Top New Books for Educators


Case-Studies-on-Safety,-Bullying,-and-Social-Media-in-SchoolsCase Studies on Safety, Bullying, and Social Media in Schools: Current Issues in Educational Leadership

Laura Trujillo-Jenks, Kenneth Jenks

Release Date: October 7, 2015

Case Studies on Safety, Bullying, and Social Media in Schools addresses the most topical issues facing school leaders today—including bullying, harassment, inappropriate use of social media, drug use, and school safety. This case book helps aspiring educational leaders prepare and respond to even the most difficult situations that occur on school campuses and in the school community. Bridging theory and practice, each chapter includes a detailed case, artifacts for analysis, explanation of relevant case and federal law, and guiding questions for discussion. Adapted from real-world examples, the case studies in this timely resource serve as essential exercises for aspiring and practicing leaders to ensure student safety and success.

What-Works-in-Girls'-EducationWhat Works in Girls’ Education: Evidence for the World’s Best Investment

Gene B. Sperling, Rebecca Winthrop

Release Date: October 11, 2015

Gene Sperling, author of the seminal 2004 report published by the Council on Foreign Relations, and Rebecca Winthrop, director of the Center for Universal Education, have written this definitive book on the importance of girls’ education. As Malala Yousafzai expresses in her foreword, the idea that any child could be denied an education due to poverty, custom, the law, or terrorist threats is just wrong and unimaginable. More than 1,000 studies have provided evidence that high-quality girls’ education around the world leads to wide-ranging returns:

  • Better outcomes in economic areas of growth and incomes
  • Reduced rates of infant and maternal mortality
  • Reduced rates of child marriage
  • Reduced rates of the incidence of HIV/AIDS and malaria
  • Increased agricultural productivity
  • Increased resilience to natural disasters
  • Women’s empowerment

What Works in Girls’ Education is a compelling work for both concerned global citizens, and any academic, expert, nongovernmental organization (NGO) staff member, policymaker, or journalist seeking to dive into the evidence and policies on girls’ education

Find-Me-UnafraidFind Me Unafraid: Love, Loss, and Hope in an African Slum

Kennedy Odede, Jessica Posner

Release Date: October 13, 2015

Find Me Unafraid tells the uncommon love story between two uncommon people whose collaboration sparked a successful movement to transform the lives of vulnerable girls and the urban poor, with a Foreword by Nicholas Kristof.

This is the story of two young people from completely different worlds: Kennedy Odede from Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, and Jessica Posner from Denver, Colorado.  Kennedy foraged for food, lived on the street, and taught himself to read with old newspapers. When an American volunteer gave him the work of Mandela, Garvey, and King, teenaged Kennedy decided he was going to change his life and his community. He bought a soccer ball and started a youth empowerment group he called Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO). Then in 2007, Wesleyan undergraduate Jessica Posner spent a semester abroad in Kenya working with SHOFCO. Breaking all convention, she decided to live in Kibera with Kennedy, and they fell in love. Their connection persisted, and Jessica helped Kennedy to escape political violence and fulfill his lifelong dream of an education at Wesleyan University.

The alchemy of their remarkable union has drawn the support of community members and celebrities alike—the Clintons, Mia Farrow, and Nicholas Kristof are among their fans—and their work has changed the lives of many of Kibera’s most vulnerable population: its girls. Jess and Kennedy founded Kibera’s first tuition-free school for girls, a large, bright blue building, which stands as a bastion of hope in what once felt like a hopeless place. But Jessica and Kennedy are just getting started—they have expanded their model to connect essential services like health care, clean water, and economic empowerment programs. They’ve opened an identical project in Mathare, Kenya’s second largest slum, and intend to expand their remarkably successful program for change.

Ultimately this is a love story about a fight against poverty and hopelessness, the transformation made possible by a true love, and the power of young people to have a deep impact on the world.

Teaching-the-Last-Backpack-GenerationTeaching the Last Backpack Generation: A Mobile Technology Handbook for Secondary Educators

Zachary Walker, Kara Rosenblatt, Donald McMahon

Release Date: October 13, 2015

Don’t just know how to use mobile technology. Know how to use it to transform learning. This refreshingly easy-to-use workbook shows educators how to make mobile devices a natural part of their classrooms by optimizing technology, no matter what the content. Discover:

  • Practical mobile device management skills such as how to project and use devices as a whiteboard and tools to capture student responses
  • Fun strategies students will love such as teaching vocabulary using text speak and slang or using a digital assistant (like Siri) instead of writing
  • Helpful resources to enhance professional learning

