Summer’s here, and like many Kiwis you’ll be looking forward to the sunshine, beaches, walks and BBQs. Summer is also a great time to catch up on the books that have been on your ‘to read’ list throughout the year, whether it be the latest fiction, sporting biography or something a little more serious.
We’ve brought you a CORE ‘summer reading recommendations’ list before, and we’re doing it again, picking the brains of our facilitators, e-learning consultants and thought leaders to save you the hassle of compiling your own list.
There’s bound to be something on the list to tickle your tastebuds, so lie back, slip on a hat, slop on some sunscreen, and enjoy the following reads from our Christmas stockings to yours. Happy holidays!
Derek Wenmoth: Director – e-Learning
A keen reader himself, Derek is always keeping up with the latest in educational thinking. He couldn’t choose just one to recommend for summer, so he recommends both Stratosphere: Integrating Technology, Pedagogy, and Change Knowledge by Michael Fullan and Vital Connections: Why we need more than self-managing schools by Cathy Wylie. “Stratosphere is a recent book of Fullan’s in which he (finally) acknowledges the transformational influence of technology in the change management process. This is a slim volume that could be read in an afternoon, but every page is packed with the sort of challenge that could stimulate an entire discussion. A 'must read' for anyone who is serious about understanding the impact of technology on learning, and the role of technology in shaping the future of our education system.”
Derek Wenmoth is the Director of e-learning at CORE Education. This involves him in e-learning activities from exploring innovative use of the latest technologies and researching e-learning practices, to helping establish policy and strategies to guide the implementation of e-learning, both nationally and overseas. Derek’s role perfectly combines his passion for teaching and learning along with his long-held fascination with the use of technologies in education. Derek is a popular keynote speaker and he maintains a very popular blog on matters relating to e-learning and other aspects of interest to educators: Derek’s Blog
Tara Fagan: Early Years Facilitator
Taking a break from technology, Tara has been reading Warming the Emotional Climate of the Primary School Classroom by Ian M Evans and Shane T Harvey. “Drawing on evidence-based research, Evans and Harvey describe how New Zealand primary school teachers create a 'classroom atmosphere' that enables children to be motivated, feel accepted and enjoy learning. Emotional interactions between teacher-pupil are examined and the child's voice is articulated throughout. While research-based, the book is easy to read and has excellent strategies for enhancing the social-emotional environment of the classroom.
Tara Fagan is an Early Years facilitator for the Wellington/Manawatu region. Tara’s postgraduate research investigated the nature of children’s social interactions in a mixed-age setting. Tara has a variety of educational interests inlcuding: the rights of children, children’s interactions, ICT and 21st century pedagogy. She is currently working for CORE in the most perfect role for her, as it allows her to combine her love of ICT and education.
Jedd Bartlett: Digital Media Producer
Jedd has recently read Howard Rheingold's Net Smart on his iPad, which seems appropriate. "This is a great reference book for anyone interested in digital literacies, and ways we can use our attention to focus on the relevant portion of the river of information that is available to us on the web. I go back to it often for Rheingold's thinking on attention, collaboration, and online participation. It's especially relevant for educators, and would be good reading while recharging batteries." (Read the first chapter for free).
Karen Melhuish Spencer: e-Learning Consultant
Karen has been indulging her passion for online networks for learning with Clay Shirky's Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing without Organizations: "It may be a few years old but it's still totally relevant. Shirky interweaves stories of the online networks of our time, from the formation of Linux programmers' networks to Wikipedia, with an engaging, compelling assessment of the dynamics at play in their development. Fascinating insight into the way technology is opening up new ways to work together while, at the same time, threatening the ways we have traditionally organised our knowledge. Particularly recommend the chapter on how the notion of the 'specialist' is evolving. A good read." (Download a sample chapter or grab the lot.)
Karen Melhuish Spencer is an e-learning consultant at CORE Education. Karen describes herself as a bit of a geek on the sly, and her passion for playing with technology has spilled over into her passion for professional learning. Karen runs her own popular and thought-provoking blog: At the Virtual Chalkface.
Jane Nicholls: Manager, New Zealand Curriculum Online
Jane took time out from her "work reading" to read The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton. “This book takes a quiet journey following different types of jobs. The stories are accompanied by black and white photos which lend to the rather 'grey' tone of the book. In the end you find yourself asking if you are spending your time in the way that makes you happy, and what exactly might work look like that could make you happy. Of course, I am lucky to work for CORE and therefore these questions are answered. The author calls his book ‘a hymn to the intelligence, peculiarity, beauty, and horror of the modern workplace and, not least, its extraordinary claim to be able to provide us, alongside love, with the principal source of life's meaning.’”
Jane Nicholls works in the talented EDtalks team alongside Michael Lintott and Jedd Bartlett. Together they scout New Zealand for interesting stories.
Glenda Albon: Early Years Facilitator
With a keen interest in the development of infants and young people, Glenda was naturally drawn to the book Why Love Matters: How affection shapes a baby’s brain by Sue Gerdhart. “Gerdhart describes through relevant examples the significance that love and affection has within the earliest relationships for children. She sets out to demonstrate how these relationships impact on children's brain development, the formation of emotions of the child and their continuing ability to self-regulate these emotions. Where babies know and trust that their needs will be met, their brain responses and relevant neural connections are constructed, and we can be assured that positive outcomes will be met. I encourage anyone who is interested in exploring this further to check out this book, and to consider the implications of our teaching practices, relationships and interactions with the children, their families/whānau and the wider ECE community "
Glenda Albon has had vast experience in facilitating workshops and discussions for parents, teachers and a range of other professional groups.