David is an award-winning futurist, author and consultant whose clients range across the public and private sector, both in the United States and in Brazil. His razor-sharp focus on the fast-paced world of modern computing and communication media, project-based learning, 21st century skills, and open source software has placed him in constant demand as a keynote speaker and workshop leader for schools, foundations, and governments.
As the founder and Director of Global Operations for the Thornburg Center he conducts research and provides staff development in the several area. He helps clients to think intelligently about the future and is active in exploring ways that telecommunications and multimedia will change the face of learning, both at home and in the classroom.
His educational philosophy is based on the idea that students learn best when they are constructors of their own knowledge. He also believes that students who are taught in ways that honor their learning styles and dominant intelligences retain the native engagement with learning with which they entered school. A central theme of his work is that we must prepare students for their future, not for our past.
In addition to his work at the state and local level, he is also involved at the Federal level in helping to shape telecommunications and education policy for the benefit of all learners. David has shared his perspectives with policy makers in several countries.
He has written numerous books. His latest book, “When the Best is Free,” explores the world of free open source software in education, with special emphasis on tools for use by students. Reviewers have declared this to be the definitive book on the topic.
In addition to his consulting, speaking, and writing, David also has served on several non-profit boards. Dr. Thornburg is the recipient of several awards for product design and is the recipient of both the Golden and Platinum Disk awards from CUE (Computer Using Educators, Inc.) for his contributions to the advancement of learning and learning technologies. In 1999 he was selected as one of twenty "pioneers" in the field of educational technology by ISTE, the premiere organization devoted to the advancement of technology in learning, and was named by Technology and Learning magazine as one of the top ten most influential people in the field of educational technology in the past twenty years.
He has been the subject of numerous magazine articles and has appeared on radio and television throughout North America. According to the magazine, Electronic Learning, he is one of the six most popular speakers in the area of educational technology.
David splits his time between the United States and Brazil. His work in Brazil also is focused on education, and he has consulted for the Federal Secretary of Education as well as for firms and educational institutions throughout that country.