Tag Archives: METC Book Review

Grounded Designs for Online and Hybrid Learning Book Reviews

The Midwest Education Technology Community Conference advisory committee is excited to bring back book reviews of materials that we will offer at the conference in just a couple weeks! Drew McAllister has reviewed a trio of books for us, here’s his take on the second book in the series:

hybridOver the past few months, I have been reading a trilogy written for those looking to design or aid in the design of online courses or blended learning experiences. Grounded Designs for Online and Hybrid Learning, edited by Atsusi “2c” Hirumi and published by ISTE, consists of the following titles: Design Fundamentals, Designs in Action and Trends and Technologies.

Designs in Action:

Hirumi refers to this volume as “the heart” of the Grounded Designs series. I heartily concur. Of the three volumes, Designs in Action comes closest to a practicable guidebook for designing learning activities for an online course. The chapters may be grouped into three categories: general instructional models, subject-specific strategies and general strategies.

… read more of Drew’s review, including the sections on general instructional models, subject-specific and general strategies here. You’ll also find links to his review of the other two books in the Grounded Designs series.

Web 2.0 How-to for Educators

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. Web 2.0 How-to for Educators is one of those selections! Now in its second edition, the book is by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum. The book’s audience is K-12 educators and technology coordinators. Cindy Lane, part of the Discovery Education PD Team, Google Certified Teacher and Google GeoEDU Teacher Advisory Board Member, reviews it:

web 2.0This simply written book is a go to for every teacher who not only wonders about web 2.0 tools but how to effectively use them in the classroom. Every chapter goes through the minimal tools that every teacher should have basic knowledge about and then crosses into the how and why of the tool. I loved the well-written descriptions and basic overview of specific tools and plan on using this as a resource for years to come. Gwen and Lynn did their best to highlight tools that have been around for awhile (and still not used to their capacity) There are also additions from different instructional specialists with their own views of the tools… Grab this book and reference it as you begin your journey to become tech savvy!

Digital Storytelling Guide for Educators

guide for educatorsThe 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. Digital Storytelling Guide for Educators by Midge Frazel is one of the selections. The audience for this book is K-12 educators, curriculum specialists and administrators.

Reviewed by Hollie Hanneke, Library Media Specialist, Parkway School District   Storytelling has been around since the beginning of time. Midge Frazel’s Digital Storytelling Guide for Educators brings storytelling to the 21st century by incorporating multimedia and computer based features into the writing or story process. Frazel examines digital storytelling by demonstrating how audio, photography, music and sound effects can create a modern story to share with others.

Frazel’s book is designed as a resource and guide for educators. She begins by giving an overview of digital storytelling and includes step by step instructions on how to plan, prepare, evaluate, and execute a digital story. The chapters are packed full of web based and computer program resources to use with the creation of a digital story. Frazel’s resources are explicitly well written, allowing even a novice teacher to instruct students on digital storytelling. My favorite chapter is near the end as Frazel explains how digital storytelling can bridge the gap between the classroom and the community, thus creating excitement within our students and the work they are producing in school.

Digital storytelling is our future. Digitial Storytelling Guide for Educators brings excitement, practicality and essence to this genre.

About Instructional Design and Delivery for the Modern Teacher

teachers as architectThe 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
Second Edition
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.

Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement | METC Book Review

flippedbookThe 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. Two area educators volunteered to read and review Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement. This book, an ISTE publication, has identified its audience as administrators, curriculum coordinators, educators (6-12) and technology coordinators.

Have you read this book? Here’s what our reviewers had to say:

Reviewed by Angela Cartee, Professional Learning Technology Specialist, Special School District
What is the best use of face-to-face time with students? That’s the one question posed by Jonathon Bergmann and Aaron Sams in their newest book Flipped Learning: Gateway to Student Engagement. Is it inquiry? Problem Solving? Discussions? Problem-based Learning? Guided Practice? Direct Instruction? The answer is,“yes!” There is no one answer because flipped learning is not a set process or a single strategy. It is a transformation that focuses on learning rather than teaching.

The authors offer a deeper understanding of what flipped learning is, the benefits and implementation ideas. This book is a “why to” that answers many pedagogical questions about instruction. It offers a deeper explanation of individualized learning and learner-centric classrooms. If you’re looking for more (and better) ways to integrate technology into the classroom, you’ll find them here.

Transforming classrooms, faculty meetings, or professional development sessions can be difficult; however, this book offers scenarios and suggestions to keep you thinking.

Reviewed by Eve Diehl, Library Media Specialist, Parkway School District
In this book, Jonathon Bergmann and Aaron Sams first remind readers of the basic idea of the “flipped classroom,” in which direct instruction is given primarily through videos that students access outside of the class time, while in-class time is used for activities traditionally considered to be homework. The main focus of the book is to inspire teachers to move beyond these basics to the concept of “flipped learning,” which extends the idea of the flipped classroom. The introductory chapters describe some of the philosophy behind flipped learning and the key components that need to be present in the classroom to meet the model. The authors introduce us to the “One Question” that guides the flipped learning model, “What is the best use of face-to-face time with students?”

The book emphasizes the idea that flipped learning is a grassroots approach to educational reform. It is something meaningful that teachers can do to transform their classrooms, without depending upon a mandate from above. This is illustrated through the subsequent chapters of the book as we hear personal stories from teachers all over the country who are finding success with the flipped learning model. The stories come from a wide variety of content areas, including social studies, English and even physical education. The teachers reflect on the “One Question,” and all teachers in the book conclude that direct instruction is not the best use of face-to-face time; they realize that in-class time is more effective when it is student-centered, not teacher-centered.

One appealing aspect of all the personal stories is that they seem attainable since the teachers implement the flipped learning model through a gradual process. The teachers start off Year 1 at the basic “flipped classroom” level, where they mainly focus on making videos. Then, in subsequent years, they all realize the need to take the model further into flipped learning, which involves different things for different teachers and content areas. Some of the characteristics of flipped learning include allowing students to move through content at their own pace, demonstrating mastery of a topic in creative ways, interacting with and teaching peers and developing stronger relationships with their teachers so individual learning needs are met. This book provides a strong mix of theory and practice that will enable teachers to put the flipped classroom to work right away at whatever level they feel comfortable.

Purchase this book, and others, at METC. Or, order beforehand (at a discounted rate) and pick up your new reads at the conference.