About the Project: History of Computing for Learning in Education (HCLE)


The History of Computing for Learning in Education Virtual Museum Project
Mission: To preserve and interpret documents, artifacts and stories relating to the history of computing in learning and education; to make them accessible and usable by educational and computer leaders, historians, practitioners and the public.

We have a BIG project in hand. Education transformed between 1960 and 1990. Computers entered classrooms and our lives. What had to be learned, and how it was learned, changed for the educators and the students of all ages. For more about “why look back”, please see Liza’s 2006 paper delivered at the ICALT, IEEE Conference on 5-7 July 2006 in Kerkrade, The Netherlands.

Brick and mortar museums are doing an excellent job of preserving computer hardware; but the related papers, software and the oral histories are rapidly disappearing.

Unless the artifacts and studies are preserved and published in digital format, subsequent generations will lose two or three decades of seminal research from a critical time.

About the Virtual Museum. The HCLE Virtual Museum will encompass a publicly accessible database of over ten thousand documents for researchers. Casual visitors will use a simplified interface of virtual exhibits. Historic software, including games, will be operate in an emulation environment.

About the Traveling Exhibit. We will recreate a typical school computer laboratory from somewhere around 1980 that will access the HCLE Virtual Museum and its software emulators, allowing visitors to experience this critical time in our society’s development.

About Oral History Project. The Oral History Project will capture stories from the era that may only exist as memories. Through interviews and submissions those stories will be collected in words, images, audio, and video. Social media will provide a rich source of content.

What We Have

Thousands of documents are available. Manual scanning of the documents has begun. Limited office and storage space is available. Volunteers and occasional contract work help the work progress.

What We Need

We need to automate the scanning process, and hire sufficient staff to coordinate the volunteers, curate the collection, design and operate the Virtual Museum and the Traveling Exhibit, and reach out to researchers and the public.

This effort is estimated to require about $250,000 per quarter, 90% of which is labor for expediting the various projects. Initial funding will be directed to a proof-of-concept to demonstrate and test the development strategy.

How Long It Will Take

A concurrent effort could complete the bulk of the work within two and a half years. If sufficient funding is available in early 2013, each of the projects could be operational by mid-2017.


This is a critical time for preserving an important moment in the development of human civilization.

Please let us know if you have any questions. We look forward to working in partnership on this exciting online history project.


An introduction from Liza Loop, Founder:

This is a project to develop a virtual museum documenting the early use of computers to promote learning and education (approximately 1960 to 1990). I have a huge collection of documents and artifacts housed in an office in Milpitas, CA. (Update of November 2, 2015. Collection moved to Guerneville, “Managing the not-so-virtual assets of HCLE“) There are old computers and computer controlled toys, hundreds of programs developed to teach you-name-it, newsletters from early computer clubs, research reports, books and magazines, personal correspondence and much more. Most of this material is not currently available on the web. It should be accessible for scholars, teachers, learners, hobbyists and history buffs. I have started a rudimentary data base and begun scanning documents but the task is overwhelming for one person. Please join me to explore the collection, add your personal recollections to the archive, move the scanning forward, design the web interface, get the web site launched, reminisce about old times in computer education and share our experience with the next generation of educational innovators.


A video Introduction from Liza Loop, Founder:

an early video invite (2008)

Envisioning HCLE

Background, philosophy, and strategy of the History of Computing for Learning and Education (HCLE)

This is an Original Draft document developed by David Moursund and Ann Lathrop dated 7/18/2013.

Edited and Revised by Liza Loop on 12/11/2013. And again 04/23/2014

HCLE Program Plan

Want more details? Go to our Planning page.

HCLE Progress Reports

Administration by teams

    • Administration/Oversight
      1. LL, TT
      2. Volunteer management
    • Visioning Team –
    • Membership: LL, TT, Chris Hoke, David Moursund, Ann Lathrop
      • Tasks:
    • Outreach
      1. Conferences
      2. Blog/Facebook
  1. Database – Bob Speray, Atul
    1. Catalog-Item archive
    2. Constituency Relationship Management (CiviCRM)
    3. Contents of Web site
  2. Web Interface/Design Team – Paul Kroger (BOT)
    1. Browsing/Casual Visitors
      1. Catalog
      2. Web site
      3. Virtual World Exhibit
    2. Data Entry
    3. Site Maintenance/Staff Interface
    4. Social Media Participants
  3. Artifact Team
    1. Research
    2. Acquisitions/Curation
    3. Integration into collection/archiving
    4. Deployment in exhibits
    5. Disposition
    6. Copyright permissions
  4. Funding/Development – LL, TT
    1. Individuals (Vision Club)
    2. Gov’t and NGOs
    3. Foundations
    4. Corporations
  5. Exhibit Planning, Design and Execution – LL, Delia Caban
    1. exhibit planner
    2. software either slips in or is coded up

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