Stanford educator Howard Rheingold moves on to the next chapter

As Howard Rheingold leaves Stanford to focus on developing craft and electronic skills to make more interactive art, we reflect on his legacy.

Stanford lecturer Howard Rheingold describes himself as an “independent thinker, online instigator, novice educator, expert learner, offline gardener” on Twitter, but he’s actually worn even more hats than that.

Rheingold will be retiring from teaching this quarter after ten years at Stanford. He shared some of his story and plans in advance of a dessert celebration that will be hosted by the Stanford Department of Communication at McClatchy Hall on March 3 at 1 p.m.

(Editor’s Note: Peninsula Press is a project of the Stanford Journalism Program, where Rheingold has been a lecturer. Author Mandy Zibart is a thesis advisee of Rheingold’s.)

Rheingold started writing about social technology as a journalist, and he participated in the first online communities about a decade before most people had access to the Internet. He described feeling a sense of community that most people only experienced offline, a deep connection to people with whom he developed close friendships, celebrating weddings and even attending funerals, despite having exclusively online interactions previous to these events.

His unique perspective in the world of technology and journalism led him to an opportunity to teach digital journalism at Stanford during the time his daughter attended the school. While teaching digital journalism, he branched into teaching other curriculum focused on social media skills related to awareness, identity, collaboration and social capital, when he noticed a dearth of information being offered to students by educators in this domain.

In the spirit of movement and “time not being infinite” as he said during a sit-down interview at his home in Marin County, he will be leaving Stanford to focus on developing craft and electronic skills to make more interactive art.

Recent art projects include:

To see more from Howard, you can also follow him on Twitter.

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