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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Specifically written to assist classroom teachers
Alan November's Empowering Students With Technology was specifically written to assist classroom teachers with the task of integrating technology into their curriculums and classrooms for the purpose of enhancing their student's learning and critical thinking skills. The focus is on students building educational relationships with others beyond their own immediate...
Published on October 8, 2001 by Midwest Book Review

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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Problem with Books About Technology
Because Alan November is highly regarded in the School Library world, I was very excited to read his book, "Empowering Students with Technology (2nd Ed.)". I enjoy his blog very much, and was interested to see if this book lived up to the high standards I expect from Mr. November.

First, I must comment on the brevity of this book. It's exactly 100 pages, which...
Published on July 14, 2011 by Hoosier Librarian


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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Specifically written to assist classroom teachers, October 8, 2001
Alan November's Empowering Students With Technology was specifically written to assist classroom teachers with the task of integrating technology into their curriculums and classrooms for the purpose of enhancing their student's learning and critical thinking skills. The focus is on students building educational relationships with others beyond their own immediate classroom through the use of the Internet. Students will learn to work with other learners in other places around the world by learning the technical skills that will allow them access to information -- and acquire social interaction and teamwork skills while doing so. Innovative, "user friendly', and fully up-to-date with new technological advances, Empowering Students With Technology is an essential addition to the educational reference shelf for classroom instruction from grade school through high school and college.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Problem with Books About Technology, July 14, 2011
Because Alan November is highly regarded in the School Library world, I was very excited to read his book, "Empowering Students with Technology (2nd Ed.)". I enjoy his blog very much, and was interested to see if this book lived up to the high standards I expect from Mr. November.

First, I must comment on the brevity of this book. It's exactly 100 pages, which is nice for a quick read (a necessity if you're going to get a principal to read it) but felt a little meager given the important subject matter. Secondly, this book was published in 2010, but you would never guess so if you didn't look at the copyright page. I'll discuss this more later.

The goal of this book is to help teachers and administrators integrate technology more fully into a school's curriculum and increase students' information and communication literacy (as opposed to simpler computer literacy). November also discusses the effect of technology on relationships (videoconferencing, etc.), the changing roles of teacher and learners, primary sources on the Internet, and online learning.

November's chapter on information literacy was probably the most interesting (and useful) part of the book. He gives detailed and easy to understand explanations of how information is structured on the Internet and how to teach students to use it more effectively. He tells the story of Zack, a high school freshman who was researching the Holocaust online. Zack found an article written by a professor at Northwestern University and hosted on the Northwestern website that argued that the Holocaust never happened. Because the essay was from a seemingly reliable source, the student used it as a resource for his research. Using this one example, November gives ways that teachers can use the metadata of a website to teach students critical thinking and website evaluation skills. November also shows you how to break down a web address to find out if it's a personal page (as in the case of the professor) and how this can be used to also evaluate a website. This chapter is effective because November provides engaging exercises for students to explore these issues, including finding out who owns their favorite websites. These are great concrete skills to have, both for teachers and students. I find information literacy skills to be very difficult to teach, and November has the ability to simplify and articulate these skills and methods.

In another chapter, November also discusses the importance of collaboration in the 21st world and how to use technology to increase collaboration within your class, within the school, with families, and internationally. Late, November focuses on digital natives vs. digital immigrants (people who grew up online vs. people who didn't) and how this affects learning and relationships. Everyone, including students, is actively creating content online, which means that the old role of student as passive receptacle of knowledge no longer applies, and that students often know more about technology than teachers. November recommends that students be allowed to lead activities and be seen as experts and teachers themselves.

In an attempt to connect old methodologies with new, November's book has a chapter on accessing primary sources online. Because I was a history major and love research, this was especially interesting to me. November shares lessons that teach students how to use databases, online archives, and thinking critically about primary source documents. There's also a chapter on online classes and how to effectively teach them.

While "Empowering Students with Technology" was readable, engaging, and intermittently creative, there were some big problems. This book was written in 2010, but reads as if it was written in 2001. Whatever changes were made from the 1st to the 2nd edition were clearly not enough to keep up with the ever rapidly changing Internet. November actually gives Alta Vista as a search engine resource. I haven't heard of anyone using Alta Vista in ten years. I checked, and it's now owned by Yahoo. There's little to no mention of social networks or Web 2.0 tools. Some of the lessons that November shares use techniques that no longer work, like the link command (p. 21) which I couldn't use at all in any of the search engines I tried. Even the professor's website that's mentioned in the case of Zack no longer exists. These problems don't make this book useless, but perhaps better suited to administrators who won't actually be teaching. Nothing is more frustrating than having a lesson fall apart because of a technological glitch. I think this information would be better found online, where links and resources can be updated more quickly and technological advances accounted for.

The bottom line: Pass this along for your principal to skim, but keep looking if you need up-to-date resources and lesson plans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book for the 21C classroom, July 28, 2013
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This review is from: Empowering Students With Technology (Kindle Edition)
Alan November's book is a real game changer for teachers and students. Great tips on engaging students, and links to best apps for the classroom -- I recommend the Kindle version because the links are live.
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5.0 out of 5 stars very helpful, January 22, 2013
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This review is from: Empowering Students With Technology (Kindle Edition)
greAT condition and super fast delivery. would definitely order from this site again. Thanks again for such great service.

Kim
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5.0 out of 5 stars Right on!, January 17, 2013
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Alan November once again shows his expertice as one of the gurus of technology education. Would that there were more of him out there to help our educational system to function properly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, December 16, 2014
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good book and good service
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!, January 30, 2013
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I love this book! This is a great guide for designing instruction that integrates the Internet! It really makes you delve into the behind the scenes workings of what people post and helps you determine their background politics!
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