Early on I displayed considerable talent in math, and my home environment strongly encouraged this progress in this area. By the time I was in the ninth grade, I had set my education and vocational sights on becoming a math professor. After achieving this goal, I "drifted off" into the field of teacher education, with a side trip as head of the Computer Science Department at the University of Oregon. I am well known for my contributions to the field of computers in education and for founding the organization that eventually became the International Society for Technology in Education.
I was born in Eugene, Oregon 11/3/1936. I grew up in a nice middle class neighborhood located about a mile from the edge of the University of Oregon campus. Condon Elementary School and Roosevelt Junior High School were within easy walking distance. Several nearby neighbors were faculty at the UO, a couple were doctors, and a couple were precollege teachers.
The neighborhood area had once been a fruit orchard, and quite a few of the fruit trees were still there. There were nearby vacant lots that made for great places to play. There were quite a few kids in the neighborhood, so it was always easy to find a group to play with. Kick the can, hide and seek, kite flying, and sports were standard neighborhood outdoor activities.
Ph.D. (Mathematics, specializing in Numerical Analysis), University of Wisconsin-Madison, January 1963.
M.S. (Mathematics), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1960.
B.A. (Mathematics; minor in Physics), University of Oregon, 1958.
High school diploma, Eugene High School, 1954. (First two years of high school were at University High School, which was located on the University of Oregon campus.)
Graduated from Roosevelt Junior High School, Eugene, Oregon, 1951.
Graduated from Condon Elementary School, Eugene, Oregon, 1948.
Emeritus Professor, University of Oregon, 2005 to present.
Professor of Education, University of Oregon, 1982-2005.
Professor of Computer & Information Science, University of Oregon, 1976-1986.
Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Oregon, 1969-1976.(Department Chair, 1969-1975.)
Editor-in-Chief and Chief Executive Office, International Council for Computers in Education (ISTE), 1979-1989.
Editor-in-Chief and Executive Office, ISTE, 1989-1998.
Editor-in Chief and Executive Officer for Research and Development, ISTE, 1 July 1998 to 31 March 2001. Retired from ISTE 31 March 2001.
Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Oregon, 1967-1969.
Assistant Professor (1963-66), Associate Professor (1966-1967), Department of Mathematics and College of Engineering (Computer Center) Michigan State University.
Instructor (January 1963 to June 1963), Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Personal Note by Dave Moursund
I first became involved with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education in summer 1963, when I helped to teach some high school talented and gifted students about uses of computers in math. By that time, quite a few people had made computers available to precollege students. FORTRAN (which was developed during 1954-1957, and first made widely available on 15 April, 1957) was in wide use. With access to a key punch machine, students could write and edit their programs and have them run at a nearby college or business.Aberdeen Proving Grounds via the ROTC program, but did not encounter any computer technology there. After I returned home, I visited Oregon State University and got a chance to play a little bit with their ALWAC computer. (See picture.) That was my first encounter with a computer.
When I arrived at the University of Wisconsin (Madison) in summer 1959 to begin my graduate work, they were using an IBM 650 computer in their computer courses. I audited an IBM 650 assembler language programming course for the first half of the term, doing all of the assignments and taking the midterm exam. I think I made a perfect score on this midterm. The course seemed both interesting and relatively easy for me. However, I was carrying a full load of math courses and spending a lot of time with a newly acquired girlfriend, so did not continue in the course. That 1/2 of a course constitutes the totality of my formal coursework directly about computers during my undergraduate and graduate education.
Later during my time at the University of Wisconsin, the university acquired Control Data Corporation hardware and FORTRAN, and I taught myself to program in FORTRAN. My doctoral dissertation in Numerical Analysis included some computational examples. However, this computation was done using a Linear Programming package, rather than programs I wrote.
