A Lifetime of Collaboration

Rick Goldsworthy is a self-proclaimed hacker kid. For him, tech was a toy and he played pretty hard. While an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, he moved from a hard science focus to philosophy, playing with what it means to know and learn. Soon thereafter, his play expanded to include other people when he received his first grant to explore the use of technology as a form of anchored instruction enabling students to investigate sinkholes throughout central Kentucky. This project led to seven years as a teacher in a school for kids with learning disabilities. Rick wondered whether tech could be used to improve not only educational but also social outcomes, and another grant was born almost simultaneously with enrolling as a doctoral student in the Instructional Systems Technology program in the Indiana University School of Education.

Over his academic career at IU, he received funding on several other projects that used interactive media for education and health behavioral change. These projects established a Bloomington site of his family’s company, Academic Edge, Incorporated. Fifteen years later, Rick continues to collaborate with his former professors, other IU colleagues, and several IU students who have gone to work with him. Today, he and Academic Edge, Inc., work on a wide range of projects such as developing computer games that foster conflict resolution skills, creating programs that increase sexual health, and educating physicians about proper patient evaluation of drug and alcohol use.

Rick credits much of his success to the critical thinking skills cultivated during his doctoral program and the faculty who constantly challenged him to think about problems in a different light. Rick, his wife, Susan, and their three children are avid fans of IU Athletics and enjoy taking the family to the IU games of all kinds, especially soccer. When not working, Rick helps coach his kids’ soccer teams and enjoys thinking about the intersection of youth sports, child development, and learning theory.

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