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Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools

Milton Chen, George Lucas (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-0-470-61506-5
320 pages
July 2010, Jossey-Bass
Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools (0470615060) cover image
An educational innovator who worked at Sesame Workshop and The George Lucas Educational Foundation offers a new vision for learning

As a result of constant innovation, learning is no longer limited by traditional confines and we're moving beyond students tied to their chairs, desks, and textbooks-and teachers locked away in classrooms. In Education Nation author Milton Chen draws from extensive experience in media-from his work on Sesame Street in its nascent years to his role as executive director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation-to support a vision for a new world of learning.

This book, in six chapters, explores the "edges" in education—the places where K-12 learning has already seen revolutionary changes through innovative reform and the use of technology.

  • Examines ways in which learning can be revolutionized through innovative reform and the use of technology
  • Explores the ever-expanding world of technology for breakthroughs in teaching and learning
  • Includes many wonderful resources to support innovation in schools across the nation

This important book offers a clear vision for tomorrow's classrooms that will enhance learning opportunities for all children.

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ix

FOREWORD BY GEORGE LUCAS xi

PREFACE: MY LEARNING JOURNEY: FROM THE LONGEST STREET IN THEWORLD TO A GALAXY LONG AGO AND FAR, FAR AWAY xv

Introduction: The Vision of an Education Nation 1

1 The Thinking Edge: Getting Smarter About Learning 11

2 The Curriculum Edge: Real Learning and Authentic Assessment 35

3 The Technology Edge: PuttingModern Tools in Young Hands 87

4 The Time/Place Edge: Learning Any Time, Anywhere 139

5 The Co-Teaching Edge: Teachers, Experts, and Parents as Coeducators 189

6 The Youth Edge: Digital Learners Carrying Change in Their Pockets 213

AFTERWORD: TOMORROW'S EDGE, A 2020 VISION 241

NOTES 254

SELECTED WEB SITES 268

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 275

INDEX 277

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Milton Chen is senior fellow and executive director emeritus of The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF). He was founding director of the KQED Center for Education (PBS) in San Francisco, managing the channel's television programming, Web content, and outreach services for schools and families. Chen was also a director of research at Sesame Workshop, in New York, working on Sesame Street, The Electric Company, and 3-2-1 Contact, and an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
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August 26, 2010
Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools

San Francisco, CA— Imagine an “Education Nation,” a learning society where the education of children and adults is the highest national priority, on par with a strong economy, high employment, and national security. It’s nice to imagine, but with stark statistics like one American student dropping out of high school every 26 seconds, a total of 6,000 each day, it is obvious there is a long way to go until that dream becomes reality. Milton Chen draws from his early career at Sesame Workshop and recent role as executive director of The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF) to offer a dynamic vision for a new world of learning in his book, Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools (Jossey-Bass; ISBN:978-0-470-61506-5; July 2010), which explores the “edges” in education—the places where K-12 learning has already seen revolutionary changes through innovative reform and the use of technology.

Chen, now a senior fellow at GLEF, explains how six leading “edges” of innovation are challenging the inadequacies of our current education system amidst today’s technologically sophisticated world. These edges include: The Thinking Edge, The Curriculum Edge, The Technology Edge, The Time/Place Edge, The Co-Teaching Edge, and The Youth Edge. This need for innovation is not only recognized by Chen, but also by President Barack Obama, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, and the U. S. Department of Education’s Investing for Innovation Fund, which will provide grants to schools and districts with innovative practices that can impact student achievement.

Learning is no longer limited by traditional confines and we're quickly moving beyond students tied to their chairs, desks, and textbooks--and teachers locked in classrooms. Education Nation is the book for information about the most innovative learning environments, addressing core concepts of project-based learning, cooperative learning, technology integration, comprehensive assessment, and teacher development for implementing these practices. Education Nation embraces a new age of 24/7/365 learning, with students at the center, supported by teachers, parents and community members.

Video of the innovative classrooms discussed in the book can be found at Edutopia.org along with Milton Chen’s blog and further information about the book.

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