I finished my doctorate in January 1963, was an Instructor in the Math Department at University of Wisconsin for one semester, and then began an Assistant Professorship position at Michigan State University (MSU) in the fall of 1963. I held a joint appointment between the Math Department and the Computing Center (that was in the College of Engineering). The BASIC programming language was still under development and not yet widely available. My recollection is that in 1965 while I was teaching at Michigan State University, I first gained access to the programming language BASIC. The MSU Computing Center had a Teletype terminal that accessed a computer in Chicago, and so I became acquainted with time-shared BASIC.
During my four years at MSU, I did quite a lot of FORTRAN programming, developing programs that tied in with my research. I initiated a numerical analysis book writing project with two of my colleagues, and it used FORTRAN throughout the book. The book ended up with just two authors, as the third author became ill, and the book was published by McGraw Hill in 1967.
Also, while I was at MSU I began to teach precollege teachers who were attending summer institutes. In the summer of 1965 I taught in an institute run by other faculty. In the summers of 1966 and 1967 I was the project director of National Science Foundation summer institutes. In each of these two summers, all of the participants took a FORTRAN programming course, a numerical analysis course, and a overview (review of) calculus course.
By the time I left MSU at the end of the summer of 1967, I was thoroughly hooked on being a teacher of teachers. I found this to be far more personally rewarding than the other courses I was teaching. However, I had also succeeded in being the major professor of three students who completed their doctorates in mathematics and being promoted to Associate Professor with tenure.
Since my retirement from the University of Oregon, I have continued my active involvement in the fields of math education, computers in education, and brain science. I have established a non-profit organization named Information Age Education and I publish extensively on its Websites. I have increased my involvement in the field of math education. This includes speaking at various conferences and being a regular contributor to the Discussion Lists of the NCSM, the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Oregon's Teachers of Teachers of Mathematics.
Article About Moursund's Retirement from ISTE
ISTE honored me upon my retirement from ISTE in March 2001. The following article is reprinted with permission from ISTE® (International Society for Technology in Education), © 2001, www.iste.org. All rights reserved.
Ed. Tech. Pioneer Retires from ISTE
(12 Jun 2001)
- After more than thirty-five years of service and groundbreaking leadership in the field of educational technology, former ISTE Editor and Executive Officer, Dr. Dave Moursund has retired from ISTE. In the following article, past students and colleagues share their candid reflections on Dave's career, unique personality, and his vision for a revolution in education.
- Revolutionary Vision
- “Dave had an incredible impact on our field, he was raising questions, important questions, before most anybody. He is certainly the one who influenced me the most,” says Dr. Neal Strudler, College of Education, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, a past employee of ISTE and one of Dr. Moursund's former doctoral students.
- Exceptional Scholar
- Dr. Moursund received his doctorate in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1963. He has since authored or co-authored more than 30 books and several hundred articles in the field of computers in education. In addition to positions at the UO, other academic highlights include work as Assistant Professor (1963–66) and Associate Professor (1966–67) in the Department of Mathematics and College of Engineering (Computer Center) at Michigan State University.
- “He's one of those that I would call an 'old-timer',” says Dr. Gary Bitter, ISTE's first elected president (1990–91) “Dave was one of the original people who had a great deal of understanding for the philosophy of the role of technology in computer education and a talent for getting people together to support the movement. He's been a truly great friend and colleague. I certainly admire and respect all that he's done.”
- Powerful leader
- Dr. Moursund founded ICCE, the International Council for Computers in Education in 1979 and served as executive officer of the organization from 1979 to 1989. During his time with ICCE, [Correction inserted 8/29/07. The first five words of the previous sentence should be: Prior to starting ICCE] he started the publication The Oregon Computing Teacher—the predecessor of Learning & Leading with Technology—in 1974. After ICCE merged with IACE, the International Association for Computing in Education, to become ISTE in 1989, he served as executive officer of ISTE from 1989–98.
- David Brittain, Partner, MGT of America, Inc., and an ISTE past president, highlights Dr. Moursund's leadership contributions and especially appreciates all that Dr. Moursund has done for ISTE: “It is with mixed feelings that I learned that Dave Moursund is retiring. Very few if any members of our educational technology industry have had the impact on teaching and learning that Dave has had. Dave's vision for the use of technology in education, which he has shared through his publications and presentations, has enabled many of us to see better ways of helping teachers become more comfortable and proficient with technology. He is one of those few individuals about whom it can be truthfully said that he has made a significant difference in the lives of teachers and students across the country.”
