Note From the Publisher
It continues to be an honor to effectively serve the Education Community as an advocate of learning supported by technology for, now, 25 years.
The Birth of T.H.E. Journal
In the year 1972, technology was extensively employed in the Defense industry, and the world of commerce was experiencing an information-handling revolution via computer-driven Electronic Data Processing. However, Education was just beginning to recognize the utility of technology to improve our national goals of improving the product of learning. Early applications were largely restricted to the administration of education, while the nationís classrooms embraced audio-visual aids as "information-delivery systems."
In 1971, as director of Systems Engineering at Hughes Aircraft, my research team designed the first "smart terminal" with the then-new microprocessor and limited on-station memory to overcome unacceptably limited throughput from the mainframe for a 400-terminal air traffic control system. It was clear to me then, that this first new desktop computer could be the start of an effective learning tool. And it also foreshadowed size reductions of mainframes from room-sized IBM 360s to desktop computers -- with much increased performance. Then came Altair and Heath-Kit offering kits of PCs, followed by the Apple I, etc.
Extensive market research confirmed that such new capability could be the beginning of a fast-paced education evolution, which I believed was inevitable Ö hence T.H.E. Journal was born in 1972.
However, to achieve this inevitability T.H.E. was designed to support all levels of learning, since computer hardware was common to all levels and economies of scale could thus be achieved. Only software applications would be designed for each learning level (i.e., schools, colleges or training centers).
Another first in trade publication was essential. The editorial format of T.H.E. had to be a "forum" so that experienced pioneers and practitioners could share the results of their efforts with peers worldwide.
It was then essential to form an extensive network of credible authors, contributors and advisors who could focus on the many doís and doníts to increase the efficiency of the forthcoming transition to student-centered education. Most advocates believed this would lead to improved rates and retention of learning. And technology would be the integrated tool in the new process. Thanks to all of you readers, T.H.E. will continue to be your forum. The August 1997 issue of T.H.E. Journal will be the beginning of our 25th volume.
Growth for Education and T.H.E.
Optics and optical disc technology have reduced prohibitive costs of memory, speed of processing and richness of content -- all of which have been barriers to economical and effective use of computer technology. These technologies are now becoming integrated into education and are invaluable learning tools.
Moving ahead with that growth has come the growth of T.H.E. Journal itself, in the areas of professional development, T.H.E. Institute; the World Wide Web, T.H.E. Online; and newsletters, T.H.E. Funding $ource.
T.H.E. Institute is a provider of services and products to the educational community with a focus on Professional Development. Its programs are designed to facilitate the growth of educators by expanding the meaning of the learning process.
T.H.E. Online was developed to provide an additional delivery mechanism for articles in T.H.E. Journal while offering expanded editorial coverage to our readers.
T.H.E. Funding $ource is in response to a need for more information on how to locate funds and write grants to successfully obtain dollars to maximize technology programs.
We have, through our extended editorial staff, also become an effective advocate of Distance Education and Life-Long Learning, which has grown in use these past four to five years at a rate of 30% per year.
The technology industry has become an indispensable partner in now addressing an $11 billion Educational Technology market. We need to recognize and acknowledge their many contributions and partnerships.
Thanks again for taking this moment with me.
This article originally appeared in the 06/01/1997 issue of THE Journal.