I attended a FutureofEducation.com event yesterday. This was a talk with
Milton Chen, the former director of edutopia, the George Lucas foundation enterprise.
He was promoting his new book “Education Nation, Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools”. I came in late, so I did not get to learn what the 6 leading edges were, but what I heard was still quite interesting. The book has a picture of a power up button on the cover and Chen is a big proponent of innovation and technology in education. Chen is highly supportive of the state of Maine’s efforts in using educational technology. Maine has a program where every student has access to a laptop with broadband access. The cost of this program is $250 per student which Chen points out is not much more than the average cost of a textbook ($158).
He is also all for common core (national) scholastic standards, and wonders why it took so long for us as a nation to get to the point where we are seriously considering them. He carries the philosophy that most of the education movements (home school, charter school, etc.) have something useful to offer, and likes to take the best from all of them. He sees the leading edge of the work of edutopia as the documentary films on the website. These are extensive and offer lengthy (30 minute) clips of various schools with innovative programs. There are over 150 different schools filmed and archived.