The EdPrezi

by Jeff Camp | February 28, 2012 | 0 Comments
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About ten years ago, I left the private sector and set out to learn about the challenges of improving public education, especially in my home state of California. I sought out people with differing perspectives and a clear and informed point of view. As I learned, I began synthesizing and writing for the benefit of my fellow members of Full Circle Fund, a donor-supported volunteer organization in the Bay Area.

Initially, I collected what I learned about education change ideas in the form of a Word document with an index and a glossary. Full Circle members used it as pre-reading for each year's grant cycle, to translate the jargon of a complex sector and to choose among the issues to explore. In our grant cycle work, we set about searching for the Bay Area's wizards of education change, to help them expand the reach of their work.

It is inspiring and energizing to support great leaders with a clear and important vision. When possible, we like to be an early follower of someone insanely great. (If you haven't seen the entertaining YouTube video of the "First Follower" you should take a three-minute break to watch it.)

Supporting visionary leaders is humbling. They are amazing people, but there is no magic at work. Learning happens when a student concentrates on material that is just a little hard. Effective change agents in education enable students to improve the quality and quantity of their concentration in ways that lead to recognizable results. There are many ways to accomplish this. None of them is magical.

In 2011, we updated and re-released Full Circle Fund's members-only briefing documents as Ed100.org, a public blog that can help any motivated individual learn about the competing ideas for education change and locate the resources needed to learn more or get involved. It gathered a few hundred followers via Facebook.

In early 2012, we took it a step further, summarizing the "big picture" of education change ideas using Prezi as a way to navigate the content in Ed100.org. We call this presentation "The EdPrezi."

A Picture Paints...

Prezi is a great tool for this job. It allows us to take a wide variety of education change ideas, facts and figures and unify them visually. It provides a great mechanism to put each article in context under the thesis of Ed100.org: "Education is Students and Teachers spending Time in Place for learning with the right Stuff and a System with Resources for Success... So now what?"

Zoom! The EdPrezi allows visitors to see the big picture while maintaining the capability to "zoom in" to particular ideas and "link out" to  relevant research and organizations via Ed100.org. The articles in Ed100.org link out to work by great organizations like EdSource, the California state PTA, the California Budget Project and the Public Policy Institute of California. They link to analysis by charter school advocates and opponents, to work by economists, sociologists, teachers, and leaders. There is a wealth of content online about education change; Ed100.org curates it and the EdPrezi helps make it discoverable.

Within a few weeks of its debut, Prezi.com featured the EdPrezi on its home page, and more than 50,000 people had viewed it. By early 2014, the number of viewers had surpassed 150,000, making it one of the most viewed Prezis ever.

Will you help spread the word? Take a look at the EdPrezi at http://bit.ly/edprezi. Please share it with others via Facebook and tune in for news via http://facebook.com/ed100.org

Thanks,

Jeff

Note: Ed100 was extensively updated in 2014. The EdPrezi has been updated to fully reflect this work.

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