- Lasting Legacy
- Dr. Bonnie Marks, ISTE past president and Director of Technology for San Francisco Bay Area Region of the California Technology Assistance Project shares her reflections: “Few people have influenced the field of educational technology more than Dave Moursund. His leadership in ISTE and its predecessor, ICCE, has touched tens of thousands of educators. In his work with the University he mentored doctoral students who have gone on to leadership positions in school technology throughout the nation.” Dr. Moursund has served on the dissertation committees of more than 75 doctoral students.
- Current Projects
- Retiring from ISTE has allowed him to increase his commitment to the Teacher Education program at the University of Oregon, where he is now working full time in a combination of teaching, consulting, writing, and PT3 (Preparing Tomorrow's Teachers to use Technology) grant activities.
- For more information about Dr. Moursund's current projects, visit his Web site, www.uoregon.edu/~moursund/dave/.
What is Computer Literacy: A 1977 Article
Here is an article of some historical interest:
- Moursund, David (1977). What is Computer Literacy?. The Best of Creative Computing, Volume 2, 1977. Retrieved 8/15/08: http://www.atariarchives.org/bcc2/showpage.php?page=61.
The two-page article included a 30-question computer literacy quiz. This quiz is a good representation of what people where trying to teach in computer literacy courses of that time. Now it serves as an amusing example of how times have changed!
ICCE and ISTE Editorials
I started a periodical named the Oregon Computing Teacher in May 1974. In 1979 this became The Computing Teacher and in 1995 it became Learning and Leading with Technology. I served as the Editor in Chief of this publication from its inception until I retired from ISTE in 2001.
During this time span, most issues of the publication contained an editorial or editor's message I wrote. Occasionally, a guest editorial was substituted. To a large extent, my editorials focused on timely but ongoing topics. They identified a problem and provided ideas on possible solutions to the problem.
The complete set of David Moursund's editorials is available free as PDF documents.
Short Narrative Vita
My parents, Andrew F. Moursund and Lulu V. Moursund, were both faculty members in the Department of Mathematics, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon. Along with my older brother Robert, my younger sister Anne, and my younger brother Peter, I grew up in Eugene, Oregon and attended local public schools.
In my early childhood it was evident that I was gifted in math and a relatively good student in a variety of other curriculum areas. I read a lot—especially science fiction and adventure stories. Later in life I acknowledge that my artistic talents peaked out by the end of the first grade. Moreover, my children joked that I seemed to be tune deaf (not tone deaf) even though I had four years of piano lessons as a child.
My academic abilities led to success in school. During my freshman and sophomore years at the University of Oregon, I won prizes for being the top student in the first year Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics year long course sequences. I was awarded a two years scholarship in Chemistry based on my success in his first two years of college chemistry. I graduated number two in my class and was awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa.
During my senior year in college I applied to the National Science foundation, the Wisconsin Alumni Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation for graduate school funding. I was offered support from all three, and accepted the National Science Foundation fellowship.
My first "hands on" experience with a computer was in 1959, when I played Tic-Tac-Toe with the ALWAC computer located on the campus at Oregon State University. This computer was set up so that it could be used interactively via a Teletype that served as an I/O unit.
I was awarded a doctorate in mathematics (specializing in numerical analysis) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in January 1963. I have been teaching and writing in the field of information technology in education since then.
I was an Instructor in the Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin, January 1963-June 1963. I was an Assistant Professor and then an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and in the Computing Center (Engineering) at Michigan State University, 1963-1967. I was an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics and the Computing Center at the University of Oregon, 1967-1969. I was the first chairman of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oregon from 1969 to 1975. I was promoted to full Professor in 1976.
