5 EdTech Tools in 5 Minutes: Episode 7

It’s that time again: time for the next episode of 5 EdTech Tools in 5 Minutes.  Normally I feature 5 edtech tools, but this month I decided to do a spin on the normal screencasts.

This episode features 5 edtech books to read this summer! I won’t be creating a new episode in June or July, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite edtech books and some books on my own to read list.

5_in_5This episode features the following books:

  1. Untangling the Web
  2. Web 2.0: How-To for Educators
  3. Flip Your Classroom
  4. Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative
  5. Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times

For the videos, the Prezi, Diigo links to all the books featured in the episodes and more, visit my website. If you don’t want to miss another episode, subscribe to the iTunes podcast channel here.

Tech To You Later!

Lessons in Education from Steve Jobs

In one of my graduate courses, I had to pick a leader and read a biography about them. Since the name of my game is technology in education, I decided to go with someone in the technology field. I thought Steve Jobs was a good choice, and I’m glad I went with him.

Aside from knowing he was a creative genius, I really knew nothing about him.  Walter Isaacson could not have painted a clearer picture in his biography Steve Jobs.  Whether you’re an Apple or PC fan, I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in technology.  Not only does the book cover Jobs’ life, but it’s almost like a history of technology too (in part because Jobs had such a big hand in many groundbreaking developments).

Cover of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Cover of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

Aside from being an interesting account of the development of computers, other technology and Jobs’ life, there are also many lessons educators can take away from Jobs’ examples (Avoiding his narcissistic and mercurial outbursts, of course!).  I’ll leave you with two of my favorite takeaways from the book.

Adam Bellow suggests in his ISTE 2013 Keynote that schools should be more like start up companies.   Jobs is the perfect example of a risk taker through his start up efforts.  Not everything he tried worked out, but he learned from his (and companies’ ) mistakes.  He wasn’t afraid to take risks, and teachers and students shouldn’t be afraid to take risks either.  When students are afraid to take risks, they become too afraid of getting the wrong answer.  When teachers are afraid to take risks, they become too afraid to try new things in their classroom with students.

Jobs often said that he did not conduct consumer research because consumers did not know what they wanted until Apple showed them what they needed.  As educators, we must find a way to constantly stay ahead of the curve by anticipating what our students will need; they’re relying on us to prepare them for their future. We must give them the skills they will need to change the world.  We must teach them to Think Different.

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently.  They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.  -Apple’s Think Different advertising campaign

What did you take away from Isasscon’s Steve Jobs?

Tech To You Later!

Untangling the Web: Perfect Summer Read

At the beginning of the week I purchased Steve Dembo and Adam Bellow’s Untangling the Web: 20 Tools to Power Up Your Teaching. I was so impressed by Bellow’s ISTE 2013 Keynote that I had to read his book, and I’m glad I did!

Untangling the Web: 20 Tools to Power Up Your TeachingDembo and Bellow give a detailed description of 20 web tools that any teacher could use in his or her classroom. I was already familiar with a handful of the tools mentioned in the book, but I still learned a great deal about each one of them. This is an excellent resource for any educator, whether they are new to technology in the classroom or an experienced edtech user! Best of all, you get a great sense of what each tool can do without feeling like you’re reading the entire Twilight series; the book is a very quick read!

My favorite aspect of this book is the versatility of each of these tools.  Scrolling through my Twitter feed and some of my favorite edtech online resources, I often feel like so much stuff is aimed at elementary and middle school students or iPad, Android, and mobile users.  Students at my school (grades 9-12) use Tablet PC’s (basically a laptop that you can write on the screen), so I can count any tools that stop at a tablet or mobile app out of our repertoire.  Every single web tool mentioned in the book can be used at any grade level and is intended for a computer, with many of them being mobile/app compatible!

This is the perfect book to read while you soak up the last of the summer sun before returning to school this fall.  It will leave you with tons of ideas to immediately incorporate into your teaching next year.  I’d love to hear what you thought of the book and how you plan to use some of the tools they featured.

Tech To You Later!

The Holy Grail of Technology in Education Ideas

Whether you’re interested in completely revamping your lessons or just looking to get a few ideas, Web 2.0 How-To for Educators by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum is a great read. I call it the holy grail of technology in education ideas. 

Each chapter provides enough information you can take back to your classroom the very next day and the confidence to hit the ground running.

Solomon and Schrum cover blogs, twitter, podcasts, vodcasts, productivity applications, social networks, videos and photos, virtual environments, wikis, and 20 individual applications for classroom use. Under each section, they give you a description, explain why it is useful, provide examples of how other teachers are using the tools, how to get started, and other resources. 

My favorite part about this book is Solomon and Schrum’s ability to cater to all technology comfort levels.  Beginners are introduced to different tools and gain an understanding for them without being overwhelmed; those who know about different tools but are hesitant to give them a try are given enough confidence and know-how to start using new tech tools; and those who have already started using new technologies, and even some of the tools mentioned in the book, are able to learn from other examples and spark new ideas. It’s easy to pick up and leave off at any point throughout the book.  Each chapter provides enough information you can take back to your classrooms the very next day and the confidence to hit the ground running.  


This book is available through ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) for $37.95 for non-members and $26.57 for members. I have the Kindle edition (only $12.95) on my iPad.  It is definitely a book you will want to keep close by your side!  

Have you read any good books or articles about web 2.0 tools?  

Tech to You Later!