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Books

What administrators are reading this month.

February 2009
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Toys to Tools
Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education

Liz Kolb; ISTE

While the debate continues over whether or not to allow cell phones in the classroom, the author makes the case that kids are using them anyway, so why not take advantage of them? She shares numerous ways to do just that, as well as free websites that allow students to download communication applications to their phones. Kolb notes the problems along with the benefits of uploading podcasts, images, and text at school and at home. For those students who don’t have cell phones, land lines can be used, or, in many cases, a group of students can share one cell phone. Kolb also guides educators through the permissions needed to try these methods.

So Now You’re the Superintendent!
John Eller and Howard C. Carlson; Corwin

If you’re a superintendent in need of a blueprint or a companion to turn to for guidance, this is the book. It shares how to keep your wide-angle view while others are only looking at the small panes of glass. It will lead you through how to handle staff and how to work with school boards. You’ll find invaluable advice on how to interact successfully with different district personalities on a daily basis and how to avoid the many pitfalls. Throughout, there are clear, usable checklists, guides, and templates for almost every situation. This book may be a superintendent’s best friend.


 

Write Grants, Get Money
Cynthia Anderson and Kathi Knop; Linworth Books

Knowing how to write grants has always been an education necessity, but for most educators, it is a mystery. This book may be a start to unraveling some grant-writing secrets. In order to write grants, the author says, you need to read grants. So, while the book is a fast read, the time spent learning to write grants may not be. It’s not a one-person task, either. The book shares tips for team building, members’ tasks, and how to avoid failure. It has simple points to follow, from proofreading to including graphics to getting the budgets right. It is a primer for anyone with a great idea looking for a grant.

 

Disrupting Class
How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

Clayton M. Christensen, Michael B. Horn, and Curtis W. Johnson; McGraw-Hill

If you’ve read The Innovator’s Dilemma, where Christensen applied his theories to business models, this would be your next read, where he tackles education. “Disrupting” in this case means changing education by adding more computers and individualized instruction. There are plenty of examples and data from businesses like Apple and Sony, as well as reasons why other nations do education better. Whether or not you buy into it all, the book is offering change.

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