I served as Editor-in-Chief of Learning and Leading with Technology, the flagship publication for the International Society for Technology in Education, from 1974 to 2001. (I started the publication in 1974; it was initially called the Oregon Computing Teacher.) During that time I wrote approximately 150 "think piece" editorials and other articles for this publication. A historical time line of ISTE is available at http://www.timetoast.com/timelines/9571.
Throughout my professional career, I traveled extensively in the United States and Canada, presenting several hundred workshops, keynote addresses, and other talks at conferences. I also presented to groups in Australia, Costa Rica, and New Zealand.
I have authored or co-authored more than 50 books as well as numerous articles on information technology in education. I was the major professor or co-major professor of six doctoral students in math and 76 doctoral students the field of computers in education.
In 1979, I founded the International Council for Computers in Education (ICCE). I served as the Executive Officer of ICCE 1979 to 1989. ICCE became the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) in 1989 when it merged with the International Association for Computing in Education. I am considered to be the Founder of the International Society for Technology in Education. I was the Executive Officer of ISTE from 1989 to 1998. I served as ISTE's Executive Officer for Research and Development from June 1998 to the end of March 2001. At that time he\I ended my employment with ISTE.
I am a member of the Board of the Mathematics Learning Center, which is headquartered in Salem, Oregon. I was one of the founding members of this nonprofit organization in 1976, and have served on the Board in a variety of capacities, such a Secretary for many years, and as Chair of the Board.
At its March 2002 annual conference, the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education presented me with its Lifetime Achievement Award. Access two of his "golden oldie" papers and a personal history acceptance speech/paper presented at the conference, published in V2 N2 of the CITE Journal.
From September 2002 until June 2007 I worked .33 FTE at the University as a phase in to full retirement from the university. Full retirement, except for a very small FTE on a grant, began at the end of August 2007.
In summer 2007 I established the Information Age Education (IAE) company, a non-profit dedicated to improving teaching and learning by people of all ages and throughout the world. One of the projects being carried out by IAE is establishing an IAE-pedia. This is a Wiki that focuses specifically on empowering preservice and inservice teacher, teachers of teachers, and their students.
Long Form of Vita
David Moursund's professional Vita is available at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/dave/vita.htm.
A somewhat older vita containing a list of all books authored up through 2007 is available at http://pages.uoregon.edu/moursund/dave/vita.htm. A list of about 25 books that are now made available free on the Web is available at http://iae-pedia.org/David_Moursund_Legacy_Fund. This includes two books published in 2011.
Awards and Honors, Grants
(March 2002) Received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Society for Information Technology in Teacher Education (SITE).
(2002). Member of the Advisory Committee for eTIP Cases, a three year PTTT Catalyst Grant.
(2001). District Administrator (December, 2001): I was selected as one of the op 25 Education Technology Advocates by District Administration: K-12 Education Leadership, Curriculum, Technology, & Trends.
(1999). NECC Pioneer, June 1999. I was one of 20 people selected as NECC Pioneers, with the presentation occurring at the NECC 1999 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The first NECC was held in Iowa in 1979, and I attended that small conference of perhaps 200 to 250 attendees. NECC was an outgrowth of Computer Conference on the Undergraduate Curriculum, which was held for the previous 10 years under National Science Foundation sponsorship.
(1999). eSchool News: Top 30 Most Significant People in Educational Technology [Online]. Accessed 12/3/01: http://www.att.com/learningnetwork/30_top.html.
(November 1998). Paul Pair Award for Lifetime Achievement, IT in Education, ISTE.
(June 15, 1998). Selected by the editorial board of Homework Central (http://www.homeworkcentral.com) as a member of their "100 Most Influential" list.
(June 1998). Making It Happen award. This is also known as the "Pink Jacket" award and is a corporate/media award given to leaders in the field of IT in education.
(1998) ISTE Staff Appreciation Award.
(1990). University of Oregon College of Arts and Sciences, Distinguished Alumni Award.
(1988). Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE) President's Award.
