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The Top 8 Professional Reads for Educators 2017

The Top 8 Professional Reads for Educators as voted by you for your Summer reading list!

After the success of the 2016 Summer Reading List, I reached out to Educators across the globe to assemble the top summer reading list for educators.

We had 289 book suggestions from 171 educators from 16 different countries around the world, spanning several continents and every corner of the globe. I know you are going to love this list and be totally inspired by it.

Summer is here (for those in the Northern Hemisphere). If you are like most educators, this is your time to rest, relax and for many, delve into some professional reading and learn about all those exciting strategies and resources that will reinvigorate learning in your classroom and school when you return after the break.

After the suggestions were tallied these are the Top 8 reads for educators (plus some bonuses) that you simply can not miss.

1. The Innovators Mindset by George Couros

In ‘The Innovators Mindset‘, George Couros encourages teachers and administrators to empower their learners to wonder, to explore—and to become forward-thinking leaders. If we want innovative students, we need innovative educators. In other words, innovation begins with you. Ultimately, innovation is not about a skill set but about mindset. There is a reason why this is your number 1 book (AGAIN). Get your copy today and make the most of your summer vacation!

1The Innovators Mindset

2. Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess

Based on Dave Burgess’s popular “Outrageous Teaching” and “Teach Like a PIRATE” seminars, this book offers inspiration, practical techniques, and innovative ideas that will help you to increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator. This groundbreaking inspirational manifesto contains over 30 hooks specially designed to captivate your class and 170 brainstorming questions that will skyrocket your creativity. Once you learn the Teach Like a PIRATE system, you’ll never look at your role as an educator the same again.

2Teach Like A Pirate

AND additionally from the “Pirate Collection” be sure to catch a glimpse of Learn Like a Pirate by Paul Solarz. Empower your students to collaborate, lead and succeed! A particularly good read for those who are BIG on student agency! You will love Paul’s take on empowerment and learning.

3. Worlds of Making by Laura Fleming

Worlds of Making is new to our list and an absolute treat from the incredible Laura Fleming. This book explores the best practices for establishing a Makerspace for your school through the eyes of an experience Maker-Educator. Get the nuts and bolts on imagining, planning, creating, and managing a cutting-edge Makerspace for your school community. From inception through implementation, you’ll find invaluable guidance for creating a vibrant Makerspace on any budget.

4. Cultivating Genius by Don Eckert

Also new to our Top 8 list is this amazing “20% time” themed book by the legendary Don Eckert. “20% Time” is a passion-driven, personalized learning program that is sweeping education globally. Teachers are incorporating passion-based learning in the classroom and kids are creating, making, researching, innovating, and learning more than ever before. “20% Time” is a game-changer in education. This book will inspire you and provide you with everything you need to awaken the creativity and passion in your students.

5. Finnish Lessons 2.0 by Pasi Sahlberg

Another new-comer is this book about the Finnish Education system by Pasi Sahlberg. The Finnish education system is well known for being world leading.Pasi Sahlberg has thoroughly updated his groundbreaking account of how Finland built a world-class education system during the past four decades. Featuring substantial additions throughout the text, Finnish Lessons 2.0 demonstrates how systematically focusing on teacher and leader professionalism, building trust between the society and its schools, and investing in educational equity rather than competition, choice, and other market-based reforms make Finnish schools an international model of success. This second edition details the complexity of meaningful change by examining Finland’s educational performance in light of the most recent international assessment data and domestic changes. It is something that I have added to my reading list for the break!

6. Ditch That Textbook by Matt Miller

I love engaging with educators that have their ‘foot in the door’ when it comes to Education and Matt Miller is that guy! I love his work and always keep a close eye on his Social Media shares. In this book, Matt shows you how to choose and incorporate teaching practices that are:

  • Different from what students see daily.
  • Innovative, drawing on new ideas or modifying others’ ideas.
  • Tech-laden with the use of digital sites, tools, and devices.
  • Creative, tapping into students’ original ideas as well as your own.
  • Hands-on, encouraging students to make and try things on their own.

Packed with practical advice, specific recommendations for tools, and the encouragement you need to revolutionize your classes, Ditch That Textbook will inspire you to create relevant teaching that gets student buy-in so they’ll enjoy learning.

6 Ditch that Textbook

7. 50 Ways to Use Google Classroom by Alice Keeler and Libbi Miller

Alice Keeler is one of those Educators that you just can’t help but be inspired by. For me, Alice is one of those people who constantly inspires me through EVERYTHING that she does! In 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom, Keeler and Miller shorten the learning curve by providing a thorough overview of the Google Classroom App. Part of Google Apps for Education (GAfE), Google Classroom was specifically designed to help teachers save time by streamlining the process of going digital. Complete with screenshots, 50 Things You Can Do with Google Classroom provides ideas and step-by-step instruction to help teachers implement this powerful tool. If you are a Google school or plan to be, then this is the summer text for you and your colleagues!

7 50 things in a Google Classroom

8. The Power of Inquiry by Kath Murdoch

Kath Murdoch is known around the globe as one of the leading voices in inquiry learning (and one of my favorites). The Power of Inquiry is an inspiring and comprehensive guide to the implementation of quality inquiry practices in the contemporary classroom. Organized around ten essential questions, each chapter provides both a theoretical and practical overview of the elements that combine to create learning environments rich in purpose and passion. After my many online conversations with Kath and utilizing her model of inquiry in classrooms for years, this is a read that I can guarantee will influence your teaching.

5 The Power of Inquiry

AND an honorable mention of a big that most of you have probably seen –>  Creative Schools by Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica

Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential voices in education, and his 2006 TED Talk on the subject is the most viewed in the organization’s history. Now, the internationally recognized leader in creativity and human potential focuses on one of the most critical issues of our time: how to transform the globe’s troubled educational system. Filled with anecdotes, observations and recommendations from professionals on the front line of transformative education, case histories, and groundbreaking research—and written with Robinson’s trademark wit and engaging style—Creative Schools will inspire teachers, parents, and policymakers alike to rethink the real nature and purpose of education. Add this to your staff’s list of must read books for the break!

4 Creative Schools

Instead of spreading yourself too thin, pick one or two of these books, lock in some time to read and learn and as you read, share your experiences through Social Media or even blog about it. Be sure to tag me in so I can hear your thoughts and share them out to the “Edu-World”.

Have a fantastic Summer Vacation for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere, and for those of you are mid-year and still working away to inspire the leaders of tomorrow, thank you for everything you do! Enjoy your time and I look forward to hearing from you all soon!

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Craig Kemp

Craig Kemp

I am a passionate Head of Educational Technology at a large International School in Singapore. I am a lifelong learner, dream creator and thought leader. I love to inspire others and find inspiration. Co-founder of #whatisschool, #asiaED edchats and #pubPD.

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