It’s Saturday morning and I’m up preparing for my panel appearance at the 2008 SLJ Leadership Summit. Author Marc Aronson, who just presented with me at TechForum Northeast, invited me to participate in a discussion he’s leading entitled: “Opening the Book: Matchmaking Nonfiction Books and Educational Technology in the Digital Age.” Here’s how he describes it on the conference wiki:
Where do printed books fit into the digital world and the library of the future? Are they outdated? Are they part of a larger media world? How would that function. A publisher, an author and a classroom teacher with experience in virtual worlds discuss the marriage (or divorce) of print and other media.
I will be joined by Vicki Cobb, an author whose new book, “We Dare You! Hundreds of Fun Science Bets, Challenges and Experiments You Can Do at Home” challenges kids to get active, start exploring, film their scientific adventures (!) and share them online. I love the sound of that, and it’s a great example of how the web can be used to expand and extend the reach of a printed textbook. I’m looking forward to meeting her.
We will also be showing Marc’s build in Second Life inspired by his book “Race: A History Beyond Black and White.” The build is just getting started but Marc is has been passionate for a long time about the potential for virtual worlds to extend conversation and promote understanding in ways simply not possible in real life.
As Marc explained to our audience at TechForum, he knows an author who, as research for a book she is writing on the KKK, attended a Klan rally. Imagine creating that experience virtually – safely – and allowing people to explore the imagery, language, emotions, rhetoric, and thoughts associated with it. Imagine a conversation about race, but one that is not in person, but virtual, where people are totally free to honestly examine, explore and share their feelings, biases and beliefs. I found Marc’s discussion fascinating and I look forward to the conversation we’ll be having today with this group of school library/media educational leaders, including my PLN friends Joyce Valenza and Cathy Nelson! You can also follow along on the conference Ning, if you’re so inclined: http://sljsummit.ning.com/.