The Midwest Education Technology Community Conference advisory committee is excited to bring back book reviews of materials that we will offer at the conference this February. Committee members and area educators are sharing their thoughts, here’s the latest from Claymont Elementary Library Media Specialist Julie Boatner:
Teacher As Architect, Instructional Design and Delivery for the Modern Teacher
Shawn K. Smith, Ann M. Chavez, Garrett W. Seaman
Considering the challenges of educators in today’s ever increasing STEM society, the analogy of Teacher as Architect just makes sense. Smith, Chavez and Seaman have collaborated to update this cohesive, well-researched, yet easy-to-read guide for the teacher candidate and experienced educator alike.
The second edition of TAA leads us through four core principles. The first, “Designing with Purpose,” examines the foundations of teaching – plotting lessons from the ground up by focusing on the CCSS standards, backwards design when considering assessments, and examining the blueprints of how students’ brains learn before selecting a particular pedagogy. The beams really start to go up during “Core Principle 2: Customizing 21st Century Learning,” where the authors challenge us in what it means to differentiate with the use of technology and how to blend all aspects of teaching together. Core Principles 3 and 4 focus on following through with the finishing touches of managing a classroom and analyzing student performance.
Teacher as Architect brings all aspects of instruction together in one final work of art. Although the opening chapters are compelling and required when designing effective lessons, the real strength of this text comes in the second half of the book. Modern educational technology such as flipped classrooms and utilizing Web 2.0 and 3.0 tools are highlighted through practical tips and engaging, relatable teacher’s stories. Each chapter challenges the reader through “Reflection and Action” journaling prompts and dares the reader to dream about what his or her classroom could become.