Dr. Dustin Heuston
In 1970, Dr. Dustin Heuston was the Headmaster of the Spence School, a private K–12 school in New York City. A student entering her senior year pointed out that she would soon graduate, knowing nothing about computers. Heuston hired her that summer to help plan the implementation of computers at Spence. Within a few years, the school shared a 55-terminal network with 7 other schools in New York City.
Heuston became intrigued with the computer’s potential as an educational delivery system and began to investigate the work of computer developers around the country. He envisioned a machine that would individualize instruction for students, identifying their weaknesses and tailoring instruction to meet their needs. Heuston recognized that the computer could fulfill his vision, and predicted high-quality software and inexpensive, powerful hardware could deliver the finest education to every student.
In 1976, Heuston founded the World Institute of Computer-Assisted Teaching (WICAT) Inc. to originate the field of interactive computer-assisted learning technology. In 1980 he left WICAT and founded Waterford Institute, where he pioneered interactive training using computers and videodisks. During this period, he received a grant from the National Science Foundation to produce the world’s first educational videodisk, The Development of Living Things.
In 1990, he commenced development of the Waterford Early Reading Program™, and in 1992, he introduced Mental Math Games Classroom Edition, a software package that increased students’ speed and accuracy in recalling basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. Heuston received Technology and Learning’s 1992 Award of Excellence for Mental Math Games. In 1994, he received Software Publishers Association’s 1994 Best Elementary Education Program Award for Mental Math Games.
Subsequent software releases have included Waterford Early Reading Program Level One (emergent reading), Waterford Early Math and Science™, Waterford Early Reading Program Level Two (beginning reading), Waterford Early Reading Program Level Three (fluent reading), Waterford Early Math and Science Level One, and Waterford Early Math and Science Level Two and Level Three.
Dr. Heuston was born in New York City and received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, his M.A. in American Literature from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from New York University. He has held academic positions at Vassar, Pine Manor Junior College, and Brigham Young University.