(1982). ACM Recognition of Service Award, December 1982. Chairman of Subcommittee on Elementary and Secondary Education, 1978-1982. Signed by David H Brandin, President and Adele Goldberg, Secretary. I had started working with the ACM Subcommittee on Secondary Education several years earlier. At that time, there was no Subcommittee on Elementary Education. My work led to the expansion of the Secondary Education Committee into the Elementary and Secondary Committee, and I was its first chair.
During my time on the committee, I took a leadership role in putting together two reports titled ACM Topics: Computer Education for Elementary and Secondary Schools. The January 1981 publication was 92 pages in length and the January 1983 issue was 111 pages in length.
(1958) Awarded Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, Wisconsin Alumni Fellowship, and National Science Foundation Fellowship (each a three year grant) for graduate studies. Accepted the NSF Fellowship and attended the University of Wisconsin, Madison for master's degree and doctorate in mathematics.
(1958) Distinguished ROTC (Military) Award.
(1958). DeCou Prize for Outstanding Mathematics Major, University of Oregon
(1958). Elected to "Senior Six" , University of Oregon Phi Beta Kappa. Graduated second in his class (based on GPA) at the University of Oregon.
(1956). Received the Crown Zellerbach Scholarship (for junior and senior year) awarded to the most outstanding University of Oregon student who has completed two years of Chemistry.
(1956). University of Oregon Freshman book prize for Outstanding Student in Freshman Physics.
(1955). University of Oregon Freshman book prize for Outstanding Student in Freshman Chemistry.
(1955). University of Oregon Freshman book prize for Outstanding Student in Freshman Mathematics.
Up Close and Personal
This section is for comments from people who want to share personal knowledge and stories about Dave Moursund.
Glen Bull is in the process of doing interviews with various leaders in the field of computers in education. In an interview with Anita Best, Anita provides some history leading up to her being hired by Dave Moursund to work for the International Council for Computers in Education in 1983, and then some subsequent history of ICCE and ISTE. Her interview includes a description of an historic social gathering held at her house in 1979, when a group of people agreed to establishing ICCE.
My most recent project is the creation of a non-profit organization named Information Age Education(IAE). Its goal is to help improve teaching and learning by people of all ages, throughout the world. Current IAE activities include:
- Wiki: http://iae-pedia.org/. This is one of IAE's home pages.
- Web: http://i-a-e.org/home.html. This is one of IAE's home pages.
- Newsletter: http://i-a-e.org/iae-newsletter.html
- Blog: http://i-a-e.org/iae-blog.html.
Dave's Responses to Reader-posed Questions
Q. Why did you leave ISTE?
A. This is a delicate question. I spent a great deal of my professional career starting and nurturing the International Council for Computers in Education (ICCE), and continued with this work when ICCE became the International Society for Technology in Education. During much of this time, I worked about 2/3 time for the University of Oregon and 1/3 time for ICCE-ISTE. My ICCE-ISTE salary was set by the rate of pay I received as a faculty member at the University of Oregon.
Eventually, the ISTE Board became dissatisfied with my leadership of ISTE. The organization's staff had grown quite large. The Board decided that ISTE needed a full time person running the organization. I decided not to take that position. My position at ISTE was changed from being the Executive Officer who was head of the organization to being Executive Officer in charge of ISTE's Research and Evaluation operations. I continued to hold my position of ISTE's Editor in Chief.
A search was conducted to find a person to work full time as ISTE's Chief Executive Officer, and a full time CEO was hired. It seemed to me that the new CEO and I got along fairly well, and I did my best to be cooperative and collaborative. However, eventually we locked horns over whether or not ISTE actually had a Board-approved Minority Fund. From my point of view, ISTE had such a fund, had been receiving contributions into it for several years, and had been spending from that fund to carry out a variety of activities supporting minorities. The new CEO wanted to roll these funds into the general ISTE funds, and claimed that there was no evidence of an official action by the Board of Directors to create the Minority Fund.
This disagreement became "heated." The CEO and I each hired a lawyer. The final outcome was that I left ISTE, but received a "golden parachute" payment that represented my salary at .333 FTE for 14 months. (The golden parachute was was a component of my long term contract with ISTE.) The money was paid to the University of Oregon and I put most of it into a scholarship fund. The remainder was used to defray my legal expenses.
