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The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age Perfect Paperback – October 25, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sheryl and Lani are great examples of action researchers. As you read this book, keep in mind their commitment and passion as doers. They speak from experience and are experts at scaffolding learning. As you consider new ways of supporting teachers or becoming a connected educator, this will be your go-to resource. --Dean Shareski, Learning Consultant, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada

There is tremendous power in educators being better digitally connected, but most don t know how to get there. This amazing book gives teachers and administrators the why and the how so that they can ramp up quickly and effectively. --Scott McLeod, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Studies; Founding Director, UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), University of Kentucky, Lexington

There is tremendous power in educators being better digitally connected, but most don t know how to get there. This amazing book gives teachers and administrators the why and the how so that they can ramp up quickly and effectively. --Scott McLeod, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Studies; Founding Director, UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), University of Kentucky, Lexington

About the Author

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach is a veteran twenty-year educator. She has been a classroom teacher, technology coach, charter school principal, district administrator, university instructor, and digital learning consultant. Currently, she is completing her dissertation for her doctorate in educational planning, policy, and leadership at the College of William and Mary.

She is the owner and founder of 21st Century Collaborative, LLC, a digital learning consulting business through which she regularly delivers keynotes and workshops, along with supporting nonprofits in their grant work. Through Powerful Learning Practice, which she cofounded with Will Richardson, she works with schools and districts from across the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and Australia to re-envision their learning cultures and communities.

Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics of 21st century reform, teacher and educational leadership, community building, and educational issues impacting marginalized populations such as the homeless.

Sheryl lives near the Atlantic Ocean and spends her spare time playing on the water with her four children and dachshunds Itchy, Bane, and Abby.

Lani Ritter Hall has more than thirty-five years of diverse teaching experiences in urban, suburban, and independent schools at the middle and secondary level in the United States and Canada. She and her students began collaborating globally in the 1980s using a curriculum she designed and developed. Lani, a National Board Certified Teacher, has created and facilitated professional development around technology infusion into learning for more than twenty years and has presented at local, state, and national conferences. She has expanded her global collaborations through her leadership role in the initial years of K12Online, the first educator-led, free, totally online conference; her participation in the first massive open online course that explored connectivism and connective knowledge; and through her current roles of community leader and co-director of connected coaches in online communities of practice for Powerful Learning Practice.

Lani earned a bachelor s degree in political science from Earlham College and a master s degree in curriculum and instruction from Cleveland State University. She lives with her husband in Northeast Ohio.

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Solution Tree (October 25, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935543172
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935543176
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Norton on November 10, 2011
Format: Perfect Paperback Verified Purchase
I had the opportunity to read this insightful book in publisher's galleys. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall first make the case that teaching and learning have fundamentally changed forever with the advent of the Internet and its capacity to connect both adult and young learners to a world of content knowledge -- and more importantly -- a world of other learners who share our interests and passions and have expertise to offer.

They then describe a new model of professional learning for teachers and other education leaders -- the Connected Learning Community. What's that? It's the now familiar PLC (professional learning community), pumped up for the Digital Age. CLC's have three key components: the face-to-face PLC; the personal learning network with its many social media connections, and participation in global communities of practice, which penetrate the surface level of inquiry usually associated with PLNs and dig deep into effective learning practices.

The authors also advocate for a PBL approach to instruction, and within that acronym they include project-, problem- and passion-based learning. These inquiry learning strategies are all designed to shift the locus of control over the learning process in the direction of the student. The authors are totally comfortable with core curriculum standards, checking for understanding through classroom assessments, and generally make the argument that engaged learning driven by student interests is compatible with challenging learning goals and "school reform."

We often hear about teachers becoming "the guide on the side," a phrase that makes traditionalists very nervous.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marsha H. Ratzel on January 14, 2012
Format: Perfect Paperback
With so many books out there about this topic, it's hard to know which ones are worth buying. This is a book worth having in your personal library. It's been written so that you are pushed to think about the ideas....consider how they relate to your own circumstances....equip you to enter into discussions with others. Not many books are able to do this but these authors succeed in getting me to do more than just read.

My favorite chapters...the ones that really expanded my thinking....tackling the idea of how to build knowledge with others, then how to create a community around doing that and how to sustain the momentum once you start. "Learning to Learn" is something I thought I was pretty good at...and I still think I'm OK. But this chapter helped me consider new dimensions that I could add to my toolbox.

Overall this book gives tons of ideas on how to improve the way you digitally connect with other people. Sure it can help you get started...but it can also help if you've started this journey and need help considering how to take to a whole other level.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Patti Grayson on January 15, 2012
Format: Perfect Paperback
Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall have produced an invaluable resource for educators. They gently escort the reader through a clear, systematic approach to connected learning and leadership while sharing personal stories and experiences. Their transparency is a gift!

The strength of this book lies in its organization. Each chapter begins with the authors' personal stories, continues to provide clear, well-defined information and helpful models, and then highlights educators who are "Putting It in Practice" in the classroom. The chapters wrap up with a bulleted "Where Are We?" summary, a "Think About" section to help the reader apply learning to their unique situation, and a "Where to Now?" section that looks ahead to the next topic.

In addition, the authors push readers to begin connecting right away, by providing instruction and areas where they can connect with each other to discuss the book. Practical tools are used to connect readers. As the reader begins to create connections and use tools, Sheryl and Lani help them to construct a connected learning community by providing lists of educators to follow through Twitter and RSS readers. They explain the roles within the community, and identify the qualities of leadership within these communities. Finally, the authors look to the future, exploring the changing roles of teachers and administrators as education transforms.

After spending a year immersed in the Powerful Learning Practice program, co-founded by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, I can attest to the value and necessity in becoming a connected educator. This book belongs on the shelf of every teacher and principal as a practical, hands-on reference for learning and leading in the digital age.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kate Meredith on January 2, 2012
Format: Perfect Paperback
For teachers, at times, the classroom can be a lonely place. In an effort to bring teachers out of isolation, schools and districts have brought teachers together in one venue for professional development. PD, at its best can be exciting and inspiring, allowing teachers to interact, collaborate, and arm them with new and innovative ideas. At its worst, PD can be boring; a time waster, where teachers are spoken at in a warehouse setting, with little hope of collaboration or inspiration.

In their recently published book, The Connected Educator: Leading and Learning in a Digital Age, authors and educators Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter Hall provide a road map to guide teachers to connectivity in the ever-changing world. Nussbaum-Beach and Hall use their years of practical experience and unique understanding of our changing times to give teachers powerful ways to break through the isolation of a solitary classroom to use powerful resources: one another through powerful technological tools.

The authors recognize that teachers are at different places with their own teaching, learning, and comfort with technology. To meet teachers where they are during their own individual journies, each chapter is systematic in its approach and provides three common sections:

-Where Are We?

-Where to Now?

-Get Connected

To engage the reader, the chapters also present the authors' personal stories and "Think About" boxes. This approach enables the reader to learn and grow through a conversation yet professional style with the authors. This book truly provides professional development that is interactive and engaging. It gives the teachers the tools to travel down their best avenue for PD.
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