Teaching-Mindfulness-to-Kids-and-TeensTeaching Mindfulness Skills to Kids and Teens

Christopher Willard, Amy Saltzman

Release Date: October 16, 2015

Packed with creative, effective ideas for bringing mindfulness into the classroom, child therapy office, or community, this book features sample lesson plans and scripts, case studies, vignettes, and more. Leading experts describe how to harness the unique benefits of present-focused awareness for preschoolers, school-age kids, and teens, including at-risk youth and those with special needs. Strategies for overcoming common obstacles and engaging kids with different learning styles are explored. Chapters also share ways to incorporate mindfulness into a broad range of children’s activities, such as movement, sports, music, games, writing, and art. Giving clinicians and educators practices they can use immediately, the book includes clear explanations of relevant research findings.

Online Learning: The Importance of Proper Implementation

The Importance of a Proper Implementation

The Importance of Proper ImplementationWhile preparing for a presentation at a recent technology conference, I decided to look up the origin of the word “technology.” I discovered it was first used in the 1800s and derived from the Greek word tekhnologia, which means “systematic treatment.” Today, technology means several things, including “a manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge.” It has been my job for more than twenty years to ensure that tasks are accomplished using proper processes and methodologies, so this definition hit home for me. Read More

Getting Others on the Blended Learning Bandwagon


Starting a blended learning program can be a challenge

Starting a blended learning program can be a challenge. Not everyone may be ready for these changes. Parents may fear that their students won’t get the same level of attention in the classroom, while teachers may fear that their role is changing: will online resources take over their responsibilities? How will they support students moving forward?

The blended learning model is a fusion of new technology and traditional teaching methodology. With blended learning, teachers are not replaced by digital courseware because they are still the primary drivers of the learning experience for students. In fact, this model creates an opportunity for teachers to explore new and engaging teaching methods that, when implemented well, can provide students with access to a great deal of content at their own pace of study.

Additionally, this learning model requires both teachers and the content developers to pay close attention to the individual and unique learning styles of students, paving the way for a better understanding of the teaching-learning dynamic.

Here are some ways you can help teachers and parents better understand and accept the transition into a blended learning classroom:

help teachers and parents better understand and accept the transition into a blended learning classroom

1.  Stick to the facts (and debunk the myths!)

As you enter into conversations with teachers and parents, chances are they will already have their opinions about blended learning—what it is, what it means, and how it affects students. Take the time to listen to their concerns, but have your facts ready so you can provide feedback that may help them better understand the blended learning model, and debunk the myths and rumors that circulate. For example, if a parent reports hearing that blended learning places students in front of computers “all day,” reassure the parent that teachers are still engaging students and encouraging classroom discussions away from the computer.

2.  Provide a demonstration

Get creative by putting teachers and parents through a blended learning lesson. This gives them an opportunity to experience the session from a student’s perspective, which may inspire more positive conversations and questions about the process. If a live demo is not possible, put teachers and parents in touch with other users of the blended learning model to discuss the experience that other adults had.

3.  Establish parent-teacher work groups

Giving teachers and parents a safe and collaborative way to connect can allow them to express and share their misgivings and questions in a safe environment. A work group is an effective way to get people on board with the implementation of a blended learning program in the school. Work groups should be led by school faculty, PTA members, or any teacher or parent volunteer who can keep the meetings on topic and structured. Involving teachers and parents in discussions about blended learning can help curb concerns that arise from lack of knowledge or a misunderstanding about these academic models. It also lets teachers and parents hear the same, trusted information.

Giving these three strategies a try can help improve the experience that teachers and parents have with the blended learning implementation process!

How Technology Unlocks Personalized Learning

Boy lifts oversized key surrounded by data

The Power of Personalized LearningIn a geometry classroom in Northern California, Theek, a Laotian newcomer, has no problem applying abstract mathematical concepts to a real-world architecture assignment, but struggles with decoding the English language. In the same classroom, Calvin has deeply ingrained misconceptions about the definitions of shapes and measurements that impede his learning geometry. Is it possible for teachers to have the tools to address students with such divergent needs?

Educators recognize the importance of calibrating instruction to meet learners’ unique academic requirements. But, creating personalized lesson plans for a classroom of twenty students can be overwhelming. That is why a growing number of educators are turning to technology to scale individualized instruction. However, simply putting students in front of a computer will not necessarily account for learners’ differences. To address learner variation, technology must: 1) provide useful, actionable data; 2) offer student-driven learning paths; and 3) make instruction accessible for all. Read More