George Lucas Educational Foundation

Person of the Year in Education

Person of the Year in Education

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Mark Zuckerberg was just named Time magazine’s Person of the Year, for, among other things, "creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives." According to the rules of selection, the award goes to the individual or group of individuals who have had the biggest effect on the year's news, for better or worse. Educators and parents are probably equally divided on whether Facebook has a positive or negative impact on students. So we wondered, who Edutopia users might select as 2010’s Person of the Year in Education. Zuckerberg would be a contender in this race too, given the growing impact of social media on education, for better and worse. On the other hand, Ben Franklin Middle School principal Tony Orsini might garner some votes for responding to a bully incident by writing a letter to parents and appearing on network tv to proclaim that parents should prevent middle school students from participating in social networks. Another candidate is Waiting for "Superman” director Davis Guggenheim, who received kudos from media stars like Oprah for elevating the dialogue about education to front page news. He was also condemned by many educators for his black and white portrayal of complex issues like the roles of teacher's unions and charter schools. Anyone for Arnie Duncan, Michelle Rhee. or perhaps a local hero toiling in relative obscurity? Share your nominations for Person of the Year in Education and why. If you agree with others, please vote with the thumbs up button next to the post you're supporting. We'll take the top five nominations (posts plus thumbs up) and run them as a poll as part of our end-of-year coverage. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

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Business Developer

He is a strong believer allowing qality education for all children. He is a non-conformist and an innovator in education. He is definitely a very influential leader in education reform. He gets my vote anyday!

Susana Browne's picture
Susana Browne
Education director at Maui Arts & Cultural Center

Right on! Let's add the teaching artists across the country who are also toiling away right along side the arts specialists and classroom teachers to teach kids 21st century skills of creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.

E Lockman's picture
E Lockman
PTA President; Education Advocate; Media Literacy Trainer

Yes, Brenda, that is really interesting. Especially since I am a minority myself - as are the vast majority of teachers, staff, parents and students I happen to work with every day, too. Not sure I gather your point?

I did not mean to implicate Rhee on her own is the problem, I meant to categorize her as part of a misguided movement for which she happens to be a prominent figurehead - along with at least one other (non-minority!) individual I named. All I can do is apologize for communicating that poorly, let go and move on, and hope you can join me in doing the same.

Betty Ray's picture
Betty Ray
Senior Editor at Large

Jumping in here to remind folks that we all need to be mindful of how we're speaking to each other, and to keep the discussions from veering into personal attacks. It's OK and even healthy to disagree, but please keep the conversation on the constructive side when you do,

If you find yourself writing a response out of anger and frustration, I suggest taking a little time to re-read and consider before posting it. It's great to express strong opinions and we welcome disagreement as long as it stays away from the personal attacks.

Thanks for your cooperation --

Lynne Smith's picture

And for the rest of the teachers out there, read Ken Robinson's book The Element.

Tamera Cone's picture
Tamera Cone
Integrated Global Arts Specialist ECE-5

Jenny is the founder and mastermind behind a brilliant online resource I have used in the classroom on many ocassions. Her motivation to inspire and desire to inform outshines any I have come into contact with. She is active in the online learning communities and always has a positive message to share. I truly believe Jenny IS the "Person of the Year in Education"!

Loni Yungerberg's picture

Jenny Buccos of Project Explorer is focused on the education of students through video on a global level at no cost to the users. I believe her mission is pure and energized by her love of education and the world. She is an inspiration to all of us that would love to travel the world but do not have the means to do so. Wish I would have had this outlet available to me when I was in school. A first hand look at the world with a lay-mans outlook. Love her work!

sushma sharma's picture
sushma sharma
Lecturer Govt Girls School Jabalpur India

Do we really need an award for helping others.....Especially when helping children.A Teacher is some one like a mother or a father.And they do not need awards.The best award is the difference they make in others life itself.

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