Here Comes Everbody by Clay Shirky

The world we live in today shows “…the largest increase in expressive capability in human history”, according to Clay Shirky. He explains the significance of new and emerging technologies such as Social Media and demonstrates clearly that the way we communicate with each other has changed immensely. This new world has for example created opportunities to collaborate and communicate to express positive ideas and opinions like during the Iran Elections of 2009, but it has also created negative elements where young girls can share ideas about becoming dangerously skinny. Clay Shirky gives us many different examples like the Sichuan earthquake where the BBC found out about the terrible event via and that the last time China had had an earthquake by such magnitude it took more than three months before the the Chinese government released details about the event. This is a superb book which provides insight into the this new way of working and communicating, a world which will affect, well…everybody.

Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

Reynolds book is, to put it simply, outstanding. There are several books that discuss the issues of presenting information in various ways, some of which do an excellent job for example Cliff Atkinson’s Beyond Bullet Points, but Presentation Zen takes the reader to another level when it comes to understanding the nature of presenting one’s message.

Reynolds summarises current literature on the topic and gets you thinking about why your key point(s) matter and how we can go about ensuring that the audience, in my case students, are engaged, want to continue to listen or discuss and that they remember what your message is all about. Presentation Zen encourages the reader to become more creative and, something which I feel is essential, shows us as professionals how we can teach our students to become inspirational and thoughtful communicators.

When I deliver INSET or workshops I always use Garr Reynold’s ideas and his theory behind a successful presentation. Please visit Reynolds website to find out more.

Ten Faces of Innovation by Tom Kelley

Tom Kelley, CEO at the innovation and design firm IDEO, explains how they have created a culture of innovation at the firm and how simple and effective their techniques and methods really are. Kelley introduces a series of ‘individuals’ you can play during meetings and barinstorming session to gain as much as possible from all present. Kelley also suggest many creative ways to stimulate discussion and generate innovative ideas. This book is a must for those of you who want to gain a deeper insight into the workings of a successful and innovative working environment. My copy of Ten Faces of Innovation is literally filled with annotations and drawings about what I can use in the classroom or with workshop delegates. It is an enriching, thought-provoking and fun book to read and one which I whole-heartedly recommend to anyone seeking new ideas.

Please visit IDEO’s main website to find out more.

Alan November

Fourteen year old: “I’m working on a history paper about how the Holocaust never happened.”
Long pause. “Zack, where did you hear that the Holocaust didn’t happen?”
“The Internet. It’s on a Web page at Northwestern University.” November Learning

How often do you hear students, and teachers, mutter something like ‘find it on the net’ or ‘just do a google search’? We all face the same dilemma of how to use the World Wide Web effectively and wisely. There are good websites out there which can enrich learning, excite students and challenge them to think. What websites do teachers use that do all of this? Alan November raises many important questions about how children, and adults alike, use the internet to access information. One of the most interesting articles, Teaching Zack to Think, on the topic is still hosted on his site and available to download. Well worth a read as well. Web Literacy for Educators provides concrete examples of how to use the internet effectively, from dealing with plagiarism to searching safely. This is one of those books you need to have.

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