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Technology-Focused Teaching

Books to Help Teachers and Students Become More Tech-Savvy

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • April 22, 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic reinforced our reliance on technology to communicate, connect, and do our work. Education is one of many fields that was transformed by this shift as schools had to adapt to an online or blended learning environment. While this was far from easy, many teachers have reported that the process made them more comfortable with technology.

Increased use of technology can be beneficial to students, helping them to build essential 21st-century skills. Here are some guides for teachers to learn how to use technology more effectively and how to produce tech-savvy students.

Technology Guides for Teachers

Educational technology tools are not one-size-fits-all. These guides provide a range of useful strategies for educators to take a targeted approach to incorporating the most effective innovations for their individual classroom needs.

Tech Like a Pirate: Using Classroom Technology to Create an Experience and Make Learning Memorable
Author-educator Matt Miller provides a customizable set of principles for ensuring that technology is an asset, and not a barrier, to learning. Designed for all teachers—from the tech-savvy to the tech-terrified—to create impactful, transformative learning using low- or no-cost equipment.

Integrating Technology in the Classroom: Tools to Meet the Needs of Every Student
Author Boni Hamilton presents technology tools and projects for a variety of teaching styles, classroom contexts, and skill levels, while helping students achieve academic growth. Discover new and immediately applicable tools and practices to support collaborative, student-centered learning.

Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in our Schools
Milton Chen draws from extensive experience in media—from his work on Sesame Street to his role as executive director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation—to examine ways in which learning can be revolutionized through innovative reform and the use of technology.

Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning
Educator and technology trainer Bethany Petty explains how to use technology to improve student experience. Packed with powerful ideas you can use in your classroom, this book is broken into ten easy-to-digest chapters, offering an inspiring guide for meaningful technology integration.

Learning First, Technology Second: The Educator's Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons
Learning with technology is only successful when proven teaching strategies intersect with new tech tools. Liz Kolb offers teachers the professional learning they need to move from arbitrary uses of technology in their classrooms to thoughtful ways of adding value to student learning.

Who You Know: Unlocking Innovations that Expand Students' Networks
Julia Freeland Fisher explores this simple idea to give teachers and school administrators a fresh perspective on how to break the pattern of inequality in American classrooms. It reveals how schools can invest in the power of relationships to increase social mobility for their students.

Launching Tech-Savvy Students

An important aspect of a well-rounded education is preparing students to succeed in today's increasingly technology driven world. These books address some of the issues educators need to think about as they help their students hone critical skills around the use of technology.

Code Breaker: Increase Creativity, Remix Assessment, and Develop a Class of Coder Ninjas
Educator Brian Aspinall shares his insights on how to turn curriculum expectations into skills. He offers strategies that can be applied to all subjects and grade levels to help students identify problems, develop solutions, and use coding and computational thinking.

Social Media Wellness: Helping Tweens and Teens thrive in an Unbalanced Digital World
With fresh insights and a solutions-oriented perspective, this guide from noted author and educator Ana Homayoun decodes the new language of social media for parents and educators and provides pragmatic solutions to promote healthy socialization, effective self-regulation, and overall safety and wellness.

Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News
Education experts Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins address the new realities of the 24-hour news cycle and an industry that intentionally spreads false stories designed to go viral. The book provides educators with tools and resources to help students discern the truth.

21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn
This anthology, edited by James Bellanca and Ron Brandt, unites respected education leaders and innovators to explore questions like: Which skills are most important for 21st century students to learn? What can be done to help schools include these skills in their curriculum and instruction?

Who Owns the Learning?: Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age
Education technology leader Alan November offers a guide on how technology allows students to take ownership of their learning, create and share learning tools, and participate in work that is meaningful to them and others. Real-life examples include embedded QR codes that link to supporting websites.

From Digital Natives to Digital Wisdom: Hopeful Essays for 21st Century Learning
Best-selling author and futurist Marc Prensky's book challenges educators to "reboot" and make the changes necessary to prepare students for 21st century careers and living. He presents easy-to-do, high-impact classroom strategies that will help students acquire digital wisdom.

Teaching with Google Tools

Google has been credited for transforming public education with low-cost laptops and free apps. Here are some guides specific to the resources created by the tech giant.

The Google Infused Classroom
EdTech experts Holly Clark and Tanya Avrith provide a guidebook to help teachers better use technology to engage learners and amplify the learning experience in the classroom with Google Apps and other online tools. This book focuses on 20 essential tools to make student thinking visible and give every student a voice.

Google Apps for Littles: Believe They Can
Author-educators Christine Pinto and Alice Keeler share a wealth of innovative ways to integrate digital tools in the primary classroom to make learning engaging and relevant for even the youngest of today's learners.

The Hyperdoc Handbook: Digital Lesson Design Using Google Apps
Authors Lisa Highfill, Kelly Hilton, and Sarah Landis offer a practical reference guide for all K-12 educators looking to transform their teaching into blended learning environments. This book strikes a perfect balance between pedagogy and how-to tips, while also providing several lesson plans to get you going.

50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom
Educators Alice Keeler and Libbi Miller provide a thorough overview of the Google Classroom App. This guide provides ideas and step-by-step instructions to help teachers implement and use this powerful tool. You can also check out 50 Things to Go Further With Google Classroom.

Educators today face a dizzying range of technological tools and strategies they could employ. It's important that they find the solutions that will augment their teaching style, adding convenience, not complication. These guides can help them identify what will work the best in their classrooms and ensure that their students develop the skills they need to thrive in the world they will inherit.

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