Supplementary Texts

To be a leader in educational technology, you need to have a well-rounded background knowledge in your field. You also should have specific areas of specialty such as networking, education, security, or funding. Finally, you need a vision of how technology can support future education. Some of the recommended books are future-oriented, and some are classics.

Vision: Education, Innovation, Careers

Education Nation: Six leading edges of innovation in our schools
Milton Chen
George Lucas Education Foundation, 2010
320 pages

We've all heard criticisms of schools, but what are the most promising educational trends in American schools? Milton Chen is (or was) Executive Director of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Director of Research for Sesame Street, and faculty member at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In these positions, he has observed, and he has helped create, some of the most interesting educational innovations of the last 30 years. Take a step into a strong but realistic future of school with discussion of effective curriculum and assessment, mobile 24/7 technology, experts and mentors, and lots more. Another must read for educators, administrators, and technologists. One of the most important education books of 2010.

Disrupting Class:
How Disruptive Innovation will Change the Way the World Learns
Clayton Christensen, Michael Horn & Curtis Johnson
McGraw Hill, 2008
230 pages

Technology has disrupted nearly every human institution except education. Clayton Christensen, a world expert in distruptive innovation, is uniquely prepared to examine the near future of education and how it will likely change. He forsees distance education to be the distruptive technology, and he predicts that half of all high school courses will be online by 2019. A must read for educators, administrators, and technologists. Probably the most important education book of 2008.

A Whole New Mind:
Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
Daniel Pink, 2006, 2006
Berkely Penguin Books
244 pages

This book should change your view of your own future, your children's, and your school's. Pink explains how the world economy has changed so that traditional left-brained specialties of accounting, engineering, programming, law, and medicine that drove the last century's economy will give way to a new set of requirements that use both sides of the brain ... you whole mind. Everyone interested in education, economics, and good jobs should read this. Probably the best book of its kind from 2005/2006.

The Global Achievement Gap
Tony Wagner, 2008
Basic Books
320 pages

Tony Wagner, Professor in the Harvard Graduate School of Education, shows how schools in other nations are progressing while even some of the best U.S. schools are standing still. He offers a clear vision of seven specific critical skills our students need to succeed in the 21st century as well as suggestions for how we can change. He has data and a strong world view to back up his ideas.

Don't Bother Me Mom, I'm Learning!
Marc Prensky
Paragon House Publishers, 2006
224 pages

Prensky's popular book and engaging presentation style have spread his message around the world. Computer games are a powerful way for children and adults to learn. He is not a researcher, he's a communicator. He bases many of his ideas on Gee (2003). For a more business-oriented discussion, read Prensky's newer book, Digital Game-Based Learning.

A New Culture of Learning
Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown
Createspace, 2011
140 pages

As Chief Scientist for Xerox, John Seely Brown directed the Xerox PARC Research Center where Alan Kay's team developed the modern computer and interface, including mouse control, overlapping windows, pull-down menus, bitmapped screen, Ethernet, and the laser printer. Both authors are leaders in new opportunities and practices in learning used today in some our best schools and businesses. If you're interested in the real ways that information technology is changing the world and how people learn, read some of the best ideas in the world from Seely Brown and Thomas.

Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out: Kids Living and Learning with New Media
Mizuko Ito (and others)
MIT Press, 2009
440 pages

This is an ethnographic study of ways that kids can learn in informal settings like libraries, museums, and after-school drop-in centers. The work explores real settings that have attracted kids to learn passionately. This a major, one-of-a-kind work that anyone interested in informal learning should read. (Think Maker Spaces!)

The Only Sustainable Edge:
Why business strategy depends on productive friction and dynamic specialization
John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, 2005
Harvard Business School Press
218 pages

John Seely Brown was Chief Scientist for Xerox directed the Xerox PARC Research Center where Alan Kay's team developed the modern computer and interface, including mouse control, overlapping windows, pull-down menus, bitmapped screen, Ethernet, and the laser printer. Both of them are leaders in the use and effect of information technology (ICT) on institutions. They describe a model of how successfull institutions, including schools, must operate today to harness the power and avoid the carnage of disruptive change. If you're interested in the real ways that information technology is changing the world, read Seely Brown and Hagel.

New Literacies: Changing Knowledge and Classroom Learning
Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel, 2003
Open University Press, (second printing, 2006)
272 pages

The authors argue that the world has changed dramatically, and that the way we teach should change to reflect the dramatic changes in culture, science and business. This is a thoughtful book addresses issues that won't go away but that are not being serioiusly addressed by education institutions. A paradigm shift has already occured in society. Industrial society is gone; information society is here. New literacies are needed to succeed in the present and future world. The authors suggest ways that teachers and schools can change to address the challenges and opportunities. While the book contains important messages, it is rather academic and not easy to read.

Critiques of School

Weapons of Mass Instruction
A schoolteacher's journey through the dark world of compulsory schooling
John Taylor Gatto, 2010
New Society Publishers
240 pages

Dan Pink calls John Taylor Gatto, "Education's most original thinker," and noted business guru Tom Peters says, "I agree with damn near every simi-colon and comma that Mr. Gatto has written." Every educator, administrator, and parent should read this book to learn about some of the REAL history behind our system of compulsory public education. While we may have a lot to be proud of, Gatto's thorough research, engaging real stories, and in-your-face writing shows us a side of education we were never taught in school. It's my view that we need to understand Gatto's ideas as well as the ideas from optimistic or naive authors. This book is not friendly to state departments of education, school boards, teachers unions, professional administrators, and much of what you think you know about school. Read it ... you don't have to agree with it.