Please note that the CEO that I had my disagreement with was not Don Knezek, a CEO who was hired after I left ISTE.
Q. Why do you write books and make them available free under a Creative Commons License?
A. There are two parts to an answer. First, I don't like the hassle of dealing with commercial publishers, such as writing to meet their perceived needs. Second, I feel that my book writing is a way to help contribute to the world and to help pay back for all of the good things that the world has done for me. I have a very nice retirement from the University of Oregon and I don't need book royalty income to support my life style. It gives me considerable satisfaction to be able to write what I want to write and to share it with the world.
Q. You write a lot. Do you enjoy doing this?
A. Writing gives me considerable pleasure. The writing process requires that I read a lot, communicate with a lot of people, and think a lot. The publication process is quite similar to teaching—except that I don't have to grade papers and assign grades to students. Thus, I can continue to be a teacher and not have to do the one part of teaching that I don't like doing.
Q. I understand that you have "face blindness." How has this affected you?
A. Face blindness is a layman's term for prosopagnosia. According to a 7/28/2010 article at http://www.aftau.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=12615, two-percent of people suffer from this problem. In essence, it means they have great difficulty in recognizing people by their faces.
For me, I was not aware of this problem until I read an article about it in a weekly news magazine about ten years ago. It then became apparent why I couldn't pick out my wife's face in a crowd and some difficulties I had in working with students and colleagues, even in small groups. Of course, I can recognize people from their voices, mannerisms, clothing, context, and so on.
Nowadays I am able to be open about this problem, so people often help me when I don't seem to recognize who they are. Of course, I also suffer from two problem that many older people encounter—not being able to quickly remember names of people that I know, and becoming more "creaky." A double whammy. Ces't la vie.
Q. (Readers: Feel free to submit questions. Questions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Learn more about my home state, Oregon, at http://www.oregongeology.org/hazvu/.
The following is an abbreviated list of some of my publications.
- See a list of books I have written that are available free on the Web at http://iae-pedia.org/David_Moursund_Books. This is about half of the books I have authored or co-authored.
- Access to approximately 170 editorials that I wrote while working for ISTE is available at http://iae-pedia.org/David_Moursund_Editorials.
The list given below is some of my more recent books. All are published through Information Age Education and available free on the Web.
Moursund, D.G. (2008, 2009). Becoming more responsible for your education. Access at http://i-a-e.org/downloads/doc_download/39-becoming-more-responsbile-for-your-education.html. Eugene, OR: Information Age Education.
Moursund, D.G. (May 2007). A College Student's Guide to Computers in Education. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/CollegeStudent/CollegeStudent.html.
Moursund, D.G. (April 2007). A Faculty Member’s Guide to Computers in Higher Education. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/Faculty/Faculty.html.
Moursund, D.G. (August 2006). Parents' Guide to Computers in Education. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/Parents/Parents-Guide.html.
Moursund, D.G. (June 2006). Introduction to Using Games in Education: A Guide for Teachers and Parents. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/Games/games.html.
Moursund, D.G. (June 2006). Computational Thinking and Math Maturity: Improving Math Education in K-8 Schools. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/ElMath/ElMath.html.
Moursund, D.G. (2006). Computers in Education for Talented and Gifted Students: A Book for Elementary and Middle School Teachers. Access at: http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/TAG/TAG.html.
Moursund, D.G. (2005, 2006). Brief Introduction to Educational Implications of Artificial Intelligence. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/AIBook/index.htm.
Moursund, D.G. (2005). Planning, Forecasting, and Inventing Your Computers-in-Education Future. Second Edition (6/1/05). Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/InventingFutures/index.htm.
Moursund, D.G. (2005). Introduction to Information and Communication Technology in Education. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/ICT/ICTBook.html.
Moursund, D.G. (2004). Brief Introduction to Roles of Computers in Problem Solving. Access at http://uoregon.edu/~moursund/Books/SPSB/index.htm.