Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Book Talk-What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media

I had the opportunity to upload and read the Kindle Version of What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media to my iPad, and have thoroughly enjoyed reading this excellent book that is full of practical information and resources.

I originally heard chatter on Twitter about this book, so put it on my Amazon Wish list, but knew it was a definite winner when Adina Sullivan, our technology trainer for the TAH Foundations grant, shared that she had just received her copy of the book. Many of the contributing authors are educators that both Adina and I follow on Twitter, and Adina has had the opportunity to connect with several of these people throughout the years at various technology conferences, and knows that they are well regarded because they have been so effective in utilizing technology as both a collaborative and instructional tool. The editors, Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann are outstanding educators who share their expertise through social media such as Twitter and blogging.

Speaking of blogging, that is the topic addressed in the first chapter of the book, and it is one aspect of Web 2.0 technologies that we are delving into throughout this year. The authors, Kristin Hokanson and Christian Long, define what a blog is and explain best practices in the blogging process.

Other topics include wikis, podcasts, webinars, RSS feeds, one-to-one technology, educational gaming, course management, mobile learning, and social media/networking such as Twitter. I appreciate that the authors present the information in a manner that is very understandable, and they include practical suggestions for getting started. At the end of each chapter there is a summary and a list of additional references on that particular topic. (One nice advantage of the Kindle version, is the opportunity to access links to various websites directly from those references.)

This is a book that I will come back to time and time again, particularly as I branch out of my comfort zone and begin exploring how to utilize mobile devices effectively in the classroom, how to design/implement a course management system, and creating digital videos.