Education Trends

A Look to the Future of Edutopia

Today, we're announcing important strategic changes for Edutopia and The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF).

Having just completed our biggest growth year to date, we have taken a step back to evaluate how Edutopia can best serve you - educators, parents and administrators - who are committed to bringing positive change to schools and districts everywhere. Much has changed since we launched back in 1994. Then we were one of the first educational organizations to have a Web presence. In the ensuing 16 years, we have honed our mission to show what works in public education, creating our Web site, books, CDs, DVDs, and, since 2004, our award-winning Edutopia magazine.

Today, the Internet enables Edutopia to deliver deeper, more relevant stories, especially with video, about innovation in teaching and learning. New community and content-sharing tools make it possible for educators to find and exchange tips and solutions with each other whenever they wish. With the steady expansion of our online audience, we believe the time is right to shift our strategy to focus on as the main, multimedia channel for all our content.

Consequently, the April/May issue of Edutopia magazine will be our last print issue. The future of Edutopia is now on the Internet. We will shift from a traditional membership organization to an open community, embracing a wider audience interested in innovation in K-12 education. All our tools and resources - including the popular Edutopia webinar series - will be free and universally accessible, thanks to support from foundations, advertisers and donors. While it has been a difficult decision to say goodbye to Edutopia as a print publication, we believe these changes will provide more of you the opportunity to interact, share ideas and add to the conversation for change. We also want to acknowledge the many dedicated, talented professionals who have contributed to making Edutopia magazine a distinctive leader in its field.

Our paid members will be able to donate their remaining magazine subscription balance to Edutopia and receive a gift of the Edutopia DVD series "Technology Integration 2" as an expression of thanks for your generous support and commitment. Or, for those who prefer, you will receive a refund. (We will send Edutopia paid members an email in the next two weeks with complete details and instructions.)

In addition to these new strategic directions, we're excited to announce an important leadership change. After 12 years serving as executive director of GLEF, Dr. Milton Chen will be assuming a new role as senior fellow and executive director emeritus. Cindy Johanson, who has served as chief operating officer since 2007, will become executive director.

Milton has led GLEF through an extraordinary period of success as the Foundation greatly expanded its editorial publishing efforts, illuminating success stories in K-12 schools and other innovative learning environments. For his leadership, his friendship and his unflagging devotion to the cause of reforming public education, we owe him a debt of gratitude. In his new role, Milton will continue to represent GLEF as senior fellow and executive director emeritus. He will carry on with his busy speaking schedule for external organizations and panels. He will advise members of GLEF's research initiative to validate project-based learning in high school curricula, and he will continue to consult with the Edutopia editorial staff. Not least, Milton will promote the Foundation's work in his new book, Education Nation, to be published this summer by Jossey-Bass, in which he describes seven "edges" of educational innovation with supporting examples of leading schools and districts from

GLEF is pleased and very fortunate to welcome Cindy to her new position as executive director. Before joining GLEF, Cindy was senior vice president of Interactive and Education at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Since coming to GLEF, she has led a growth strategy for Edutopia, overseeing the development, operations, and management of the Foundation, resulting in a 117% increase in Internet traffic from 2007. Her new leadership and talents will be greatly valued as we continue to build Edutopia into a leading Internet source for what works in public education.

We are excited about the future. Edutopia's offerings in 2010 will include installments to our new "Schools That Work" bimonthly series of in-depth case studies of model schools and districts, daily updates to the Web site, online video packages, social media including Facebook and Twitter, live webinars, highlights in the weekly Edutopia e-newsletter, and improved Web site navigation and design.

Thank you all for your continued support and commitment to making positive changes in teaching and learning. We hope that you'll join us on this next step of our journey.

A message from George Lucas to our readers about the new strategic direction.

More information on paid membership and magazine changes.