事实上，就在数码学习日（Digital Learning Day）这一天，由于成功地将科技融入课堂教学，这位培养了硅谷著名的沃西基姐妹的母亲和其他几位老师一起获得了“杰出教师”的光荣称号。相关机构对这次盛会进行了24小时网上直播，内容包括由美国教育部长阿恩•顿坎和美国联邦通信委员会（FCC）主席朱利叶斯•格纳考斯基在市政厅主持的仪式，旨在展示如何应用科技改进美国教育。
沃西基在加里福尼亚州的帕罗奥图高中（Palo Alto High School）被学生们昵称为“沃”。她早在1984年就启动了该校的新闻学项目。用她的话说，就是积极倡导“在实践中学习”。此后，她始终走在应用科技手段改善教育事业的前列。沃西基解释说：“老师应该成为鞭策者和教练，而不是说教者。”
沃西基姐妹在古恩高中（Gunn High School）就读时开始修习新闻课程，从而掌握了写作。詹妮特和苏珊【这位谷歌的高级副总裁在《财富》（Fortune）最具影响力的商界女性排行榜上名列第28位】效力于校报《先知》（the Oracle）。而安妮不仅是主编，还曾经因为撰写的体育新闻报道获得过奖学金，她的母亲回忆道，自豪之情溢于言表。今天，除了领导着生物工程技术公司之外，安妮还有另一个令人艳羡的身份：她嫁给了谷歌的联合创始人谢尔盖•布林。
现如今，对于所有人来说，独立学习比以往任何时候都要容易。“孩子们可以使用可汗学院（Khan Academy，一家非盈利教育组织，通过在线图书馆收藏了2,100 多部教学视频——译注），”沃解释道。“网络上有还上百万个开放教育资源，可以帮助学生们学习包括从外语到语法在内的所有知识。”
Her daughter Susan is the most powerful woman at Google (GOOG). Her daughter Anne started 23andMe, a company that dissects your DNA makeup. Her daughter Janet is a PhD anthropologist and epidemiologist.
You have to figure that Esther Wojcicki taught her daughters pretty well.
The mother of Silicon Valley's well-known Wojcicki sisters is, in fact, being honored today, Digital Learning Day, as one of a small group of "great teachers" who use technology effectively in the classroom. The full-day webcast, including a town hall hosted by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, showcases how technology can improve learning in the U.S.
Wojcicki –or Woj, as she is known at Palo Alto High School in California—has been ahead of that curve ever since she created the school's journalism program in 1984 and championed "learning by doing," as she says. "The teacher needs to be a facilitator, a coach, not a lecturer," Woj explains.
As you might guess, Woj applied her education philosophy to raising her daughters. "My advice to all of them," she says, "was that journalism taught them how to think, how to get to the most important information first, and how to write clearly and quickly." She didn't expect any of them to be journalists (or anything in particular since she sought to empower them to make their own career choices). "But I always felt that if they could learn to write well, it would help them think clearly—which would help them in any profession they chose."
The Wojcicki girls learned to write by taking journalism at Gunn High School. Janet and Susan (the Google SVP who ranks No. 28 on Fortune's Most Powerful Women list) worked on the school newspaper, the Oracle, while Anne, her mom proudly recalls, rose to top editor and also won a scholarship for her sports stories. Today, besides heading her genetics company, Anne has another claim to fame of sorts: She is married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
Speaking of genes, they are clearly good here. (Dad Stanley is a big-deal physicist who taught at Stanford and is now leading an experiment to challenge Einstein's theories; Woj, the daughter of Jewish-Russian immigrants, was the first in her family to attend college and went on to collect graduate degrees galore.) But besides the lucky DNA, the Wojcicki daughters also benefitted from mom's urging them to learn independently. As Woj recalls, "We used to go to the library with a laundry basket and fill it up with books every week. Susan still has the laundry basket."
In the 90s, when the tech boom transformed Silicon Valley and the world, the Wojcickis were one of the first families in town to get a computer—a Mac. And Woj steered her daughters to the web. "The idea was not to wait around for the teacher to explain something if you didn't understand it, but to see if you learn it on your own," she says.
Today, of course, independent learning is easier than ever—for everyone. "Kids can use the Khan Academy," Woj notes. "But there are millions of Open Education Resources on the web that will help students learn anything from a foreign language to grammar."
You can catch Esther Wojcicki in action, teaching and sharing her thoughts about technology and education, today, 10-11:30 a.m. EST, at DigitalLearningDay.org.