The work of Howard Aiken, John von Newmann, Grace Hopper, Alan Turing, John Mauchley, and others illustrates the enormous contribution that higher education and especially American higher education has made to the technological developments in our society, to say nothing of its status as one of the most important sectors of the world economy. At one time or another, most of the initial pioneering work and tinkering in technology was done by academics, professors, and researchers in small laboratories and faculty offi ces. Their freedom to think, to imagine, and to create was made possible by virtue of the fact that they had careers in our higher educational institutions. In the fi rst part of this chapter, a brief examination of their work in the early development of digital technology will be presented. The second part of this chapter will look specifi cally at the early developments (pre-1990s) that laid the foundation for online education.