Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Edutopia - a great site( established by George Lucas) for creative teachers

A site that regularly supplies us with interesting ( and practical ) links is Edutopia. Edutopia is a site set up by George Lucas of Star Wars fame. I recommend you joining their  newsletter – add your e-mail on the Edutopia site.
I have copied some information from the Edutopia site and links to a few of their articles.

The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) documents and disseminates the most exciting classrooms where these innovations are taking place. By shining the spotlight on these inspiring teachers and students, we hope others will consider how their work can promote change in their own schools
Message from George Lucas:

'Education is the foundation of our democracy -- the stepping-stones for our youth to reach their full potential. My own experience in public school was quite frustrating. I was often bored. Occasionally, I had a teacher who engaged my curiosity and motivated me to learn. Those were the teachers I really loved. I wondered, "Why can't school be engaging all of the time?" As a father, I've felt the imperative to transform schooling even more urgently.

Traditional education can be extremely isolating -- the curriculum is often abstract and not relevant to real life, teachers and students don't usually connect with resources and experts outside of the classroom, and many schools operate as if they were separate from their communities.

Project-based learning, student teams working cooperatively, children connecting with passionate experts, and broader forms of assessment can dramatically improve student learning. New digital multimedia and telecommunications can support these practices and engage our students. And well-prepared educators are critical'.
Edutopia Mission:
We are dedicated to improving the K-12 learning process through innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their studies, careers, and adult lives.
Edutopia Vision:
Our vision is of a new world of learning, a place where students and parents, teachers and administrators, policy makers and the people they serve are all empowered to change education for the better; a place where schools provide rigorous project-based learning, social-emotional learning, and access to new technology; a place where innovation is the rule, not the exception; a place where students become lifelong learners and develop 21st-century skills, especially three fundamental skills:
•how to find information;
•how to assess the quality of information;
What Edutopia Does
It’s a place of inspiration and aspiration based on the urgent belief that improving education is the key to the survival of the human race. We call this place Edutopia, and we provide not just the vision for this new world of learning but the real-world information and community connections to make it a reality.

We pursue our mission through three primary sets of activities:
identifying, describing, and promoting effective models and innovations in K-12 education by producing video and other digital media;
•funding and developing research to identify and evaluate rigorous practices for learners, educators and schools; and
•developing advanced software, technology and material for educational purposes.
 Message from George Lucas
 May 8, 2012
'I was bored in school.
It's true. I didn't feel like the school system was designed for my
learning style. It wasn't until college where I could pursue my passion, making films, that I found my way.
Recently on, we published observations from 8th graders about what they believe creates an engaging learning experience. Their answers were straight-forward and definitive: project-based learning, technology, and an enthusiastic teacher. I couldn't agree more.
Today, with the power of the Internet, we are experiencing a force that is revolutionizing education and offering opportunities to reach and engage diverse learners like me. When technology is deployed effectively, it can free up teachers from standing in front of the class and presenting information. We can "flip" the classroom with lectures occurring at home via
the Internet and rigorous project-based learning taking place in cooperative groups at school. In this environment, teachers can be guides and coaches to the students. What is more powerful in education than a student who is guided by an adult who truly cares -- someone who knows your name, who encourages you, and is committed to your success in life?
By learning about and replicating strategies that work in education, we have the potential to transform our schools. By creating strong cultures of creativity and curiosity, we can
engage students as active participants in their own education, rather than passive recipients of facts and formulas. In a world where information is at our fingertips, our greatest challenge is help students learn how to find information, assess its accuracy and apply it to solve problems. All around our country and the world, there are teachers and schools succeeding at the task, many featured on Edutopia.'
Some Edutopia links to explore
The Maker movement is a unique combination of artistry, circuitry, and old-fashioned craftsmanship. Certainly, learning by doing or "making" has been happening since our ancestors refined the wheel
The power of the joy of learning.
These eight ideas by Carol Tomlinson  synthesize what four decades in classrooms have taught her are the most important principles for teachers to understand
Great range of u-tube videos ( staff meetings)

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