When I went home for vacation last summer I spent a small fortune on a selection of books about technology in education. There were a few extra special books that had a major impact on my teaching and learning this year so I thought I’d make a list of my top 3 books for the 21st Century teacher:

My first purchase was Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Tools for Classrooms by Will Richardson. I think I read this one in one afternoon and it was so inspiring and practical that I started our students with blogging as soon as we returned from summer vacation. We’ve been quite successful with wikis in recent months and I’m just about to start working with podcasting. I feel extra lucky because this year my job has changed slightly and I’ve been given 40% release time to work with other teachers on integrating technology into their classroom – this book has been invaluable as an introduction for them, and also for practical ideas and advice on how to implement the technology.

I’m just finishing Redefining Literacy for the 21st Century by David Warlick this weekend. What a powerful book – everything I’ve been saying to teachers and administrators is all right here. To me, this is the quintessential book for the 21st Century teacher. For the last seven years, my philosophy of education has been to teach students how to learn, because we never know what will be coming next, especially in the area of technology. To read this book and see everything so clearly laid out is the perfect resource in my opinion. I am definitely going to recommend this book to every teacher I work with in the future.

Another favorite: The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman. I read this one a while back, but I am part of a book club (made up entirely of teachers) here in KL and we just had our discussion about this book. Much of our conversation was focused on whether or not teachers are doing their job if they do not utilize technology in their classroom. This is the kind of discussion we need to be having in schools so that we all have a common understanding of how to prepare our children for a future we can not imagine (to paraphrase David Warlick).

What else should I be reading? What’s on your list?

Image 1 from:
Image 2 from: http://www.pacifica-group.com/images/World%20is%20flat.jpg
Image 3 from: http://grfriesen.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/richardson.jpg

11 thoughts on “Required reading for the 21st Century teacher

  1. Hello, some interesting reading. My reading looks like such:

    Professional Learning Communities at Work – Dufour and Eaker
    Failure is Not an Option – Alan M. Blankstein
    The Learning Leader – Douglas B. Reeves
    Improving Schools from Within – Roland Barth
    The World is Flat – Thomas L. Friedman
    Social Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
    The Three-Minute Walk-Through – Corolyn J. Downey
    Integrating Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design – Tomlinson & McTighe
    SMART School Teams – Conzemius and O’Neill
    Seven Layers of Organization – Christopher Lowell
    Tanquil – Terry Brooks
    Teaching for Understanding with Technology – Martha Stone Wiske
    Thanks for your suggestions.

  2. I also love Integrating Differentiated Instruction & Understanding by Design. I was thinking about adding that to my list to make it a top four – such an easy to read book with so many practical suggestions!

    Thanks for your list, it looks like I’ll be spending yet another small fortune at Amazon :)

  3. Great reading suggestions, Kim and Kelly!

    I also would add two books by Malcolm Gladwell: The Tipping Point, and Blink.

    Miss Profe

    And, thank you Kim, for visiting my blog and for sharing the info. re: The Amesty Campaign Against Blood Diamonds.:)

  4. The last two I’ve read that have educational implications are Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind” and Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point”. I was reading the latter when the 5 things meme was virally spreading through the edublogosphere – it really made me wonder what it would take to create a Web 2.0 tipping point in education.

  5. Miss Profe,

    I loved Blink! I just bought The Tipping Point, but I haven’t started it yet. Another one I liked that was similar (I think) to The Tipping Point is The Long Tail.

    I just saw Blood Diamond – what a fantastic movie – have you seen it?


    Thanks for the suggestion! I will pick up “A Whole New Mind” the next time I’m at the bookstore :)

  6. Hi,

    I think the best books to read are the ones have got absolutely nothing to do with technology and more to do with thoughts about to reframe your conditioned behavioristically attuned self.

    If you think about it how much time do you spend trying to be better than who you already are ? I reckon you should quit trying to grow up too fast.

    I’m still trying to get through Krishnamurti Snrs. “Education and the Significance of Life” written in 1876. It’s only a thin book but has lots of cool things going on that keep repeating themselves in all the workings of anything written to date.

    Another good read is the latest tech. article in the Times magazine entitled “Person Of The Year – You ”

    You’ve got a good blog going…..keep it alive with stuff in your life thats everyday. It makes for a good read.

  7. Thanks for all the thoughtful posts! I’ve found lots of great information from your blog. Two books I would recommend are Using Technology with Classroom Instruction That Works by Pitler and Classroom Grading and Assessment That Work by Marzano.

  8. @Alex,

    Thanks for the advice and the reads. I’ve always tried to grow up too fast… A little scary that it comes through in my writing though…


    Thanks for the suggested reads! I don’t have the Pitler book – I’ll add it to my summer Amazon order!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge