Back in the 1995, the Internet as we know it today was just getting organized. There were only 23,500 web sites on the entire Internet (vs. 1.7 billion sites in 2022). Yahoo’s tree index – a collection of static web pages – was the “Google” of the day.
The National Science Foundation saw a need for an index site like Yahoo, but dedicated specifically to educators, explaining the Internet and indexing and organizing education specific resources.
The Virtual Public Library – Instructional Media Center – vpl-imc.org – was the result of that 1995 NSF initiative.
As with most initiatives, funding eventually ended for the web site. Rather than shutting down this resource, Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum, one of the original site creators, adopted the site on behalf of the Bonnie and Marty Tenenbaum Foundation.
Over the years this site has gone thru a number of reorganizations – and a couple of name changes – as it adjusts to the evolution of the Internet and the changing needs of its core audience, the K-12 education community.
Dr. Bonnie Tenenbaum continued to maintain this website until her death in 2020. After her passing, the Foundation explored a number of different options, including transforming the website into a peer maintained, wiki type website. Unfortunately, teachers have very little spare time, especially in the middle the upheavals brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pamela (Pam) Choate was brought on board in April, 2022 to take over Bonnie’s “head librarian” position and guide K12IRC.org into the future.
Today, rather than trying to be all things to all people, we focus on highlighting best-of-breed resources, ideas for interdisciplinary learning, and to be a clearinghouse for educator concerns and needs.
We receive no advertising, government, or corporate funding. This allows us to be an independent voice, indexing the-best-of-the-web for the K-12 education community without restrictions or agenda.