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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

The end of the year is certainly a time for reflection, but it's also ripe for predictions for the year to come, and the chatter on social media about what's next for education is deafening. Blended learning! 1:1 devices! Flipped classrooms! Gamification! Design thinking! And each new idea that comes along generates a cadre of proselytizers and naysayers. While experienced educators know there's no silver bullet, one must admit it feels like a sea change is in the air.

In October, I was fortunate enough to participate in the first EDU summit at YouTube HQ. It brought together educational video producers and curators of all stripes. The conversation was buzzing around online learning and the role of digital tools and resources in education. In fact, some of the participants were compelled to create videos on the topic, sharing their thoughts about the direction we might be heading. So I've used a few of these videos, among others, as a launchpad to get us all thinking. You may not like every idea put forward in this video playlist, but they will definitely get the dialogue started.

Video Playlist: The Future of Education

Keep watching the player below to see the rest of the playlist, or view it on YouTube.

  1. Future Learning (12:51)

    GOOD brings us this compelling documentary culled from their video series Future Learning, where they profile movers and shakers who are actively changing the system. See more videos on GOOD's YouTube channel.

  2. Is YouTube Making Us Smarter? (08:04)

    The energetic Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel ponders the power of YouTube as a learning tool in this rapid-fire exploration of how educational videos can challenge the way we think about education.

  3. Changing Education Paradigms (11:41)

    Most of you will have seen the phenomenal Sir Ken Robinson's various speeches (his first TED Talk is the most-watched TED Talk of all time!) -- but have you checked out this wonderful whiteboard animation, by RSA Animate, of one of his speeches? No? Well, you're welcome!

  4. Digital Aristotle: Thoughts on the Future of Education (05:44)

    In another video coming out of the YouTube Summit, master explainer CGP Grey takes on the big question of how to reach more learners with individualized instruction. Be warned! Teachers end up getting the short end of the stick in his vision.

  5. 21st Century Education in New Brunswick, Canada (05:35)

    Though it's already more than two years old, this excellent video by the enterprising New Brunswick Department of Education continues to be adopted by school districts the worlds over to start conversations and define visions ... motivational music and all.

  6. Disrupting Education -- Making the Case for Change: Michael Horn (13:49)

    The first speaker at the YouTube Summit was Michael Horn, co-founder of think tank Innosight Insitute. He spoke about disruptive innovation and how it can (and will!) push us towards a student-centric education system. Check out an article he wrote for Edutopia on the topic.

  7. The Future of Learning, Networked Society - Ericsson (20:17)

    I've been seeing this one all over lately, and for good reason -- it's powerful, well-produced, and worth the twenty minutes. Featuring Seth Godin, Sugata Mitra, Stephen Heppell, Knewton, ConnectToLearn, and Coursera.

  8. Creativity is the Future of Education (03:10)

    This one is a rallying cry to support programs like the Ghetto Film School, a nonprofit video production org in the Bronx. They pitch for creativity as the most valuable asset in education.

  9. Rethinking Learning: The 21st Century Learner (04:01)

    The MacArthur Foundation spends a lot of time and resources thinking about digital learners with their Digital Media and Learning program. In this video, various experts speak to how evolving ways of learning outside of school should inform what goes on in the classroom.

  10. A Vision of K-12 Students Today (04:09)

    Though it was made in 2007 (so the stats might be out of date), the message of this simple video clearly still resonates. Over a million views on a fairly low-resolution video where solemn children hold up white boards, both describing their world and asking for transformation via technology.

  11. The Global One Room Schoolhouse: John Seely Brown (11:30)

    This animated video of highlights from John Seely Brown's keynote speech at the 2012 Digital Media and Learning Conference is a little esoteric, but he makes some excellent points. Watch the full presentation here.

  12. How Can We Nurture Creativity In Educational Contexts? (02:20)

    This is essentially an enhanced mashup video of some of the same luminaries you'll see elsewhere in this playlist, but I included it because I thought it was rather well done and engaging, and made the point in two minutes instead of twenty.

More on What's Next for Education

I hope you found these videos thought provoking and not just overwhelming -- I realize that from the trenches of the classroom it can often be hard to step back to see the big picture, when you're doing your best just to keep afloat every day. But starting a cultural, and individual, conversation about the possibilities for education is not only an intriguing exercise, it's necessary. If I may paraphrase Sir Ken (who spoke with us at the YouTube Summit, live from his study, via Google Hangout!), for the students you teach every day, your classroom is "the education system." Don't wait for change to come on a grand scale -- you can make changes every day that will make a difference in the lives of your kids. Read on for more resources to get inspired about what teaching and learning can be.

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