8 Education Technology Books Every Leader Should Read

Nick Grantham is an Australian educator living and working in Ireland. With a background in education, engineering and e-learning, he founded Fractus Learning to connect people with a shared passion for technology and how it can bring education to life.

Everyone has their own reading style. My long held reading rule is to have two books on the go. One trashy thriller to tune out the world with, and one “mind nourishing” non-fiction to make sure I am not letting life float by (it’s also a bit less embarrassing to pull out on the train). Luckily for you, this post will focus on the mind-nourishing half of my literature diet.

Over the past few years I have read a fair collection of winners, a fair collection of losers and far too many mediocre education technology books. The aim here is to share the ones that have been so highly recommended they are considered must reads. Each of these has been a recommendation from someone within my PLN and so comes from very good authority and credibility. And of course, to continue learning from this PLN please do add your own suggestions and must-reads in the comments below.

 

Education Technology Books

 

Out of Our Minds

1. Out of Our Minds

Sir Ken Robinson

Anyone familiar with Ken Robinson and his amazingly popular TED talk, ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity‘ (if you have not seen this just go watch it, I will wait), will understand that this is a must read. The book follows Ken’s belief that creativity is greatly undervalued in modern education. Delving into why this has occurred and how we can change it, the book will completely change your mind-set on learning and creativity (in the broadest sense).

 

Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education2. Personal Learning Networks: Using the Power of Connections to Transform Education

Will Richardson & Rob Mancabelli

As a big fan of Will Richardson, I was delighted when this book was recommended to me by a colleague. The book studies the most powerful tool in an EdTech leader’s arsenal, the PLN. Dissecting and advising on the benefits and learning opportunities that can be achieved through networking, this is a great read for anyone building or just starting to grow their PLN.

 

A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change3. A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change

Douglas Thomas & John Seely Brown

With so much change occurring in the education space it is often difficult to keep up, stay enthused and most importantly, embrace and grow through change. Not just a critique on current educational practices, ‘A New Culture of Learning’ discusses how schools can embrace a new model of learning and how technology can help foster teaching and change.

 

Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America4. Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America

Allan Collins & Richard Halverson

Re-enforcing many concepts that education technology mavens see as beneficial to 21st century learning, ‘Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology’ builds an EdTech future that in truth should not be at all far off. With technology creeping into every device, career path and facet of modern living, the book takes a clear steer at how this should impact learning.

 

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations5. Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

Clay Shirky

One of my all time favorite thinkers, Clay Shirky writes about the huge role technology has played in shaping group organization. Not specifically an education technology book, it really is a must for anyone interested in understanding just how powerful technology can be. I guarantee after reading this your mind will be buzzing with amazing classroom ideas and innovations.

 

I guarantee after reading this your mind will be buzzing with amazing classroom ideas and innovations


 

Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World6. Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World

Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Broken down into seven key areas from content and assessment to habits of the mind, ‘Curriculum 21′ lays out a path for transforming schools into what they must become. With the collective wisdom of ten education thought leaders, renowned author and speaker Heidi Hayes Jacobs shares an idealistic view of where education needs to head.

 

21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn7. 21st Century Skills: Rethinking How Students Learn

James Bellanca & Ron Brandt

Another recommendation to me, this book is part of the very popular Leading Edge series. ’21st Century Skills’ unites education authorities from around the globe and asks them to confront the important issues that profoundly impact student success. The book looks at which skills are most important to students and what can be done to help schools include these skills in their repertoire so that twenty-first century learning results.

 

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us8. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Daniel H. Pink

Another book I read after watching an inspiring YouTube video (once again, you gotta watch this), ‘Drive’ is a brilliant book for both personal and professional growth. Understanding exactly what motivates people to succeed will change the way you motivate yourself, your staff and most importantly, your students. It’s amazing how a few simple concepts backed by fascinating research can have such a huge mental impact.

 

And yes, just for fun (no connection to education technology books), the latest ‘Thriller’ crime novel I recently finished was a popular one called ‘Safe House‘ by Chris Ewan. I did really enjoy it, particularly as it is set on the Isle of Man (not too far from home for me) and I did happen to fly over the island while reading the last chapter. It probably won’t inspire you to do amazing things in the classroom, but it may make you think twice about riding motorcycles (enough said…).

 

What education technology books have you loved? Drop a comment below and help add to the list!

 

Feature image courtesy of Flickr, CarbonNYC.

  • Matt Renwick

    Great list! I have read #1, 2, 6 and 8 myself. I also like your “two books on the go” reading rule. An idea worth a future post.

    If I may be so bold, I would add Who Owns The Learning? by Alan November and The Connected Educator by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall to that list.

    • FractusLearning

      Thanks for the comment Matt! Great additions to the list. I’ve added both of them to my wishlist. If you liked #1 and #8 then I guarantee you will love #5.
      Nick

  • Pingback: Blended Learning Research | Pearltrees

  • Pingback: Dianne's Digital Discoveries » Blog Archive » Daily Digital Discoveries 04/17/2013

  • Nedley.

    “Everyone has their own reading style. My long held reading rule is to have two books on the go. One trashy thriller to tune out the world with, and one “mind nourishing” non-fiction to make sure I am not letting life float by (it’s also a bit less embarrassing to pull out on the train). ”
    I thought it was just me. I actually “buy myself off” – if I allow myself to read one escape-ism, I will be diligent about the mind-nourishing book. (High-energy physics/cosmology)

    • FractusLearning

      Haha! I am so glad I’m not the only one playing mind games with myself :) It’s like eating a well balanced diet. You can have dessert once you’ve finished your vegetables. Thanks for the great comment Nedley!

  • Lauren Macon

    I really enjoyed reading this blog. I am learning all kinda of new ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. I have never read any of these books, but after hearing your input on each of the books, I am excited to begin reading one. The book “A New Culture of Learning: Cultivating the Imagination for a World of Constant Change really interest me. It is important to keep up, stay enthused, and grow through change. I cannot wait to share these books with my class! I am an elementary education major at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. I am in Dr. Strange’s EDM310 class. You can follow our class blog http://edm310.blogspot.com/. You can follow my blog at http://maconlaurenedm310.blogspot.com/. Thank you for sharing these books!

    • FractusLearning

      A pleasure Lauren! All the best with your major and thanks for the links!

  • Susan Goding

    I would also recommend One Room Schoolhouse- Education Reimagined by Sal Khan, his vision is the future of education. Also, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal, not strictly about education but does have some good ideas about using point to encourage teamwork, motivation, and effort.

    • FractusLearning

      Thanks for the tips Susan… Added them to my wishlist :)
      Nick

  • josephnew87

    Download these 50 masterfully designed business book summaries that will Skyrocket your business and Change your Destiny forever. Goto http://www.TheBillionairesBrain.com Chk out http://www.TheBillionairesBrain.com

  • Silvia Mazzoni

    I’ve read n.1 and n. 6. I have many more to add as well…(enjoy a selection below):

  • Pingback: EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY, DISTANCE EDUC., BLENDED LEARNING | Pearltrees