computers, it didn’t use desktop publishing software. There were no word processors at the time. Some pages are photocopies of computer printouts. Fonts change depending on the source. Symbols like π and graphics like the airplane were hand-drawn.Screenshot 2018-02-05 at 10.16.03 The last page is copied from the list of Digital’s Sales and Service contacts around the world, an implicit reminder that at least one motivation for producing the series was to increase sales.

Computers, computing, and new ways and reasons to learn developed together. While such publications may have helped sales, they also represent a time when an industry knew it had to build itself, its user community, and its future workforce. Prior to this, there would’ve been a much smaller audience and the publications would be directed at professionals who cared more about content than layout. Soon after this, the audience was much larger and broader, and the expectations were for more polished presentations.

Preserving such documents for researchers and the curious is why we’re creating our virtual museum. Even one edition, like this one, can provide a cornerstone from which to build broader research projects and histories. Tell us where it leads you.

 

HCLE Summer 2017 Progress Report

Welcome to the summer quarter of 2017 HCLE progress report. Our Vision Keeper, Liza Loop, has been working for her Northern California neighbors who suffered great losses in the October fires. This has delayed some of our HCLE work.

We share many of these news items via our outlets (wiki, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and reddit.) and collect them here for your and our convenience.

Our staff of 1.6 FTEs, volunteers and outside collaborators reached the following milestones in the winter (July through September) of 2017.

 

Fundraising

  • An appeal to private funders is being prepared.

Catalog

  • Many texts within pdf files in the Catalog are now individually searchable.

Exhibits

  • The Interim Collections Site is available for private viewing.

 

Please pass our news along, especially if you know someone else who will want to contribute money, know-how, artifacts, stories, or connections. Even by glancing at what we’ve done, you’re helping make HCLE happen as you pass along the story. Thank you.

  • Fundraising

    • Various introductory letters were drafted for: Vision Club members, Vision Club candidates, funding organizations, and the general public. The letters will be sent after reviews of the wording, and some process improvements made within Salesforce’s email functions.
  • Collection

    • Scanning and cataloging of the Liza Loop collection continues.
  • Catalog

    • Thanks to James Straus, the text in pdf files is now searchable. This greatly enables the utility of the Catalog for researchers.
  • People/Volunteers

    • A variety of volunteers helped customize our implementation of Salesforce and our wiki.
  • Outreach

Blog posts published:

Social Media Traffic Report

1/1/2014 12/30/2015 12/31/2016 9/30/2017
Facebook 59 104 171 183
Twitter 67 408 493 529
WordPress 18 49 50 53
Wikispaces 12 62 69 74

 

  • Wiki

    • John Ridlehoover began redesigning the wiki home page to improve its look and feel.
    • The HCLE wiki continues to act as a communications center and as a digital loading dock.
  • Exhibits

    • A template for creating timelines is being evaluated for exhibits.
    • Anna Narbutovskih made significant progress on the Interim Collections Site. The site and the link will be made public after security issues are resolved. Previews available upon request.
    • “About the Project” is being rewritten to better fit the needs of the wiki, the Image Collection Site, and the eventual lobby page.
  • LO*OP Center

    • A variety of volunteers have helped customize our implementation of Salesforce. The process improvements should improve our efficiency by making it easier for new volunteers.
  • Operations

    • Our program plan software account with TeamworkPM has been scaled back to a free account while work concentrates on site redesign and Salesforce customization.
  • Admin

    • A Chromebook was provided for Linda Banks, the leader of our volunteer Salesforce customization team, to enable better communications.

HCLE Spring 2017 Progress Report

Welcome to the spring quarter of 2017 HCLE progress report. We share many of these news items via our outlets (wiki, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn – and now, reddit, too) and collect them here for your and our convenience.

Our staff of 1.4 FTEs, volunteers and outside collaborators reached the following milestones in the winter (April through June) of 2017.

