Hello, friends! I’m coming to you today, hopped up on coffee during the last week of school. I know you’re right there with me – submitting grades, tying up loose ends, prepping for summer school, and enjoying the last few days with your students! My mom, also a teacher, always says that there’s no tired like “end of the school year teacher tired,” and she is definitely right! In case you missed it, my book, Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning, officially launched yesterday, and as you can imagine, I’m totally pumped to be sharing my book with the world. But you may be wondering, “why Illuminate?” “What will this book give me?” Hopefully, I can “illuminate” (pun intended – ha!) the purpose of my book and what you can expect when you buy it!
When I was writing my book last summer, I tossed around about three different titles for my book, including “Using IT” (IT=instructional technology), “Technology Enhanced Learning,” and “Make Your Classroom Awesome,” none of which really spoke to the message I’m trying to convey with Illuminate. Earlier this year, my publisher and I were on a video call trying to think of a title that would actually fit with my book. An analogy that I use throughout my book is that we can use technology in our classrooms to “illuminate” learning much in the same way we use light bulbs in our homes – to enhance our lives. The name stuck and Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning was born!
To “illuminate” my book, let me jump back to the analogy I use. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction:
“Think of educational technology tools as a light switch in a dimly lit room. If you walk into a room without flipping on this light switch, you can probably still accomplish the task you set out to complete when you entered the room. Maybe you sit down to read a book. You stumble around to find a comfy chair, prop up your feet, open the book and settle in to read your next favorite novel. Can you read the book? Sure, although you’ll most likely strain your eyes trying to read the words. Could you enhance your reading experience by turning on the light? Absolutely! When used well, educational technology tools can enhance the learning experience for your students much like flipping on a light switch can improve your encounter with a great book.
You may say, skeptically, ‘well, Bethany, humans have been reading words and interpreting images for much longer than the light bulb and electricity have existed, and teachers taught without using educational technology tools.’ You’re absolutely right! We didn’t start using light bulbs to illuminate our homes because candles or lanterns stopped working. We use light bulbs and electricity that powers to them enhance our lives int eh same way teachers can use technology tools to enhance the learning environment for our students.”
So, what can you expect to take away from Illuminate?
- Practical tips for using technology in the classroom
- Strategies to promote student engagement in content
- Ideas to encourage students to explore, create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically in all classrooms
- Methods of assessment that promote feedback and growth
- Strategies to use technology to motivate students
- Tips on designing meaningful lessons using technology
- Thoughts on how teachers can use technology to reflect on and grow in our craft
Also this summer, I’ll be sharing the book study companion site for Illuminate!
So — are you ready to use technology to illuminate learning?