George Lucas Educational Foundation

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An old colleague of mine just showed me his latest project: This is a site where people can read (and rate, and add to) a list of intriguing and "good" ideas in education, as well as health, environment, global development, technology, and other related fields. It's fascinating to peruse and rate the various good ideas that are already there. Plus, If you have any ideas that have been festering in your psyche and you don't mind sharing them, here's your chance to hook up with someone else who might want to help! It's an interesting experiment in "open source" idea sharing. Obviously if you are concerned about sharing an idea and losing control of it, this is probably not the site for you. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. What are some of the best ideas in education? What could we do that would be the biggest bang for our proverbial buck?

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Bill Powell's picture
Bill Powell
Retired Supt; 33 years in public ed; lives in Colorado mountains w/ family

Best ideas in education?
Here is an article on Africa and "Devices Deliver Learning in Africa" -- a must read article:

1. Provide every child on the planet with a high-speed, internet connected top-of-the-line laptop and teach each child how safely to connect and to explore the limitless, grand, nobel, edifying ideas of literature, music, art, films, history, math, religions, sciences, technology, etc. ... join with the pantheon of ideas, emotions, feelings experienced by the present and past peoples of the world.

2. Education: In the safety of your yard, sit in a comfortable lean-back kind of a chair for 24 consecutive hours (with minor common sense breaks, of course)and listen, watch, smell, taste, feel life as you float through the day and the night. I mean REALLY listen. Really watch. Let your senses guide you through the experiences of sensing life --- moment by moment, minute by minutes, hour by hour for the entire cycle of a day. Become a Walt Whitman for a day.

3. Education comes from the word educare ... lead from. Lead from what to what? Lead from chaos to enlightment; from darkness to light; from the unknown to the known. Best ideas in education ... start with as big a question you can imagine. Take your time in framing a big question. When it is framed, ask "So what?" Then wrap your mind around the 'so what," and then ask another "So what?" and continue this pattern for as long as your mind can concentrate on the chain leading from the biggest question you can imagine. If you get to the fourth or fifth wave of "So what?" you will likely have moved a bit in your 'education.'

4. Education: Sit under a tree with a slowly melting ice cream cone and think about what the word 'enjoy' means in all its forms ... to a worker on an ancient Egyptian pyramid, a Vietnamese rice reaper, a 17th Century French king, a peon in a South American meat packing plant, a child mowing the grass, Newton picking up an apple, Einstein conceptulizing the formula E=MC2 for the very first time, a monkey in a zoo watching a child with an ice cream cone ...

5. Place a chair facing a bare wall, close your eyes and do not open them until you can explain to yourself and to at least one other person what the word 'best' feels like and what it might mean to you and to the rest of the planet Earth. You are the first person in the entire history of more than 20 billion people who have populated this planet over the eons, and you are the originator of the idea, the word, the concept of 'best' ...

6. Think for a while as if you were Plato in a cave and you are imagining how to explain the word 'idea' to a future inhabitant named Billy Graham.

7. Seven is usually thought of as a lucky number. So, I stop here for today, but I wonder about what 'string theory' means, what the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland will reveal about the Higgs particle, what a 'light year' of 6 trillion miles means, if I could ride a light beam from planet Earth to the presently know edge of the universe, some 13.7 billion light years away, what knowledge, understanding, and wisdom means to a child in central Africa suddenly given a top-of-the-line laptop connected to the limitless reservoir of human experiences ... Here is an article on Africa and "Devices Deliver Learning in Africa" -- a must read article:

Laura Shifrin's picture
Laura Shifrin
Co-Founder of

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