 

Fundraising

  • News release of Liza Loop’s GeekFest Berlin 2016 presentation

Catalog

  • Improved quantity and quality of images displayed in image gallery tool

Operations

  • Salesforce implementation being customized by a large crew of volunteers

Exhibits

  • Lobby/Proof-of-Concept work continues

 

Please pass our news along, especially if you know someone else who will want to contribute money, know-how, artifacts, stories, or connections. Even by glancing at what we’ve done, you’re helping make HCLE happen as you pass along the story. Thank you.

 

  • Fundraising

Salesforce was used to send out two news releases to followers and potential funders about:

  • a series of videos excerpted from Liza Loop’s presentation at GeekFest Berlin 2016
  • a series of videos excerpted from the Leuphana/LO*OP Center Oral History Workshop held last year at Luneberg, Germany.

These were two of the main steps in our fundraising strategy:

  • Establish an awareness of our background and infrastructure
    • Release Make Vs Buy report – done
    • Release Leuphana/LO*OP oral history videos – done
    • Release Liza Loop’s GeekFest excerpts – done
  • Field responses – in progress
    • If responses don’t generate enough of a response
      • Consider Kickstarter campaign
      • Reinvigorate Vision Club

We also continue to review grant opportunities. The process will benefit from the boilerplate narratives we created for previous applications.

  • Collection

Phil Tymon assisted Liza Loop in the organizing and digitizing of the Collection.

  • Catalog

Anna Narbutovskih created a presentation tool (the Interim Collections Site) that allows images in the Catalog to be readily displayed as a gallery for quicker review and comparison. The intent is to make it easier to check for duplications, and to verify proper import from the official repository, temporary storage locations, and the Catalog. The Interim Site also helps demonstrate the vision of the Virtual Museum. (Link available upon request. It isn’t ready for general public visitors, yet.)

Anna also modified the Catalog Maintenance System to repurpose unused fields.

  • People/Volunteers

VolunteerMatch.org was used to find several candidate Salesforce volunteers. The response has been enthusiastic.

A volunteer offered to investigate license management issues.

  • Outreach

Videos from last year’s Oral History Workshop (LLOHW) were made available online.

Blog posts published:

Social Media Traffic Report

1/1/2014 12/30/2015 12/31/2016 6/30/2017
Facebook 59 104 171 176
Twitter 67 408 493 507
WordPress 18 49 50 52
Wikispaces 12 62 69 70

 

  • Wiki

The HCLE wiki continues to act as a communications center and as a digital loading dock.

Chuck Morrissey joined the wiki.

  • Exhibits

Anna Narbutovskih is creating a Proof of Concept site (aka Collections Viewer). A few select artifacts will be presented and displayed so visitors, followers, and prospective funders can better understand our goal, a virtual museum of the History of Computing in Learning and Education.

  • Operations

Thanks to a team of volunteers, our Salesforce account is being customized for our needs. One of their primary goals is the establishment of documented processes that will ease and standardize Salesforce processes that will be necessary because of volunteer turnover. The database is being adjusted to reflect the differences between Salesforce and our previous database, CiviCRM. We are training ourselves in its use, and using the news releases as training opportunities.

 

Exploring Designs for Teaching – Liza Loop on Distance, Synchronicity, Control

On June 7th, 2016 we held an Oral History Workshop – How Education Made Computers Personal at Leuphana University (Luneberg, Germany) and online. The workshop was a collaboration between HCLE’s parent organization, LO*OP Center, and Leuphana University to capture more of that history and make it available to modern researchers.

Liza Loop’s presentation, Distance, Synchronicity, Control: Exploring Designs for Teaching About and Through Computers, was inspired by the work of Stuart Cooney, Seymour Papert, and LOGO. Asynchronous teaching is very old. Paintings on cave walls, words in books, and files in computers are all stored instructions that control and pass information to later learners. EdTech has been with us for a long time.

The details of the presentations are too much to relay here; which is why we made a few videos of the presentations available and want to focus on one here.

