I get asked this question often every spring, so I’d thought I’d offer a few thoughts here on the blog.
This list sticks to the (relatively) current, the books I’ve read or encountered since last May– obviously there are scores of fine books from years past every educator should consider for summer reading, but this is not that kind of list.
(If you are interested, here is my 2012 Summer Reading List. )
Asterisk by names are for “full disclosure;” they are friends and colleagues, so please recognize the potential of bias.
*Ken Kay, founder of Partnership for 21st century skills and edleader21, joined by his close associate *Val Greenhill, published this book last summer and it is, I think, a highly valuable guide for educational leaders. Kay and Greenhill recognize the extent to which leading learning in fast-changing times is a traveling on a journey which will never arrive finally at the destination, a journey that requires not only a vision and a strategy but a process of inclusion and an obligation for communication and collaboration. See my full review here.
Highly accessible, succinct, and compelling, this book identifies great questions we should all be asking about education in the future (and the present), and offers a set of valuable steps we could all begin taking now to realign. Why would you not take the 80 minutes and $3 to read this book this summer?
Using farming as metaphor for 21st century learning is funny to me, but November makes it work, and helps us to see what is new is old: that we’ve always learned best by doing things, taking care, working together, tackling real problems, generating meaningful solutions, producing and sharing. And now, with the information, resources and tools available online, this practice is more available and more meaningful than ever before. Great practical suggestions along with good inspiration. I quibble with some details: November twice offers the idea we shouldn’t try to measure creativity because it will only dampen it, and cites only Dan Pink as support: I think there is more to say about the matter than dismissing it out of hand, but this minor matter doesn’t detract from the value of November’s book as a whole.
Rheingold: I’ve been raving about this book for a year, since I read in on vacation last July: I think it was certainly THE book of 2012, the one book every educator– including, by the way, everyone who is educating themselves, which ought to be, in the fast-changing 21st century, everyone– needs to read to understand the opportunities and the obligations to be a responsible, effective, digital citizen, collaborator, and contributor. It’s a bit of a heavier lift than many of the other books on this list, but it is entirely worth the effort. See full post/review here. (more…)