"The ignorance of how to use new knowledge stockpiles exponentially" - Marshall McLuhan - 1911-1980

A Brief Biography


W. Reid Cornwell

Reid Cornwell

Reid is a multidisciplinary, empirically grounded, conceptual thinker with experience in both academic and industrial environments. As executive director of the Focus on Education Foundation and director of research for the Center for Internet Research, he is an outspoken advocate for the use of technology as a tool for reforming education, and the application of empirical research to inform educational practice.

A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Cornwell dropped out of Richard J. Reynolds High School to join the United States Marine Corps. After completing a GED, he earned bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in experimental psychology. He taught at Franciscan University of Steubenville and in the North Carolina community college system.


He then joined a national human resources consulting firm, where he quickly became the corporate training director. In this capacity, he developed technology-based training systems that remain a standard in that industry. Based on that experience, Cornwell founded his own consulting firm to provide industrial training, change management, and recruiting services. The firm, which created the first online job service, grew to 25 locations and was ultimately purchased by a competitor.


Cornwell's earliest association with computer technology was with large-scale mainframe computers using HP, DEC and IBM systems. He was given the task of connecting two research facilities together using ARPANET. While the early technology was inadequate to accomplish the goal of building collaborative systems for communication and data sharing, the experience was formative.


Experiences as a human resource consultant informs Cornwell's concern about the quality of education systems and the uses of technology in education. In 1997, he assumed his current position at the Focus on Education Foundation, where he has devoted the last decade to the cause of education reform. In that capacity he concetualized and created The Center for Internet Research.


Awards and Recognition

Cornwell has been recognized by Optimist International for outstanding contribution to education, distinguished service by Boy Scouts of America, and academic achievement by Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities. His publications can be found in the Wall Street Journal, Chemical Progress, Chemical Week, AACE, ISTE, and more; his book on empirically-based implementation of the internet, information management in computer-aided teaching and learning will soon be published by Cambridge Scholars Press.


Selected Peer-reviewed Publications and Presentations

Book: Connected Learning (provisional title), under contract with Cambridge Scholars Press. PPT Proposal,
View the Power Point

Cornwell, J., & Cornwell, W. R. (2009). 'Signal and Noise: n-Dimensional Query and Experiential Learning.' Peer reviewed and accepted for the ED-MEDIA 2009; did not attend conference, paper not presented due to illness. Download Experiential Learning.pdf


Cornwell, J., & Cornwell, W. R. (2008). 'Unintended Consequences: Organ Transplantation, Organ Trafficking, and the Globalized Ethics of Biomedicine. In N. R. Khadpekar (Ed.),' (pp. 12-25). Hyderabad, India: The Icfai University Press. View ISBN Reference


Cornwell, J., & Cornwell, W. R. (September, 2008). 'Signal and Noise Extreme Data, Hypercomplexity, and Cognitive Dissonance in an Age of Information Glut.' A paper presented at the University of Illinois at Chicago Department of Communications. By invitation of Steve Jones Ph.D Associate Dean for Liberal Arts and Sciences.


Cornwell, J., & Cornwell, W. R. (March, 2008). 'The Power of n-Dimensional Query and Education.' Paper presented at the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education International Conference, Charleston, SC.


Cornwell, R., and P. Suber. (2008). 'Perspective on open-access publishing: An interview with Peter Suber.' Innovate 4 (4).


Cornwell, R., and T. Gardner-Medwin. 2008. Perspective on certainty-based marking: An interview with Tony Gardner-Medwin. Innovate 4 (3).'


Harrison Rainie, Lee Rainie, Janna Quitney Anderson, Susannah Fox. 'hopes and Fears: The Future of the Internet.' Pages: 26, 96, 150, 263,Cambria Press, 2008 View ISBN Reference


Cornwell, J., & Cornwell, W. R. (2006). 'Connected Learning: A Framework of Observation, Research and Development to Guide the Reform of Education.' The Center for Internet Research. Available at:


Cornwell, W.R., Center for Internet Research. Extreme Data, Hyper-complexity, Semiotics and the Internet Solution or Problems. Colloquim given at University of Wyoming (January 31, 2006).

The Internet and American Life Project, Imagining the Internet, Elon University/ Pew Internet Project.


Cornwell, J., & Cornwell. W. R. 1999, July. 'Manage Your Career Like a Business.' Chemical Processing Magazine July,1999 View the Reprint


Cornwell, J., & Cornwell. W. R. 1999, Sept. 'ROI Career Management: The new career strategy.' Chemical Processing Magazine July,1999 View the Reprint