1st February 2008 at 00:00
Tony van der Kuyl, who died last week aged 61, made his mark for some 32 years as a pioneer in utilising technology to deliver educational improvement for both pupils and teachers alike.

Through a long and distinguished career, cut short by a very brief illness, Tony brought an element of mischievous excitement to the often stale corridors of education.

A big man in every sense - big on ideas, big on achievement and 6' 4" tall - Tony loved nothing more than making an impact on education, never more so than as the director of the Scottish Interactive Technology Centre at Edinburgh University's education faculty which he founded and managed since its inception in 1989. Born in Dundee, the oldest of three children, he married Marlynn Zamorska in 1969 and they had one son, Chris, the well-known entrepreneur.

In 1970 he returned to education to study history and politics at Dundee University, graduating with honours in 1974. After taking his BEd at Jordanhill, Tony began his teaching career at St Saviour's High in Dundee as a modern studies and history teacher. He pioneered the use of computers in schools and led at St Saviour's to be the first in the country to offer computer studies as a recognised subject.

Tony took up the position of lecturer in computer studies at Moray House College in Edinburgh in 1983. His primary interest became the use of interactive technology in teaching and learning, with a particular focus on continuing professional development. During a prolific career he published and produced over 50 multimedia, online and video products and accompanying publications for a wide range of clients. He won several British interactive media awards and numerous other plaudits for his pioneering work and was recognised globally as a leader in his field.

Unbeknown to many, even as illness set in, he was again hard at work in a philanthropic sense, helping to craft an educational strategy in support of former President Clinton and Sir Tom Hunter's work in Rwanda and Malawi.

Tony and his family had spent recent months establishing the van der Kuyl education foundation ( which will ensure that Tony's philosophy, influence, network and enthusiasm continues positively to affect the education of children around the world.

His compassion and emotional attachment to doing "what was right for young people" will never be forgotten, nor his unending optimism that solutions to educational problems were always just around the corner. He is survived by his wife, son, grandsons, father and sisters.

A celebration of his life and funeral service will take place in the Bonar Hall, Park Place, Dundee University, at 1pm on February 8.

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