Back in September, we launched “Raise Your Hand” and asked for your ideas on the most important action to take in education today. We used an ideas marketplace, All Our Ideas, a platform developed by Matthew Salganik, a professor at Princeton University to help you compare 50 seed ideas and submit your own.


The response was overwhelming: over 27,000 votes, 325 ideas and participation from over 90 countries across the continents. Within 30 days, four of the original ideas from the public rose to the top five positions. See the full list here.


Clearly, education is a planetary issue that resonates deeply with all of you - as reflected in the unprecedented number of ideas uploaded.


While the five ideas were distinctly different, a couple of common themes emerged:


  1. Teach to think. Your votes showed us that teaching shouldn’t just be a transfer of information from teacher to student. Teaching should help students learn to think critically and develop a life-long appreciation of learning. Your votes also showed that students’ natural abilities should be both considered and built  upon.

  2. Access to education. You overwhelmingly supported education as a public good, and maintained the importance that all children, no matter what background, have the same access to quality education.


People talked about this ideas marketplace all over the place – over dinner, with friends, in study lounges, in parental seminars, in cafés, off line and on (Facebook, twitter and on blogs).


The beauty of the voting was the absence of a polling booth. As long as you had access to a computer, mobile phone, or even an iPad, you could contribute your thoughts on the most important idea in education.  We know. We demonstrated Raise Your Hand to hundreds of people in Paris at the Institutional Management in Higher Education general conferenceprior to the launch using an iPad and watched several of the participants go on to continue voting and contributing from their iPhones. Our statistics show that we had visits from iPads, iPhones, Blackberries and Androids. Our hope was to expand the potential to vote to developing countries where Internet is more readily available via mobile phones.


So thank you to those of you from Bangladesh, Kenya, Malta, Montenegro, Peru, Sri Lanka and the 86 other countries from which our voters “raised their hands”. Your 325 original ideas and 27,000+ votes will be heard by education ministers, OECD researchers, policy makers, and educationtoday readers around the world.  The ideas will be presented at the Education Policy Forum on 4 November, attended by world thought leaders and OECD education ministers. From there, we will collect video statements from ministers, practitioners, experts, deans and other education stakeholders providing their perspectives on the top ideas. We will also invite other organisations to “adopt an education action” and put it into practice in their schools, universities, communities and countries.


We hope you’ll act during the next phase! Do stay tuned to educationtoday for the next critical part you can play.



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