TEACHING TOOLS

Books, blogs, websites and presentations encourage use of technology to enhance education

By CLAIRE KARRIKER ’11

The “Citation Machine” website that David Warlick ’76 built to help student researchers properly cite their sources attracts about a million pageviews a day, and his classroom blogging tool has served more than a quarter of a million teachers and students.

“When I entered the classroom as a history teacher, the personal computer hadn’t been invented yet. Much has changed in the past three decades that affects what and how students learn and how we conduct formal education,” said Warlick, an international education technology consultant who owns and operates the Landmark Project firm in Raleigh. “These changes are dramatic and complex, and a part of today’s ongoing conversations among educators around the world.”

After studying education at WCU, the Cherryville native taught history and social studies for eight years and wrote award-winning instructional software. “I always found a way to bring technology education into the mix by teaching on how we invented the bow and arrow and other things and how it altered the way things were done after that,” said Warlick.

He later became director of technology in a central office position 1984, before moving to the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, where he served as a technology integration consultant and built the nation’s first state education department website. He also served the organization as a district administrator and technology director.

In addition, Warlick has authored four books centered on how teachers can use today’s technology and information environment to improve student learning, and his expertise has led to a series of speaking engagements that may mean he is in Philadelphia one day and New Zealand soon after. The rigorous speaking schedule offers a change of pace for a man who did not travel on an airplane before the age of 40. After travels throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America, Warlick recently returned to WCU – an alma mater he shares with his wife, Brenda Finley Warlick ’76, and daughter, Ryann Warlick ’08 – to present on how teachers can use today’s technology and information environment to improve student learning. “Many 21st-century learners continue to be taught in 19th-century classrooms,” said Warlick. “I have been able to adapt and, in small ways, lead educators through this time of rapid change because of the progressive education that I received at Western Carolina.”

Claire Karriker ’11, a communication major from Salisbury, was a spring semester intern in WCU’s Office of Public Relations.