Friday, December 28, 2012

What I've Been (Re)Reading in 2012

Looking for a good read to kickstart 2013? Here is a selection of some of the books I’ve (re)read during 2012 that have really influenced my thinking. Thanks to those of you who recommended them to me through your tweets and reflective blog posts! If you know of another worthwhile read, I’d love for you to share it with me!
Drive (Daniel Pink)
A great read for teachers leaders and administrators who are interested in learning about what intrinsically motivates people. Pink’s big three are autonomymastery andpurpose. Big questions I’m once again asking myself…How can we create the conditions where all teachers are intrinsically motivated to be learners? What frameworks/models can we apply to increase student-driven learning?

Shifting the Monkey (Todd Whitaker)
Another good one for leaders. Whitaker shows how to shift an organization’s focus from compensating for and working around people to cultivating and supporting responsible employees. I’ve definitely identified some ‘monkeys’ I’m carrying. The challenge for me is to shift these ‘monkeys’ back to whom they belong to!

Start with Why (Simon Sinek)
“People don’t buy WHAT you do. They buy WHY you do it!”  Sinek discusses what inspires us and the people around us. This is a natural complement to Drive. I’ve realized that often times I’m too quick to share ‘what’ I’d like to see without fully sharing the ‘why’. I may know the ‘why’ for myself, but I will only inspire action if I share the ‘why’ with those I hope to influence.

I found this a really easy read that touches on a variety of educational technology topics. Anyone interested in exploring ways to use digital technologies in schools can benefit from this one.  I will continue to revisit sections of this book as we explore ways to engage teachers, students and parents through digital technologies.

Tom’s book has really made me question some of my beliefs about assessment and grading. The biggest point I continue to reflect on having read Tom’s book is the impact that grades can have on student motivation.

It’s all about Thinking (Faye Brownlie, Carole Fullerton & Leyton Schnellert)
Having just participated in one of Leyton’s workshops a few weeks ago, I’m very interested in reading about practical strategies we can use to differentiate for all learners. Many of the ideas he shared in his workshop (and I anticipate are shared in this book), Leyton modelled when we co-taught 17 years ago.

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