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Edutopia

Want to visit an interesting website or receive a free journal that has interesting information about education? Both can be done at the same time.

First, the journal. Edutopia is published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (yes, the George Lucus of Star Wars fame) and offered free to interested educators--either in print form by mail or via the corresponding website. Some intersting ideas contained in the September 2005 issue:
  • Best ways for teachers to deal with a class clown
  • Ten big ideas for better schools
  • Ideas for how to "get the most" from substitute teachers
  • Proper uses of time as a scarce school resource
Note that these articles do not address teaching mathematics specifically, though their message transfers. Occasionally, some interesting amthematics does get included. For example, consider the current Problem-of-the-Week presented on this same web-site.

Or, as another example from the September issue, the final article discusses the idea of "comic relief" and provides some interesting statistics from a debate. First, Dr. Frederic Wertham, a psychologist nationally known for attacking the evils of comic books, claimed scientific research had confirmed that 90% or more of all reform school kids had read comics. In rebuttal, Stan Lee, creater of characters such as the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, stated that 100% of all reform school kids had drank milk. A mathematics teacher could easily work this use or mis-use of statistics into a classroom lesson.

Now, to the web site, which is much broader than the journal. It includes copies of all of the past issues of Edutopia, over 150 on-line video documentaries of innovative schools, in-depth multimedia stories about school change, and free teaching modules (some even include mathematics). Also, the web site offers a wealth of information for groups who connect with educators--namely, business leaders, the public community, parents, and policy makers.

A good first step is to visit the web site. While there, you can browse through all of the various audience-specific materials as well as past journals. Also, if so-inclined, you can register for a free subscription to the journal Edutopia....or even the weekly e-mail newsletter, which privides timely information.

Personally, as a mathematics educator, I find it helpful to keep my ear tuned in on information generic to education. Edutopia does that, which also focusing on three things--innovation, technology, and educational change--that are important.

Source: Edutopia link