February 2016 Bookshelf
Books 13 February 2016
Thinking in Systems: A Primer
Donella H. Meadows
Inspired by the realm of computers and equations, Donella H. Meadows’ Thinking in Systems shows us how to use systems-thinking skills to effect positive change in the 21st century. Meadows leverages her experience as a scientist, teacher, author, and farmer to offer insights for problem-solving on issues ranging from personal to global. She echoes the case for education transformation in her emphasis on broad, system-level thinking rather than isolated problem- solving. Greater than her methodology, though, Meadows reminds us to pay attention to what is most important—to stay humble and remain a learner.
The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life
John Maeda believes that “simplicity equals sanity.” In The Laws of Simplicity, Maeda describes 10 laws for balancing simplicity and complexity and shows us how to use less to get more. Calling on examples such as the iPod and Google, he demonstrates that, more often than not, simple is powerful. Maeda reminds us that improvement doesn’t always mean adding more and culminates his guide with Law 10: “Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.” For the educator, these laws can serve as a tool to design and improve elegant, impactful learning experiences.
The Collaboration Imperative: Executive Strategies for Unlocking Your Organization’s True Potential
Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese
Cisco executives Ron Ricci and Carl Wiese’s The Collaboration Imperative shares how to unleash hidden potential by inspiring collaboration. Featuring case studies from organizations like Duke University and General Electric, the authors suggest actionable strategies to encourage collaboration and to develop tools and technology to augment its effects. Adapted for learning environments, educators can use these strategies to create a culture of collaboration that will enhance the learner experience.
Building School 2.0
Chris Lehmann & Zac Chase
What will the schools of the future look like? In Building School 2.0, Science Leadership Academy founders Chris Lehmann and Zac Chase imagine how we can change learning environments to meet the changing nature of our lives and the new tech-nology that surrounds us. They offer 95 propositions for increasing and improving the use of learning technologies, designing learner-centered classrooms, and encouraging educators to serve as mentors in the learning journey. Building School 2.0 is a practical and powerful resource for educators and other stake-holders at any stage of education transformation.
Jeff Edmondson & Nancy L. Zimpher
StrivePartnership founding director Jeff Edmondson and chair Nancy L. Zimpher believe everyone in the community has a stake in the success of every child. In 2006, they joined with a diverse group of community leaders to explore a transformative approach to improving education. This led to the development of a framework for collective impact. Striving Together chronicles the early stages of this development and draws from Edmondson and Zimpher’s experiences at pioneering sites around the nation. They provide tools for inspiring community action and creating collaborative solutions—offering a starting point for the transformation journey.
Hip Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education
Can hip hop transform our education system? In Hip Hop Genius, Sam Seidel explores this question by introducing a vision of a system that harnesses the resourceful creativity and swagger of hip hop to remix the way we think about learning design. He shares stories of learners at the nation’s first hip hop high school and invites us to think about the implications of leveraging kids’ interests, passions, and skills. Hip hop is just one path—but imagine the possibilities when you let kids’ dreams and imaginations come into their learning experiences in truly meaningful ways.
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