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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Keeping the Fires Lit

During the holiday break, I always take some time to reflect on the past year and recharge for the work that's ahead in the next. This year is no different, except that I wanted to tap into the Edutopia community and see how each of you take time to reflect and recharge -- just leave a comment below to share how you've helped change education in 2009, and your tips for recharging for 2010.

Edutopia had a breakthrough year in 2009, so thanks to all of our members, donors, and readers who've helped make it all possible. Here's my quick list for what I'm most proud of this year, and how together we're creating positive change in education:

  • We reached over half a million educators with our award-winning coverage and turnkey resources, covering our Core Concepts to create schools for the 21st century.
  • We created an extensive video-rich series of digital profiles of kids today and how they are learning in new ways with new media. Not only that, but we also showed how teachers and parents can effectively engage this generation.
  • We offered more professional-development opportunities through special publications such as Ten Top Tips for Teaching with New Media and our ongoing webinar series with leading experts such as Stanford Uiversity's Linda Darling-Hammond.
  • We're in the middle of launching a brand-new online community at Edutopia.org. Already, educators are creating profiles and connecting with colleagues to exchange ideas, lend support, and collaborate.
  • We're making our materials available for you -- wherever you are. Our free video archive on iTunes U continues to grow, and thousands of educators have joined us on Twitter and Facebook.
  • So what about you? Let me know in a comment below how you've helped change education over the last 12 months. Because, you know, it's the stories and comments from educators like you that keep me -- and all of us here at Edutopia -- motivated to continue providing the resources and ideas needed to help you change education. And it's the same stories that I hope will inspire you to help by making your tax-deductible year-end donation to Edutopia right now:

    "I love Edutopia! It has given me great ideas for years . . . ."

    "I repost Edutopia articles at least twice a week. Thanks for keeping the fires lit!"

    "Edutopia is the best teacher a new teacher like me could have!"

    Thanks for being such a valuable member of our community, and thanks for your unwavering commitment to preparing our students for 21st-century success. Just like any other nonprofit organization, we rely on the support of our donors and readers to help us meet our mission -- I hope you'll chip in whatever you can afford today.

    Happy Holidays,

    -- Milton Chen, Executive Director

Comments (12)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Christine Jacobsen's picture

The change starts from me: As a digital immigrant, I have just completed 6 graduate credits in online teaching. Through this professional development I have learned to utilize technology tools such as: Delicious,Youtube,Google-Blogs(everything), smartboards, wikis, moviemaker, podcasting, audacity, and many more. As a seasoned school counselor, I am increasing my understanding of digital natives(and those in the middle), and I am promoting 21st century skills to everyone and anyone who will listen to me. Looking forward to 2010!

Connie Tartara's picture

As a graduate student from Walden University, where I am pursuing my master's degree in adolescent literacy and technology through online courses, I have been exposed to new concepts that will undoubtedly help me recharge for 2010. I am new to the blogging world and immediately I can see what I have been missing. I chose to focus on technology with my master's degree because I cannot ignore the importance of it in today's classroom. I am a long way off from being an expert teacher, but I am willing to do the work and gain the knowledge to get there. Realizing that this will be a long process, but a worthy one, has given me the strength I need to recharge and prepare for a busy and prosperous 2010. Education in 2009 has changed me- and I hope to repay the favor in years to come.

Connie Tartara

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's picture
Bonnie Bracey Sutton
Teacher Agent of Change, Power of US Foundation
Blogger 2014

I have helped to change education by using the Net Generation DVD to share and show what the students might expect, even in places where connectivity was a real problem. In my purse, the DVD, my passport and then the other things I need.

WIth the help of NCWIT. I have shared their resources in a box to show girls and minorities why they should pursue harder, study, with examples of the possibilities. www.ncwit.org
Knowing that cloud computing is here.. I have worked with people using netbooks and devices to explore teaching and learning in new ways and we will present these examples in conferences, and yes, I am still exploring Supercomputing. We use it every day, but few understand it.

I am very grateful for the great examples I can share with others using your resources, nationally and internationally.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton

Connie Tartara's picture

Epals sounds like a great tool that you are using for 3rd graders. As a 6th grade language arts and social studies teacher, I am always looking for ways to provide more authentic assessments and opportunities for my students. I browsed through the epals site- are there any specific tips you could provide on how to find a classroom across the globe? How often do you use epals and did you encounter any negative consequences from using the site? Thanks for the starting point!

Kevin H's picture
Kevin H
elementary ELD

tip- keep searching. It might take several contacts before you find a good match. Be proactive. Don't expect people to contact you.

I use epals with my students about once a month. We use the month to prepare (prewrite, write, edit, write).

Negatives? Not with the service itself. My kids are kind of young, so one at a time I'll log in with a student to their account and type what they have prepared adn ask if there is anything they want to change or add before we send it. That is time consuming. The exchanges with the other class have been choppy because their English level is lower (beginner) and their ability to get to their computers is something they have to work around. Also, it was difficult for me to understand how the epals service worked until we got hooked up with another class. So, some little things, but nothing that can't be ironed out.

EV Benoit's picture

Hi Connie - I too am a graduate student from Walden University, where I am pursuing my master's degree in technology through online courses. My last few years have been immersed with technology in the classroom. We've been learning with Smart boards, Touchpad's, Math software, and also helping parents of ELL develop the same tools that we teach their children. The in-services and new programs available for technology constantly inspire advances in the digital world. These new concepts are getting me to "keep the fire lit". I too am new to the blogging world and cannot believe the plethora of information that I have been missing out on! The ability to share, vent, and discuss a variety of topics is invigorating and I hope to continue to pass this on. Thank-you to those with great examples on how to use it all!
EV Benoit

Jamal Reynolds's picture

I'm currently a graduate student from Walden University pursuing a master's degree in Science Education. I really think I need to improve on using technology in my classrooms. I use some technology, but I don't think I use enough. Can someone give me some insight on helpful websites I can use in my class, or other activities dealing with technology?

EV Benoit's picture

What grades do you teach? I have a few fun sites especially for Science, but I'd like to make sure I don't post Kinder sites when you need 5th or 9th.

Hope I can help!

EV

Jamal Reynolds's picture

EV

Thanks so much for offering your help. I teach 8th Grade Physical Science. What grades do you teach?

Jamal

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