Synopses & Reviews
"Imagine an 'Education Nation,' a learning society where the education of childrenand adults is the highest national priority, on par with a strong economy, high employment, and national security. 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 institutions of high-quality schools and universities and also take advantage of informal 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 world of learning. This groundbreaking book draws on author Milton Chen's extensive experience in media—from his work at Sesame Workshop and in public television to his twelve years as executive director of The George Lucas Educational Foundation. Throughout the book, Chen clearly shows how to "put the edge into education" and revolutionize learning through innovative classroom practices and uses of technology.
Chen 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. In this digital age, the number of new ways to teach and learn is ever-expanding and includes: laptops and handheld devices, wikis, interactive classroom tools, open source curricula, teacher-parent communication platforms, video-sharing, "serious games," social media, and GPS devices. Education Nation offers myriad examples from The George Lucas Educational Foundation's Edutopia Web site of films, articles, and resources, illustrating ways technology positively impacts student learning. As a result of constant innovation, learning is no longer limited by traditional confines of schedule, location, and isolation. A new Education Nation embraces a new age of 24/7/365 learning, with students at the center, supported by teachers, parents, and community mentors.
In Education Nation author Milton Chen draws from extensive experience in media--from his work on Sesame Street in its nascent years to his current role as executive director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation--to support his vision for a new world of learning. Presented in five parts and divided into module chapters, this book examines the ways in which K-12 learning can be revolutionized through innovative reform and the use of technology.
Due in large part to new technologies, over the last few decades we've witnessed a huge shift in how we imagine teaching and learning. A good example is the educational revolution sparked by Sesame Street--which in its first season had a goal of teaching preschool-age children the numbers 1 to 10. At the time, experts dismissed it as an unrealistic goal since many kindergarten students were having trouble mastering this simple counting. Yet the research proved that preschool-age children learned those skills and many others directly from the TV screen. Now Sesame Street's curriculum teaches the numbers from 1 to 40. In today's digital age the number of new ways to teach and learn is ever-expanding and includes: television, Google, YouTube, TeacherTube, Facebook, iPhones, video games, GPS devices, open source textbooks, interactive whiteboards; and there are countless examples of ways technology positively impacts student learning--from voice-recognition software that helps children learn to read to translation tools that help teachers communicate with non-English speaking parents. As a result of constant innovation, 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 away in classrooms.
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.
Praise for Education Nation
"I strongly believe that education is the single most important job of the human race. I'm very excited that Education Nation is adding to the tools we are giving educators and many others to make change in their own communities."
—From the Foreword by George Lucas, founder and chairman, The George Lucas Educational Foundation
"This book provides an outstanding overview of where we stand in the history of learning technologies, what current initiatives are most promising, and what challenges and opportunities we face in the near future."
—Christopher Dede, Timothy E. Wirth Professor in Learning Technologies, Harvard Graduate School of Education
"How fortunate we are that Milton Chen has decided to share the lessons he has learned along the way on his incredible learning journey. As we just begin to unlock the methods of teaching our kids in a 21st Century context, this book should be embraced by every caring educator and parent who wants to do right by our kids."
—Gary E. Knell, president and CEO, Sesame Workshop
"Milton Chen is a visionary and global leader in education. Emphasizing creativity, technology-enabled learning, project-based intellectual adventures, and social/emotional intelligences, Education Nation encompasses the well-being of the whole child and the major shift to student-centered learning. Chen is a masterful storyteller and collaborator. His ideals continue to inspire and push our own boundaries to do what is right to help kids—and to never give up."
—Susan Patrick, President and CEO, International Association for K–12 Online Learning (iNACOL)
"Milton Chen has had an extraordinary perch for learning how media and technology can spark innovation and redefine teaching and learning. Education Nation provides a new vision of what is now possible, with vivid examples from real schools."
—Linda Darling-Hammond, Charles E. Ducommun Professor at Stanford University and co-director of the School Redesign Network
About the Author
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.
Table of Contents
Foreword (George Lucas).
Preface: My Learning Journey: From the Longest Street in the World to a Galaxy Long Ago and Far, Far Away.
Introduction: The Vision of an Education Nation.
Edge 1. The Thinking Edge: Getting Smarter About Learning.
Edge 2. The Curriculum Edge: Real Learning and Authentic Assessment.
Edge 3. The Technology Edge: Putting Modern Tools in Young Hands.
Edge 4. The Time/Place Edge: Learning Anytime, Anywhere.
Edge 5. The Teaching Edge: Teachers, Experts, and Parents as Co-Educators.
Edge 6. The Youth Edge: Digital Learners Carrying Change in Their Pockets.
Afterword: Tomorrow's Edge, A 2020 Vision, with Steve Arnold
Selected Web sites.