Summer Reading: Social LEADia by Jennifer Casa-Todd
This summer, I decided to focus my PD on two goals:
- writing about elementary & middle school edtech topics, and
- firing up the old Kindle app for some summer reading.
This means finding a bit of time from the summer schedule for some #PatioPD. I get up early most mornings to do some writing. The words seem to flow better as the coffee kicks in and things are quiet. The rest of the day is a collection of moments when I can dive into a good book. The key to my summer reading success? Ebooks. While I love paper and turning a page – heck, this past Latin teacher loves scrolls and rolling the page! – I find it so much easier to read and take notes on my phone or iPad. And it keeps my bag a bit lighter at M’s swim lessons and our family beach visits.
My students and their families were wonderfully generous this year, and I have put my shiny new Amazon gift cards to good use! One of the books that has been a particularly good read is Jennifer Casa-Todd’s Social LEADia: Moving Students from Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership. It is full of useful resources, easy-to-implement tools, and thoughtful anecdotes around the value of social media in education.
Social LEADia: Moving Students from Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership walks the reader through theory and practice around social media in education, capping off each chapter with a short summary and thought-provoking discussion questions.
Of course, I was particularly interested in Casa-Todd’s work with social media in elementary & middle schools, since the “under 13” rule is on the minds of teachers and parents of that age group. In the book, there are hundreds of ways social media can be used to promote digital literacy skills in the classroom at all ages and grade levels.
I can’t wait to try out Skype or Google Hangout sessions this year, to connect our students with others around the world. And Casa-Todd describe new ways to use virtual wall tools, such as Padlet. I loved “Games We Play…Globally,” introduced by Fran Siracusa of Calliope Global Education Initiatives. “Each participating class was to upoad a video of its students playing a game unique to their country or that they enjoyed.” What a great way to build commonality around a fun topic while learning new skills and games!
Casa-Todd also integrates the results of much social media research in her book. She dedicates an entire chapter to the concept that “it takes six positive comments to counteract one negative.” Nowhere is this truer than in our middle school world! Building on George Cuoros’ The Innovator’s Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity (another must read!), Casa-Todd provides concrete ways that educators can help students “make the positives so loud that the negatives are almost impossible to hear.”
By the time, I finished reading, I had a long list of websites, studies, educators, and researchers to Google. Social LEADia provides a tremendous amount of PD, even after finishing the book itself.
Comment below: what is on your Summer PD Reading list this year?
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