One of my earliest heroes in educational computing was Fred D’Ignazio. I began reading Fred’s columns in Compute Magazine (index here) and other publications back in the early 1980s.
Fred D’Ignazio is the Father of Educational Multimedia. In addition to his countless books, articles and flamboyant conference presentations, Fred pioneered multimedia authoring by students before HyperCard, CD-ROMs, MP3, iMovie, digital cameras, the World Wide Web, blogs, wikis, podcasts and School 2.0. Fred D’Ignazio was teaching teachers and children to mash-up media while Lawrence Lessig was still in law school and he did so with scavenged equipment and Radio Shack parts.
When you hear other speakers say that teachers are paper-trained, you might wave this fifteen year-old article in front of them. Fred D’Ignazio coined that term too!
During the 1990s, Fred and I got the opportunity to work together on a number of occasions, including a multi-day institute I organized in Australia. Fred was a fixture on the educational computing conference circuit through the early 21st Century and then disappeared. His website is no longer available and his legacy evaporates a bit more with each passing day.
In an age when you can Google anything and anyone, I’ve lost track of my friend Fred. I hope he is well.
If you have any information about Fred, please let me know.
Veteran educator Gary Stager, Ph.D. is the author of Twenty Things to Do with a Computer – Forward 50, co-author of Invent To Learn — Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom, publisher at Constructing Modern Knowledge Press, and the founder of the Constructing Modern Knowledge summer institute. He led professional development in the world’s first 1:1 laptop schools thirty years ago and designed one of the oldest online graduate school programs. Gary is also the curator of The Seymour Papert archives at DailyPapert.com. Learn more about Gary here.
12 thoughts on “Where in the World is Fred D’Ignazio?”
I heard, just the other day, that Fred retired to a farm in the countryside somewhere. But that’s as much info as I got!
Fred moved to North Carolina, the Raleigh area, several years ago, following his wife, who works(ed) for one of the state agencies. He spoke at a local ed tech conference a number of years ago, but I haven’t heard from him since then.
He was one of the earliest evangelists — and a barely bundled mass of energy…
— dave —
And he doesn’t show up in the Social Security Death Index. so that’s good news!
That is good news and I didn’t know that there was such an index. It is wild for someone so prominent to just disappear.
I own books written by Fred in the early 1980s and just found a brochure of his while doing some spring cleaning. He was a very early influence on me and I was able to have him work with me in Australia during the 90s.
I, too, remember sessions with Fred D’Ignazio and his description of working with “state of the past” technology. His sessions were never about jumping on the latest bandwagon, but about how technology (even if you were not up to date) could empower students to become powerful storytellers and producers. Always inspiring.
He should know that his influence has helped mould many teachers of my vintage.
Fred introduced me to the Apple IIe video overlay card…my life was forever changed. 🙂
FRED LIVES!!!!! I can attest to this, as I once competed in triathlons and marathons with Fred and he changed my life too! Fred and his wife are in the Raleigh area of North Carolina, where he wears many hats: mission work, travel, being a granddad, storytelling to various groups of local children, and basically inspiring anyone he comes into contact with! We love Fred.
Never fear, good people. Freddie is alive and well and throwing his “barely bundled mass of energy” into all sorts of good projects. Some things never change and Fred D’Ignazio’s love affair with learning and teaching children is now directed to social justice issues. Whether he’s working with programs to keep homeless families together or organizing a community garden to feed people – body and soul – or helping with a race to raise money for healthcare clinics, he’s never still which won’t come as a surprise to you people. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, but you get the idea.
So, knowing that people in his world now would be devastated to lose him, I asked him if I could post his e-mail address here so you all can contact him if you want to. Although he’s too modest to write here himself naturally he said, “Of course!!” So if you want to find Freddie directly, write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How grateful are we all that the rumors of Freddie’s “demise” are greatly exaggerated.
Fred is alive and well living Apex NC. Proud grandfather, storyteller and happy farmer.Working ona new book.
Hi Gary! This is Catie, Fred’s daughter, who was there for the Microworlds Institute in Australia – fond memories!!! My dad’s alive and well (though I think it’s hilarious in a kind of black way that people are checking death indexes for him since he’s been recently running marathons & was a nationally ranked triathlete for a couple years). As his other friends stated he’s directed his priorities in a new way but with the same energy and flamboyant style. I think he’s on Facebook if you want to friend him. I hope you are well!!!
I’m a fan of Fred’s books in my youth, and was just looking for info on how to let him know.
From a web page about gardeners in Apex, NC:
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