Project Histories

Virginia Tech has a proud tradition of not only inventing the future but leading the way in envisioning change. Several earlier task forces and reports informed the work of this project. The Report of the 1989 University Task Force On The Impact Of Digital Technology In The Classroom Environment is particularly interesting in this regard.

Even in 1989, it was obvious to this task force that a paradigm shift was upon us. Yet nearly a quarter-century later, it is equally obvious how resistant higher education has been to the implications and opportunities of this shift.

The future is no more knowable than it was in 1989–perhaps much less so. Part of the challenge may be not to predict the future so much as to craft the best platform for encouraging and nurturing creative emergence and disruption within a community of learning.

[slideshare id=7753307&doc=1989univ-taskforcereportdigitaltechnology-110427104639-phpapp02]


Two subsequent reports from the National Research Council have also informed and inspired the current task force’s efforts.

  • Being Fluent With Information Technology (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1999). This report may be accessed online here.
  • Computational Thinking (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 2010). This report may be accessed online here (a free pdf download is also available).

Another National Academy Press title has been extremely helpful for bringing brain science, cognitive psychology, and other emerging sciences of learning into the many contexts this website seeks to organize and present:

  • How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition (Washington D.C.: National Academy Press, 2000). ┬áThis title may be accessed online here.


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