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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Hello, world!

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Thanks to everyone who has joined in and helped to get groups launched! We're going live to the rest of the world on Tuesday. (:::crossing fingers:::) And while our team here is wrapping up the bugs and technical glitches (fingers crossed again), we're really just starting out. This is the most exciting aspect of all! Though we've been working on this for the better part of the last year, we've only just started creating this place where educators can come together and chat, discuss, collaborate, and focus on the issues we're facing. There are many groups that tackle specific issues. This Welcome Lounge is more general. It's a place to introduce yourself, ask questions about the community, and meet others. Feel free to post news stories and other timely, funny, or useful info here, too. Onward! betty

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Elana Leoni's picture
Elana Leoni
Director of Social Media Strategy and Marketing @Edutopia, edcamp organizer

Hello everyone,

I'm Elana Leoni. I came to Edutopia with the desire to help change education for the better just over a year ago. I can't tell you how excited I am to be here, working with such passionate individuals, such as yourself.

At Edutopia, I produce our frequent members-only webinars, manage the membership program (you may have seen a few emails from me :)), and drum roll.. I am the voice of Edutopia on Facebook and Twitter.

I'm incredibly thrilled to start meeting/networking/collaborating with all of you. I'm hoping to also use our new community as a way to identify how Edutopia can help you even more in your day-to-day duties.


RO's picture
HS science teacher, Grad student in science education

This group looks exciting and I look forward to building many connections here - thank you edutopia!

On a separate note,I wanted to introduce an opportunity to biology educators (especially those in MA, but I may open the study to others):

My name is Rachel and I am a fellow biology teacher in MA seeking to expand educational possibilities for our students. A number of years ago, I noticed that while working with inner-city students (and all the perceptions that term invokes!), many seemed to be quite engaged whenever I used virtual laboratories (VL) and so I decided to do my doctoral study on that specific topic, especially since there is hardly any evaluative research out there on VL.

I'm looking for some volunteers (about 20 teachers who teach biology for MCAS, goal = 1,000 students) to help conduct this study. If you would be willing to participate or can pass this along to others, I would greatly appreciate it. Besides for furthering educational research to support our practices, and for personally helping me out, participants will also be entered into a raffle to receive a $100 certificate to Starbucks (or Dunkin Donuts, if you prefer!).

Details (this is what participating will entail):

* Timing = from Feb. - May 2009 (though, I - or a 3rd party- will visit your classes beforehand to introduce the project)
* Activities = half of the classes will engage in the use of VL (and the other half will not) - about 5-10 such activities that will each take up a one-period class; I WILL PREPARE THE LESSONS & ASSESSMENTS (all you have to do is monitor!) - each VL will be aligned with the MA Frameworks and hopefully enhance students' understanding of MCAS material. All students will then have the opportunity to take a survey at the end reporting about their experiences. I may also conduct a few interviews with some (less than 10) students and teachers, on a volunteer basis.
* Requirements = use of internet for students (be it a laptop cart, PCs in the room, or a computer lab in the school that you need to reserve)
* Ethical issues = confidentiality will be maintained and my methods need to be approved of by an ethics committee, I will also have to ask your respective schools for permission and provide students with the opportunity for any participant to opt out at any time
* Incentives = provide students the opportunity to be a part of the scientific method we all stress!, help further educational research to guide our practices, get a personalized report analyzing the data from each of your classes, 5-10 free lessons and assessments all planned out for you (ok, 50% of you), help a fellow teacher get her PhD, entrance into raffle for $100 of coffee (now who doesn't need that!)

David Markus's picture
David Markus
Former Editorial Director of Edutopia; dad of 4 (3 kids in public school)

Hi Everybody!
I just wanted to check in and say how happy I am we have this Welcome Lounge where folks can get a sense of what our community is about. My job at Edutopia is to make certain we provide you with the best content to help you succeed and help us all improve public education. I work on on our web site and on Edutopia magazine. One of the coolest things about this community is the all the great content you are about to create as you participate in this community--User Generated Content (UGC) as its known in the business.
I'd love to answer any questions you have about what we do in our content creation efforts or anything else. More importantly, I would love to hear from you what you would like to make your experience at Edutopia more useful and inspiring. Feel free to send me a message (to my profile).

Gail Desler's picture
Gail Desler
Technology integration specialist for the Elk Grove USD (south Sacramento)

Hello Everyone,

Only minutes into the Edutopia community and I've already learned a new term: User Generated Content:-) Now that we're already a decade into the 21st century, I'm looking forward to ways to make UGC visible to K12 teachers across content areas.

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