By Brian Cooper
I would gladly accept a half-day of professional development to roam the landscape Edutopia. The educational technology blog serves the vision and mission of George Lucas for the “improvement of the K-12 learning process by documenting, disseminating, and advocating innovative, replicable, and evidence-based strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.” It seeks to create an inclusive community that promotes innovative project-based learning. Topic categories include: Administrators, Game-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning, New Teacher Support, Social-Emotional Support, and Technology Integration, among others.
I have visited the site frequently and read many blogs. In Ben Johnson’s “A Teacher Perspective: Advice for Principals”, I appreciated the notion that professional learning communities (PLCs) are not meetings inforced by administrators, but rather a teacher-driven entity that allows for collaboration and experimentation with relevant interests of the teachers. Also, he points out that elective teachers are often lead to fend for themselves but can become powerful curriculum integration allies if brought into the fray.
A blog post on Edutopia stated that teachers are among the busiest people on the planet. Because I agree, Edutopia is a source of both inspiration and frustration for me. It represents a common ground with urgent forward-thinking objectives, but much of its audience has very limited time to search the ethers for ideas to practice in isolation. For those of us who are future administrators, how we will help create the structure for thriving PLCs to explore the Edutopias of the world?