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History of LDT

The LDT Program’s true beginnings were in 1996, when Dean Rich Shavelson suggested that the Graduate School of Education should do more in the area of emerging technologies. Five faculty members – Brigid Barron, Robbie Case, James Greeno, Michael Kamil, and Decker Walker – met regularly to create a unique Masters’ Program focused on preparing professionals to design the future of learning. The faculty understood that the purposeful application of technology to learning problems required an academic rigor and an integrative team-based approach. The Learning, Design and Technology Program would tackle these challenges with a problem-based learning methodology, an internship in a real design environment, and a Masters’ Project focused on creating an actual learning technology.

Effective September 1, 2020, the GSE was approved to offer a Master of Science (MS) in Education degree. While the LDT program has always focused on learning technologies, the university’s academic structure originally placed LDT as an academic subplan under the GSE’s Master of Arts (MA) in Education degree. Moving forward, the LDT program is offered under the MS in Education degree. We feel that this signals the character of the program since its inception.

From the initial announcement of the Program, LDT has attracted many outstanding students (in fact, the Program commenced a year earlier than planned to accommodate the high demand!). The change to the MS degree has additional implications for our talented students from around the world. The new MS in Education degree was assigned a STEM-eligible Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code, which allows international MS-LDT students on F-1 visas to qualify for an additional 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) in the United States.

With strong support from the Dean and faculty, the LDT Program’s future is bright. Indeed, the Program has earned an enviable reputation for the excellence of its graduates and LDT students are warmly welcomed in classes in departments across Stanford. And it is these students who, with their effort and enthusiasm, are currently writing the next chapter in the history of LDT.

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