Edutopia

Year started:
2007 with the introduction of comments on almost all pages of Edutopia.org

2009 community groups

2010 social media (Facebook and Twitter)
Audience(s): Edutopia is for everyone with a stake in improving their schools and communities, from teacher leaders and administrators to committed policy makers, professors, citizens, researchers and active parents. These change-makers turn to Edutopia to be part of a movement by finding and sharing tips and strategies for a new world of learning.
Who Started It:

The community started the community. In all seriousness, our community was driven as a result of the eagerness of our users to engage and connect. While the Edutopia community is a collective effort by the team of twenty staffers at The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), two instrumental GLEF leaders have cultivated and deepened our community: Betty Ray, Senior Blog Editor and Community Manager and Elana Leoni, Social Media Marketing Manager

The focus of the Foundation has always been about telling stories of the successes in education. In 2007, we began inviting online community participation to enable educators to share their own stories and reflect on those they were reading and viewing on our site. In the last year, we’ve expanded to bring influencer community members in as bloggers who share their first-person innovations and experiences. We have also grown our community on social media -- Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and social bookmarking and aggregation sites like Diigo, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Scoop.it -- where educators connect with us and each other over the issues of the day. We’re also making an entrance into the Google+ space this month and we’re toying with the idea of having a presence in some other spaces like LinkedIn, Edmodo (educator community), Instagram, and Foursquare.

# Members: As of January 2012, we have close to 150,000 registered accounts on Edutopia.org, almost 50,000 Twitter followers, and close to 50,000 Facebook fans. In addition, we’re seeing an average of 7,500 mentions of the Edutopia brand each month throughout the buzz on the Web. But for us, it’s really not about the numbers, it’s about how effective we are in creating relationships and engaging educators authentically as a trusted source for inspiration and information.
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Purpose:
Our community mission is to improve the K-12 learning process by engaging directly with our community and creating opportunities for the members of our community to connect with like-minded people to support innovative, replicable strategies that prepare students to thrive in their future education, careers, and adult lives.
Strengths:

The Edutopia community is:

  • Passionate – about their students and about improving education
  • Dedicated and hard-working – they go the extra mile to do things “right”
  • Connected – they readily spread the word about ideas and practices that work
  • Generous – they give their time and energy and resources freely
  • Resourceful – they build initiatives from the ground up. They are not afraid of DIY and indeed see it as the most efficient way to make change
  • Diverse – our community make-up reflects many roles in education: teacher leaders, administrators, active parents, policy makers, student teachers, etc.
  • Authentic – they genuinely connect with others in need to help. This is VERY rare and it’s one of the attributes that keeps us engaging every day with our community.
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Notable Community
Added on Feb 2, 2012
Vote Up!   29 votes
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Learn more about this community:

An Interview with Cindy Johanson, Elana Leoni & Betty Ray

"Get techy: Learn SEO techniques, make sure your website is not silo-ed (incorporate social media sharing tools and take advantage of free APIs out there), make sure you’re expanding, bookmarking and linking your community to other communities and social media platforms..."
Read the complete interview

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