Maybe you were not aware that the famous Director George Lucas has a well established Educational Foundation called Edutopia. With a dedication to improving the K-12 learning process, they support the documenting, disseminating and advocating innovative, replicable, and evidence-based educational strategies, which prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.
The new world of learning, is a place where students and parents, teachers and administrators, policy makers and the people they serve, are empowered to change education for the better.
Learning should be the place where schools provide rigorous project-based learning, social-emotional learning
and access to new technology.
Education should be a place where innovation is the rule, not the exception, a place where students become lifelong learners and develop 21st-century skills, especially in the following three fundamental skills:
- finding information
- assessing the quality of information
- creatively and effectively use information to accomplish a goal
Edutopia is a place of inspiration and aspiration based on the urgent belief that improving education is literally the key segment to the survival of the human race. It provides not just the vision for this new world of learning, but the real-world information and community connections to make it a reality.
They are aware that K-12 education can be better, but unfortunately, many people don’t know what better looks like. Edutopia people recognize that in order to have innovations spread wider, educators and parents, as well as business and community leaders, must first see and understand the changes and opportunities. They have three primary sets of activities:
- Actual producing of Edutopia.org and related social media. This has been created in a direction to inspire, inform and accelerate positive change in schools and districts by shining a spotlight on evidence-based strategies that improve learning and engagement for students.
- Growing a movement of change agents, who share best practices and professional development, in order to bring innovation to education and improve student achievement.
- Collaborating with researchers, teacher leaders and curriculum experts to provide more evidence to transform learning
Edutopia is a nonpartisan organization, and does not take positions on any legislation or ballot measures, nor does it endorse or oppose any candidates in elections to public office.
Core strategies for innovation and reform in learning
Edutopia is strongly dedicated to transform the learning process by helping educators implement the strategies they have established in their programes. These strategies together with the educators, who implement them, are empowering students to think critically, access and analyze information, solve problems creatively, work collaboratively, and communicate with clarity and impact. With valuable resources, researches, experts, and fellows, Edutopia members are changing the schools.
Effective assessment should be used to measure the full range of students’ ability, inlcluding social, emotional, and academic achievement. Multiple learning styles are supported through various measures, including portfolios, presentations and tests.
You can have a look at the following valuable resources
1. Schools That Work: Authentic Assessment at New York City’s School of the Future (Video)
2. Guide: Top Ten Tips for Assessing Project-Based Learning
In order to increase engagement and retention, academic subjects are presented in an interdisciplinary fashion that reflects modern knowledge and society. For example subjects like history, literature, and art can be interwoven and taught through text, images, and sound.
- An Introduction to Integration Studies (Video)
- Schools That Work: Integrating Art and Politics to Improve High School Engagement
Long term and student centered, project learning is a rigorous hands-on approach all created in learning core subject matter and basic skills with meaningful activities that examine complex, real-world issues. Project learning helps students develop and retain useful, working knowledge of subjects that are often taught in isolation and abstraction.
You can learn more about this at:
1. An Introduction to Project-Based Learning (Video)
2. Schools That Work: Replicating Project-Based Learning Success
3. Research Review: Best Practices and Components of Success
Social and emotional learning
Students working together on project teams, learn to collaborate, communicate, and resolve conflicts. This is the reason why Edutopia has emphasized the cooperative learning and character development, that supports the social and emotional development of students and prepares them for success in the modern workplace.
1. How to Teach Math as a Social Activity (Video)
2. Schools That Work: Social and Emotional Learning in Louisville
3. Research Review: Learning Outcomes and Evidence-Based Pr ograms
The human element is still the most valuable element in education. Teachers, administrators and parents play critical roles in coaching and guiding students through the learning process, nurturing students’ interests and confidence as learners.
1.Schools That Work: Teacher Excellence Narrows the Achievement Gap
2. 20 Tidbits for New Teachers
Intelligent use of technology, combined with new approaches to education, in a more personalized style of learning can be realized and this is where Edutopia has contributed and is developing further.
1.Guide: Top Ten Tips for Teaching with New Media
2.30 Great Tech Makeovers for the Classroom
3.Research Review: Program Recommendations and Tips for Successful Integration
Edutopia is also supporting development activities on the following educational segments:
Beginning from implementation in the classroom and engaging students, to linking the arts with core curriculum are covered in the roundup of useful Edutopia blogs, articles, and videos.
They offer help in learning how to create school policy and guidelines, how to get advice on professional development, explore how you can teach digital citizenship and internet safety, and more.
Edutopia offers an educator’s guide to websites, organizations, articles, and other resources looking at the new system of standards and how they will be assessed.
Why would you wait for a formal workshop environment to improve your craft, when there are so many amazing opportunities to build your network and learn new tech tools on your own? You can find do-it-yourself resources to get you started.
Being aware that today’s students have a variety of mobile technologies at their fingertips: from smartphones, tablets, to MP3 players and e-Readers, Edutopia offers a look at some mobile learning resources from their own resources and around the Web.
Parent leadership education resources
Experts agree that parents’ involvement in their children’s education is one of the biggest predictors in students’ success. Edutopia has compiled a list of resources to help parents engage in a productive way with their kids’ teachers and school.
Not only the movies of George Lucas are awesome, he has really developed a comprehensive and valuable online resources for education with the establishment of Edutopia.