Dr. (Professor) David Garvin Moursund, 1979 founder of the
International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and
mathematician, computer scientist, teacher, author, mentor, and
friend to so many, passed away on September 1, 2021, in Florence,
Oregon, after a relatively short battle with stage 4 lung cancer.
He was 84 years old.
Dave was born in Eugene, Oregon on November 3, 1936. He graduated from the University of Oregon in 1958 and earned his doctorate in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin in 1963. After teaching at Michigan State University, he joined the faculty of the University of Oregon in 1969 and was made Professor Emeritus at his retirement in 2002.
In retirement, Dave continued his leadership in the education technology field. He authored or co-authored over 60 books as well as several hundred articles in the field of computers and education. Dave established the not-for-profit Information Age Education (IAE) in 2007 and experienced considerable success making free educational materials available for use with improving informal and formal education at all levels, throughout the world. His books and his Information Age Education newsletters are available for free download on the IAE website, www.i-a-e.org and will continue to be archived there.
Dave then founded the non-profit corporation Advancement of Globally Appropriate Technology and Education (AGATE) in 2015 and served as its CEO until his death. AGATE was created as the successor to IAE, now a subsidiary of AGATE, to continue and expand IAE’s work. AGATE believes that education is a lifelong endeavor, that education helps to improve people’s quality of life, and that a good education is a human birthright. The organization’s approaches to improving education are based on educational research as well as practical experiences of people of all ages as they work to help themselves and others learn. AGATE’s strategy is to create professional development opportunities for teachers around the world by using a combination of in-person and remote learning options created by and conducted by native language speakers.
In 2019, Dave was honored by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) as their founder at their 40th anniversary conference in Philadelphia, attended by 18,000 educators from 87 countries. He successfully steered the launch of this organization, serving as Executive Director for nineteen years, and launched its 42 years of annual conferences. He was editor for the association’s flagship publications that began in 1974 as The Oregon Computing Teacher and evolved over the years into The Computing Teacher and Learning and Leading with Technology. The journal now is published online by ISTE as Empowered Learner. Over the years, these journals have allowed millions of readers to share their successes and challenges with educational technology, to inspire others, and to learn from one another.
Among his many other honors, in 2018 Dave received the CUE Platinum Disk, presented by the California Computer-Using Educators to CUE members to recognize their significant ongoing contributions to the advancement of technology in education and an outstanding career-long commitment to CUE, its affiliates, and its mission. The Platinum Disk is CUE’s highest award.
In 2013, Dave and his partner Ann Lathrop moved to a beachfront condo in Florence, Oregon. Dave became active in supporting the Siuslaw School District there and served on the Siuslaw Education Foundation Board. In 2018, Dave and Ann founded the Safe Shelter for Siuslaw Students 501(c)(3) organization in Florence with the goal of providing emergency temporary housing for K-12 students currently enrolled in the Siuslaw School District and for their families, as needed, then assisting them to move into transitional housing programs available through community partners.
There is no more fitting epitaph for Dave Moursund than his own words: “A hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…. But the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.”
Dave leaves behind a legacy of tremendous impact on countless students and educators throughout the world:
Dave’s last book published prior to his death in May 2021 is The
Future of AI in Schools. A quote from the book says much
about what Dave was thinking about at the end of his life: “My
dream for this oncoming future is that Homo Sapiens will make
effective use of our continuing rapid technological progress to
produce a good and sustainable quality of life for themselves, and
also to create a balance with nature in which a huge range of
forms of life are preserved and prosper.” The short 75-page book
is available free at http://iae-pedia.org/The_Future_of_AI_in_Our_Schools.
Dave thought this was the most important and best book he ever
To the end Dave remained dedicated to his family and friends and to his vision of the promise of technology to improve education, the quality of life, and the preservation of other forms of life. He spent his last days just as he wanted. He read about and engaged with others in thinking about education, talked with children about their thoughts on school and learning, continued his weekly online bridge game with his family, continued to write his newsletter and his last book, visited with family and friends, and spent each day loving and working with his life partner, Ann Lathrop. He will be greatly missed.
Dave is survived by his four children, Beth, Andy, Russell, and Jenny; his four stepchildren, Bethanne, David, Bonnie, and Scott; by his former wife, Janet Moursund; and his life partner, Ann Lathrop.
Those wishing to honor Dave’s memory may contribute to the David G. Moursund AGATE Memorial Fund, a federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization. As his health declined, Dave set up this fund to specifically be used to support teachers and students in poverty-stricken schools across the world. Your donation will be deeply appreciated at the AGATE website, agate.solutions.
and Math across the History Curriculum is
being published posthumously. It is based on a series of IAE
Newsletters that he wrote in 2019-2021 with the
intention of combining them into a book. Instead, his focus
shifted to writing Computer Cultural Literacy (2020)
followed by AI and the Future of Education (2021).
Dave returned to this book in the spring of 2021 and worked on
it despite his illness through most of the summer. Ann Lathrop
and Anita McAnear have edited the book for publication even
though a few of the sections were incomplete. Dave truly
believed that this book could help history teachers as well as
other teachers across the curriculum to make more effective
uses of computer technology and math in their classes. It is
available online and for free download at https://i-a-e.org/downloads/free-ebooks-by-dave-moursund.html.