January is the time for new beginnings, and one of those beginnings is for yours truly. Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Roger Riddell, and I’m your new online editor. My predecessor, Dan David–a lifelong hockey fan–skated off to run the web site of the New York Rangers hockey team (his dream job, he said), and so I slipped into my dream job–right here at eSchool News Online.

As I see it, our online community (the 220,000-plus educators and education advocates who rely on our electronic resources each month) is one of the main reasons eSchool News Online (www.eschoolnews.com) is the No. 1 source for ed-tech information. We have loads of information that are both created by and intended for the education community–public, private, and parochial, higher education as well K-12.

As the new online editor, my No. 1theme for eSchool News Online in 2006 is “community,” or more specifically, how we can let you and your colleagues communicate with one another and generate valuable resources for one another in the process. After all, who better to comment on the latest ed-tech trends, equipment, and practices than the people who are making the technology decisions and implementing them?

Along these lines, one especially exciting aspect of eSchool News Online is our “Ed-Tech Insider” blogs–an online community dedicated to the educational and technological issues of the day. Our cast of expert contributors is devoted to providing advice, guidance, and solutions to the field’s most important issues. Please check them out: http://www.eschoolnews.com/eti/index.php

And speaking of blogs, be on the lookout for our first-ever “Best of the Education Blogs” awards. The winners and what makes them excellent will be examined in these pages and online in March. The awards, sponsored by Discovery Education, highlight the widespread emergence of educational blogs and honor the exceptional work of the individual bloggers.

Two other resources on our web site have grown immensely in the past year, and both are deserving of your attention and contributions.

The first is the Media Arts Resource Center (MARC). Check it out at: http://www.eschoolnews.com/marc

There, you’ll find all sorts of rich and detailed information on the role of multimedia in education. For example, we’ve already assembled a trove of links, information, and ideas about using video in the classroom. As the year unfolds, we’ll be rolling out more resources for video but also adding useful and fun material about audio, web, education gaming, photography, and more.

And while you’re there, please check out the video clips and write-ups from the 2005 Student Video Awards. Last year’s competition was a huge success, and 2006 figures to be even better–and it’s just around the corner. You can get the lowdown on 2006 student video awards on the MARC main page.

Another growing resource is our Conference Information Center (http://www.eschoolnews.com/cic). Here, you’ll find a handy calendar of upcoming ed-tech events, and you can also access exclusive conference video. Perhaps the best part of the Conference Information Center is the archive of session reviews contributed by your colleagues–practicing educators who attend workshops and seminars at the major ed-conferences and write about what they learned–so you can, too. These contributions by our Conference Correspondents are completely searchable by keyword, so check them out whenever you need background on a pressing issue or emerging trend.

As always, we’ll be covering all the major ed-tech conferences in 2006. If you’re attending one of them and would like to become a Conference Correspondent for eSchool News, please send me an eMail message at: rriddell@eschoolnews.com.

I’m eager to hear your ideas for improvements and new content at eSchool News Online. We intend to make 2006 the best year yet for our members and visitors, so please get involved (it’s FREE). Thanks for your continued support–and have a Happy New Year!