When she got in touch to say that she’d co-authored a book, it was no surprise to me that the book had started from a modern day educator story. Along with US educator Dr Julie M. Wood who had met Nicole via social media – they decided to write a book and so ‘TechnoTeaching” was born.
The book proposes to help teachers who are lacking in confidence in using technology to a place where they might be more willing and able, through supported activities, to use technology to support and enhance learning in the classroom.
They refer to the ACOT (Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow) study completed in 1997 and more recent pieces of work such as blog posts by Jeff Dunn of Edudemic as a means to explain how teachers should be what they called ‘TechnoTeachers’ – teachers who embrace the use of technology in the classroom.
Personally, I find the term to be a bit of a turn off, but if you can get past that and some of the Americanisms such as ‘Stellar Units’ and ‘Dare Devil Missions’ (it is published by the Harvard Education Press) then there are some great ideas in here and ways in which you can develop your own practice whilst using technology.
The book works chronologically through activities to help develop your practice and helpful tips from Nicole and Julie. Through a staggered approach, developing skill levels as you work through the book, it gives you a roadmap across the course of a year to help you not only in your classroom but ways in which you can see to connect locally and globally using social media. The chapter ‘Branching Out’ is for me one of my favourite chapters. Looking in some detail at how both teacher and student can be ‘digital media enthusiasts and global citizens’ is really empowering. As someone who fervently believes in the power of making things public as a means to engage and enthuse learners in meaningful work – this chapter is very important and I’m pleased to see it in there.
There is support for those looking to trail blaze and bring technology in to schools within chapter 7 which looks at how you can procure resources to facilitate learning with technology. It examines things such as budgets and proposals and this for some may be invaluable.
Overall, it’s a really helpful book for those teachers looking to embrace technology but who don’t know where to start. There are useful hints, tips and exemplar case studies to assist as you work through the book.
Thanks to Nicole for sending me across a copy. I really enjoyed it.