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"Imagine an 'Education Nation,' a learning society where theeducation of childrenand adults is the highest national priority,on par with a strong economy, high employment, and nationalsecurity. Where resources from public and private sources fund a'ladder of learning' for learners of all ages, from pre-K through'gray.' Where learners take courses through the formal institutionsof high-quality schools and universities and also take advantage ofinformal experiences offered through museums, ...
"Imagine an 'Education Nation,' a learning society where theeducation of childrenand adults is the highest national priority,on par with a strong economy, high employment, and nationalsecurity. Where resources from public and private sources fund a'ladder of learning' for learners of all ages, from pre-K through'gray.' Where learners take courses through the formal institutionsof high-quality schools and universities and also take advantage ofinformal experiences offered through museums, libraries, churches,youth groups, and parks as well as via the media."
—from the Introduction
Education Nation offers a dynamic vision for a new worldof learning. This groundbreaking book draws on author Milton Chen'sextensive experience in media—from his work at SesameWorkshop and in public television to his twelve years as executivedirector of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Throughout thebook, Chen clearly shows how to "put the edge into education" andrevolutionize learning through innovative classroom practices anduses of technology.
Chen explains how six leading "edges" of innovation arechallenging the inadequacies of our current education system amidsttoday's technologically sophisticated world. These edges includeThe Thinking Edge, The Curriculum Edge, The Technology Edge, TheTime/Place Edge, The Co-Teaching Edge, and The Youth Edge. In thisdigital age, the number of new ways to teach and learn isever-expanding and includes: laptops and handheld devices, wikis,interactive classroom tools, open source curricula, teacher-parentcommunication platforms, video-sharing, "serious games," socialmedia, and GPS devices. Education Nation offers myriadexamples from The George Lucas Educational Foundation's EdutopiaWeb site of films, articles, and resources, illustrating waystechnology positively impacts student learning. As a result ofconstant innovation, learning is no longer limited by traditionalconfines of schedule, location, and isolation. A new EducationNation embraces a new age of 24/7/365 learning, with students atthe center, supported by teachers, parents, and communitymentors.
FOREWORD BY GEORGE LUCAS xi
PREFACE: MY LEARNING JOURNEY: FROM THE LONGEST STREET INTHEWORLD 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 Assessment35
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 asCoeducators 189
6 The Youth Edge: Digital Learners Carrying Change in TheirPockets 213
AFTERWORD: TOMORROW'S EDGE, A 2020 VISION 241
SELECTED WEB SITES 268
ABOUT THE AUTHOR 275
Posted April 19, 2011
In his book, Education Nation, Chen argues that the focus of education has changed. Today's students need to be able to do more than just regurgitate information. They must know how to find information, assess its quality, and then use it to accomplish a goal. He also believes that social-emotional learning has become more important because in today's world students must be able to cooperate and collaborate, often with people very different from themselves. Unfortunately, he argues, our schools have not yet adapted to his paradigm shift.
Chen argues that there are six leading "edges" that are challenging today's education system. The edges include: The Thinking Edge, The Curriculum Edge, The Technology Edge, The Time/Place Edge, The Co-Teaching Edge, and the Youth Edge. Two of the six edges, "The Thinking Edge" and the "Time/Place Edge" call for America to modernize its thinking about education and explore the possibilities of teaching in the 21st century. The chapters on "The Curriculum Edge" and "The Technology Edge" focus on rethinking what students are taught, how student learning is assessed, and the kinds of tools teachers use. Finally,"The Co-Teaching Edge" and "The Youth Edge" revision the traditional classroom.
In terms of its implications for educators, I see this book as a call to action. Chen has a great line in the introduction where he says, "In the Olympics of school systems, we are world champions of educational inertia" (4). In some ways, I find his work to be similar to Linda Darling-Hammond's The Flat World and Education. The problems with America's schools are well documented, but it seems we have taken a piecemeal approach to reform. His examples are similar to Darling-Hammond's where he identifies isolated examples of what change should look like. Clearly, it does not appear that changes are going to be coming from the top down, but this book can help educators develop specific proposals for innovation and change, allowing the transformation to begin to occur from the ground up instead.
Posted July 18, 2011
No text was provided for this review.
Posted July 8, 2011
No text was provided for this review.