The nature of the collaboration is a good example of creating a bridge between generations. Liza Loop is the founder of LO*OP Center, the co-creator of the event; and brought the first Apple 1 into schools, opened a public access meeting place for computing, and helped write user’s manuals for the Atari 400 and 800 computers. She lived the history, and knows others who also lived it. The other co-creator was Jerry Herberg, a doctoral candidate at Leuphana working on how computers influenced learning. He is studying the history, and finding others who are also eager to study the history; especially, because they realize the opportunity to meet the pioneers is becoming increasingly difficult. This oral history workshop was yet another step in passing along history. There are many more stories to tell and record and study.

The history of how computing changed education and learning, and how learning and education changed computing is more than the story of hardware introductions and institutional initiatives. As one of the speakers, Lee Felsenstein, observed;

“the 60s – 70s resonated with the counterculture of a search for personal control,
even through technology.”

And, as the motto of the People’s Computer Company stated;

“Computers are mostly used against people instead of for people,
used to control people instead of to free them.
Time to change all that…”

Much of the early EdTech work was dedicated to applying computers and computing to education and learning; and was done by people whose work challenged conventional institutions: innovators, educators, visionaries, and revolutionaries. Some of the work was recorded. But, much of their work wasn’t recorded because it was easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, undocumented was safer than documented. Now is a good time to refresh our memories to make sure the information is preserved, made available to researchers, and archived.

There is an urgency to record as many of these oral histories as possible. The memories are perishable. The artifacts and documentation are easy for subsequent generations to dismiss without the right perspective. We are endeavoring to record those histories through the workshop, but also through a crowd campaign so many more voices can be heard. Howard, Liza, and Lee are as well known as many other EdTech pioneers; but there are equally useful stories to be heard from elementary school teachers, hobbyists, and self-taught students. If you have a story, pass it along. If you want to read those stories, visit the HCLE wiki (our digital loading dock while we built our virtual museum.) There are more stories to tell and hear. Thanks for participating.

HCLE Winter 2017 Progress Report

Welcome to the winter quarter of 2017 HCLE report. We share many of these news items via our outlets (wiki, blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) and collect them here for your and our convenience.

Our staff of 1.4 FTEs, volunteers and outside collaborators reached the following milestones in the winter (January through March) of 2017.

 

Fundraising

  • A news release was prepared for Liza Loop’s GeekFest Berlin 2016 presentation

Catalog

  • A presentation tool is being developed to aid image management

Collection

  • Staff was added to the task of organizing the Collection

Outreach

  • Liza Loop attended the Personal Digital Archiving 2017 conference

Operations

  • A Salesforce account was established and is being customized to HCLE’s needs

Exhibits

  • Lobby/Proof-of-Concept work continues

 

 

Please pass our news along, especially if you know someone else who will want to contribute money, know-how, artifacts, stories, or connections. Even by glancing at what we’ve done, you’re helping make HCLE happen as you pass along the story. Thank you.

  • Fundraising

A draft news release was prepared to inform followers and potential funders about a series of videos excerpted from Liza Loop’s presentation at GeekFest Berlin 2016. The organizers provided a high-resolution version of the video from which we extracted five excerpts that highlight different aspects of HCLE and its mission. (See the list in the Outreach section below.)

Thanks to some preliminary work by an outside contractor, HCLE now has a Salesforce account and database. We are training ourselves in its use, and using the news release as a training opportunity.

  • Collection

Phil Tymon is assisting Liza Loop in the organizing and digitizing of the Collection.

  • Catalog

Anna Narbutovskih is creating a presentation tool (the Interim Collections Site) that will allow images in the Catalog to be readily displayed as a gallery for quicker review and comparison. The intent is to make it easier to check for duplications, and to verify proper import from the official repository, temporary storage locations, and the Catalog.

Stan Crump is modifying the Catalog Maintenance System to repurpose one of the unused fields.

Phil Tymon is assisting Liza Loop in the cataloging of the Collection.

  • People/Volunteers

Our current team of volunteers and consultants continue to help with specific issues with the Catalog Maintenance System and miscellaneous system administration tasks.

We are pleased to introduce new volunteers and enthusiasts that have experience in the history of computing in learning and education: Chuck Morrissey, Marie Hicks.