Why Don't Students Like School?
A cognitive scientist answers questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom
Daniel T. Willingham
Jossey-Bass, 2009
192 pages

Only 70-80% of U.S. students graduate from high school, and many fewer complete college. In general, they leave because they find school to be intolerably boring or wholly irrelevant. In an age when further education is necessary for a good job, many seal their fates by the age of 16. U.S. prisons are crowded primarily with people who never graduated from high school. Willingham looks at kids and schools from a cognitive science perspective to give us insight into what can be done.


Using Technology Wisely: The Keys to Success in School
Harold Wenglinsky
Teachers College Press, 2005
112 pages

Harold Wenglinsky, while a researcher at the Educational Testing Service, conducted one of the largest research studies on the effectiveness of technology on mathematics achievement for 4th and 8th graders. The results of his study are sobering, and they should be read and understood by all stakeholders in instructional technology. While no study is perfect, it is significant that his results have not been challenged the outcome of any other large study. In fact, a 2007 study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Education tends to support Wenglinsky's most disturbing findings.

On the Death of Childhood and the Destruction of Public Schools:
The Folly of Today's Education Policies and Practices
Gerald W. Bracey
Heinemann, 2003
208 pages

Gerald Bracey is the long-time author of the Research section of the respected Phi Delta Kappan journal and one of the most- informed sources on educational research. Never sensational or biased, Bracey spent a career searching for research insights into teaching and learning--and communicating his understanding in plain English to educators. In this volume, Bracey presents solid research that contracts many of unquestioned assumptions of teachers, administrators, politicians, and the public that underlie today's education policies and practices. This is an important book for anyone looking for evidence to support or refute educational big ideas.

What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy (2nd Ed)
James Paul Gee
Palgrave Macmillan, second edition, 2007
256 pages

Gee is the best-known researcher into the effects of computer games on learning and achievement. He backs up his findings with hard data and sound research. The second edition is an update of his landmark 2003 edition. A important book that is already becoming a classic!

The Flat World and Education:
How America's Commitment to Equity will Determine Our Future
Linda Darling-Hammond
Teachers College Press, 2010
240 pages

Linda Darling-Hammond is a professor education at Stanford University and one of most highly respected educational thinkers and researchers in the world. In this book she looks at American education through the lens of global economic and EDUCATION competition. Going deep below the headlines, she analyzes why schools in so many other nations seem to be more successful in teaching all their students than the average American school. This is not a "kick-em while they're down" book. Rather, it provides the clearest path to educational impovement using tried-and-true methods that are working every day around the world. If you are an educator who doesn't know of Darling-Hammond's work, read this book.

The Death and Life of the Great American School System:
How testing and choice are undermining education
Diane Ravitch, 2010
Basic Books
296 pages

Ravitch is an educational historian who was a strong advocate for the No Child Left Behind program of the past decade. But after researching the program's effects, she has become a highly outspoken critic of the program's reliance on high-stakes testing and its advocacy of pricate/charter schools. She presents a well-researched and clearly presented critique that administrators and parents should hear. She presents details through many sad case studies of education in the 2000's.

Security (with and without technology)

Beyond Fear:
Thinking Sensibly About Security in an Uncertain World
Bruce Schneier, 2003
Copernicus Books
281 pages

Bruce Schneier is the best-known expert on network security in the world. In this book, he shares his wisdom about the true nature of risk, protection, deterrence, and security. With this knowledge, you can ask the right questions and develop reasonable answers to any security issue. A must read for anyone with interest or responsibility for school, network, or other security.

Learning & Curriculum

21st Century Skills: Learning for life in our times
Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel
John Wiley and Sons, 2009
Josey Bass, publisher
240 pages

This may be the most practical book in the list. The authors served as co-chairs of the Standards, Assessment, and Professional Professional Development Committee of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills. Both authors come from a high-tech industry perspective on education. Trilling heads the Oracle Education Foundation, and Fadel is the leader of education at Cisco. They provide a high-tech global context illustrated by real-life case studies and compelling video clip examples.

Learning With Computers: Constructivist Classics

Mindstorms: Children, Computers and Powerful Ideas
Seymour Papert, 1983
Basic Books, 1993
280 pages

This may be the most frequently cited text on learning theory related to educational technology. Papert had invented the logo computer language for children over a decade before. In this text he lays out the learning philosophy behind logo and his view of how children learn in powerful ways through technology. In many ways it is not only a theory of learning, but also an epistomology that helps define learning and knowledge in a constructivist framework.

The Children's Machine: Rethinking School in the Age of Computers
Seymour Papert, 1992
Bantam, 1994
256 pages

In this follow-up work to Mindstorms, Papert attempts to deal with the difficulties he sees in the integration of powerful technologies in schools. He reflects that the most common school application of technology has become drill and practice, and he proposes reasons why other models (contructivist models) would better serve student learning goals.

About Supplementary Readings

The texts on these pages cover a broad range of topics that may be relevant to your interests and topics. Not all texts speak to all students. You may need references that provide a historical context for your study. You may also need sources that suggest future scenarios and approaches. Each of those kinds of resources are under the appropriate headings. Each of the texts here are significant works, each in their own way.

Links for New and Used Books

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