Many of you are familiar with David Warlick and the many insightful blog posts and podcasts that he has published on his web sites. He continues to be one of the most significant voices in the online educational technology community, and if you have not visited his site to consider his “Two Cents Worth,” on a variety of timely topics, I highly recommend that you take a look at what he has created. Two recent posts caught my attention because they both relate to topics that are near to my own heart.
On December 29, Warlick put forth some interesting observations in a blog post titled “Our Classrooms are Irrevelant, not Obsolete,” a post that coincided with his 50th podcast in which he sought opinions from educators about how they envisioned classrooms ten years from now. As you might guess, responses from many of the educators he interviewed included predictions about new and more powerful wireless devices, handheld technologies, and expanded capabilities for virtual learning experiences. In the post he wrote, “Technology works best when it is connecting, not when it separates. We have the potential today to put students into direct contact with a global library of information, and the power not only to access but to twist and turn, uncover, and discover with that information, to construct new knowledge and new information products, and share them with the world. This is the measure of the distances that can be spanned by technology.”
In his January 12 blog post from MacWorld in San Francisco, David Warlick wrote: “I believe that Discovery Educator Network is something to pay attention to. In a time when resources are short (to non-existent), and risk taking is unheard-of, here is a company who has a mission to help people learn, has never paid attention when told, “You can’t do that.” and sincerely wants to help us do our jobs by serving us from the 21st century, not from the 19th. They’re still trying to figure that out, but they are hiring some very smart people to help them engineer something special.”
As one of the DEN managers, I appreciate David’s kind words, but I would take his observation a step further and extend the praise to the collective membership of the Discovery Educator Network—the teachers, Media Specialists, and technology leaders who have joined our network and who have already made great contributions in their schools. These talented people will be the ones who help us to realize a community of educators that we also think will be “something special.”
As we work together to redefine the educational environment for the 21st century, what do you think our classrooms will look like in ten years? What role will digital media play in this evolving environment?