VolunteerMatch.org was used to find several candidate Salesforce volunteers.

  • Outreach

GeekFest Berlin 2016 made Liza Loop’s video available online and also provided a copy so we may create more succinct excerpts. The editing has begun on five topics.

Liza Loop finished the quarter by attending the Personal Digital Archiving 2017 conference held by Stanford University Libraries from March 29-31, 2017.

Blog posts published:

Social Media Traffic Report

      • Twitter – Facebook ‘Following’ lists reconciled
1/1/2014 12/30/2015 12/31/2016 4/1/2017
Facebook 59 104 171 175
Twitter 67 408 493 490
WordPress 18 49 50 50
Wikispaces 12 62 69 70
  • Wiki

The HCLE wiki continues to act as a communications center and as a digital loading dock.

Chuck Morrissey joined the wiki.

  • Exhibits

Anna Narbutovskih is creating a Proof of Concept site (aka Collections Viewer). A few select artifacts will be presented and displayed so visitors, followers, and prospective funders can better understand our goal, a virtual museum of the History of Computing in Learning and Education.

Andy Molnar volunteered to highlight publications, promote existing interviews, conduct a Future Flashback interview, and work on exhibits of NSF’s impact and the military origins of technology in education.

  • Operations

The year was kicked off with a review of the program plan. As usual, the greatest variables that affect the timeline are funding and staffing.

A draft Design Document was produced to better communicate the goals, operations, restrictions, and experiences expected from the virtual museum. The primary audience is anyone involved in developing the software and web sites.

A trial contractor relationship ended with the positive consequence of establishing a Salesforce account for HCLE that is populated with our CiviCRM data. The account is being customized for our needs. The database is being adjusted to reflect the differences between Salesforce and our previous database, CiviCRM. We are training ourselves in its use, and using the news release as a training opportunity.

  • admin

HCLE’s complete collection of documents on GoogleDocs was ported to the HCLE Hostgator account as a backup.

Moving Electrons Instead of People

“You can’t learn to swim on a computer.” Liza Loop

Distance learning was greatly enabled by the technology that made it easier to move electrons than people. Originally, that meant people in remote locations could access far more educational resources. Now, everyone is expected to engage in distance learning whether from a classroom or to understand a smartphone’s upgrade. It is almost seen as a panacea by some. In this presentation made at GeekFest Berlin 2016, Liza points out that;

“There are many things we can’t learn by this storyboarded computer medium, but there are many things that we can.”

and one persistent caution,

“What we have failed to do in the 40 years I’ve been working in this field is to really look at our education goals.”

Moving electrons instead of people is a powerful education and learning tool, but it has its limitations, too. Here’s an excerpt from her presentation;


Geekfest Berlin 2016 – Liza Loop – Moving Electrons

Thanks to GeekFest Berlin’s 2016 event, we’ve created a series of videos from Liza Loop’s presentation that touch on various aspects of the topic and our organization’s history within it. We pass this information along as possible aids to include in your communications and as an introduction to our mission and current activities.

The complete presentation is available at: GeekFest’s Youtube channel.

2016 was the year we at HCLE saw an increased interest in the history of computing in learning and education (hence our acronym, HCLE). We are building a virtual museum to collect and catalog born-digital artifacts and digitized versions of physical artifacts to researchers, scholars, educators, and the general public. Incredible amounts of money are being spent on how to improve education and learning, and how best to integrate technology into the process. Very little is being spent studying the decades of similar attempts, which may be why society continues to ask the same questions and make the same mistakes.

Our museum’s story stretches back to 1975 and the founding of LO*OP Center, (Learning Options * Open Portal), a 501(c)(3) California nonprofit corporation chartered:

To improve the quality of people’s lives by integrating cultural diversity and appropriate technology into local communities through educational projects and events.

The ways that computing changed learning and education have fundamentally shifted our society and civilization. We have found no other institution with a specific focus on formal and nonformal education that is working to preserve that history. If you are aware of any, please pass along the appropriate contact information.