Descriptive Overview

The website edutopia.com is aimed at helping educators and administrators change the way students learn by affecting the way they interact. Edutopia envisions a world where schools have access to the same technology that universities and businesses have in order to help the students succeed in the 21st century. Edutopia provides tools and resources to help educators in making their vision a reality. The George Lucas Foundation was developed to help develop ways of addressing the issue of the slowness of educational system to catch up to the other advancements in the world. They believe in six core concepts; project learning, social and emotional learning, technology integration, teacher development, comprehensive assessment, and integrated studies. Edutopia also publishes a magazine by the same name.

Evaluation

Authority
There are a variety of people who work on the Edutopia website, and for The George Lucas foundation; all of their details can be found in the “about us” section. There is a list of directors, content and community staff, web development staff, and a list of national advisory council members. The national advisory council members come from a variety of backgrounds, but are all involved in the education field in some way.
The website provides all contact information. They provide information on becoming a member, advertising, donations, e-mail subscriptions, and a section on different ways of contacting the authors about inquiries.

Accuracy
The information provided on the website is reliable. The articles that are provided on the website have also been published in the Edutopia Magazine. The website provides information on what other schools have done to find success in different areas, and then provides strategies to employ so that you can have similar success. From what I have seen on the website, and my background knowledge on the topics I looked through on the website, the information seems to be similar to other research and information I have seen. There was no reference list that I could find, but the rules of grammar, spelling, and composition were followed.

Objectivity
The information is presented without bias, and without trying to sway the reader. The advertising on the website pertains to teachers, but does not serve as a distraction from the material provided on the website. The website does not try to persuade the reader to buy anything; the only part of the website that could be seen as trying to sell something would be in the “Contact Us” section where the website has information on becoming a member, donating to Edutopia, magazine information, or e-mail subscriptions. This information is not seen in any other part of the website.

Coverage
The topics on the website are not covered in depth outside of the articles provided, but there are plenty of articles on all of the topics. There is plenty of information on the six core concepts that the George Lucas Foundation believes in. The website provides information on what other schools have done to find success in different areas, and then provides strategies to employ so that you can have similar success.

Currency
Information for how long the website has existed cannot be found; however, it has been copyrighted for 2010. The articles that are provided on the website give the original date they were published. The information within the website is current and up to date. The strategies are based on new techniques and many include current technology use within the classroom. All of the links that I tried were current, and were not under construction.

Design and Navigability
The website is easy to navigate. The bar at the top of the page can be used to go to any of the main topic pages. The website was designed in an easy to read manner, and was set up in a neat and orderly way. All of the links worked, and took you to where you wanted to go.

Recommendation
I would recommend this website to teachers and administrators who were trying to incorporate up to date innovations in their classroom; especially those who wanted to incorporate more technology. The “Differentiated Instruction” section was of particular interest for collaboration; they provide lesson plans and other resources. However, the entire “Schools that Work” section is great section for teachers, parents, and administrators to collaborate on making schools better.


www.edutopia.org