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Leaders are Readers: Resources for All of Us

by Guest Blogger
leaders are readers

Teachers are in the information business. Librarians are information seekers. We like to read and listen. Such materials include, but are not limited to, books, audiobooks, ebooks, and podcasts. Furthermore, as the amendment to SB3 acknowledges, librarians are, above all else, teachers.  As teacher-librarians, we have several resources we’d like to share that are perfect for all educational leaders. If you’re on the hunt for a new professional read or listen, consider these suggestions. After all, leaders are readers!

Social LEADia by Jennifer Casa-Todd (2017, ISBN 9781946444110, Dave Burgess Consulting)

Jennifer Casa-Todd presented two sessions at TCEA 2019 – From Digital Citizenship to Digital Leadership and the LIB-SIG meeting keynote. Her book offers the following:

“Social LEADia addresses the need to shift our conversations at school and at home from digital citizenship to digital leadership. You’ll read about some amazing kids who are leveraging social media in positive and powerful ways. They are passionate and empathetic leaders online and offline, and they model the reality that students don’t need to wait for tomorrow to lead–they can be world-changers today.”

Cult of Pedagogy by Jennifer Gonzalez (blog/podcast/website)

Cult of Pedagogy is run by a team of people committed to making you more awesome in the classroom. The following descriptions come from editor in chief Jennifer Gonzalez.

THE BLOG: I’ve been writing blog posts here since 2013, so a lot of content has built up over the years. Each one falls into one of these three categories: The Craft, where we fine-tune the art of teaching, Go Deep, where we dig into the theory and thinking behind our practice, and Teacher Soul. This last category is my favorite, because it’s where we get into the guts, the raw emotions of teaching. Our work isn’t just a set of black-and-white strategies, we work with actual live human beings. That makes it ridiculously complicated and sometimes painful. In Teacher Soul, we talk about that. To find what you’re most interested in, head over to the blog page and either browse each of these sections, use the topic index to drill down deeper, or just do a search.

PODCAST: Although I definitely lean towards introversion, it turns out I’m pretty happy talking to a microphone at my desk. About half of the episodes are my interviews with teachers, learning experts, parents, and other people who make things happen in education. The other half are solo podcasts, where I hog the mic the whole time and share my own thoughts and discoveries. Also? I think my intro music is the grooviest, so listen if only for that.

VIDEOS: My library of videos is packed with good things for you. In some, I demonstrate some really cool teaching practices, share classroom management tips, demonstrate tech tools so they look super easy, and offer up advice for some of your trickiest teaching situations.

Fact vs. Fiction: Teaching Critical Thinking Skills in the Age of Fake News by Jennifer LaGarde and Darren Hudgins (2018, ISBN 9781564847041, ISTE)

When you hear the term “fake news” I’m sure many images come to mind. Yet do we really know how to define fake news, identify it, and combat it?  Do we even view it as a problem? In a changing media landscape, we all engage with news differently than in the past, from the devices we use to the apps we select to the notifications we receive.

LaGarde and Hudgins break down the term “fake news” and more accurately identify it as propaganda, satire, bias challenge, conspiracy theories, clickbait, and disinformation. Additionally, information consumers also encounter altered images and video. The smaller the screen becomes, the more challenging it is to recognize all the potential inaccuracies or misleading content.

The book includes a fake news self-assessment plus a variety of resources, broken down by age range, with tools for evaluating credibility, sample lessons, fact-checking tools, and more to help combat fake news. LaGarde and Hudgins chronicle numerous instances of fake news and the impact it has on news consumers. They conclude with insights from educators who have developed media literacy lessons and responses to the bombardment of news that students face.

Engineered! Engineering Design at Work by Shannon Hunt, illustrated by James Gulliver Hancock  (2017, ISBN 9781771385602, Kids Can Press)

This book can serve as a mentor text for STEM teachers, robotics coaches, and anyone interested in design thinking. It also provides procedural texts. Nine feats of engineering that span nine fields such as aerospace engineering, civil engineering, and geomatics engineering demonstrate how design steps allowed engineers to define problems and required them to  investigate, develop, create, test, optimize, and share solutions. While the illustrations might try to trick you into thinking this is an elementary picture book, the content is anything but. Engineered! can find a home on any school campus and might even be better utilized at the secondary level.

This is a guest blog post by Brandi Rosales and Kristi Starr. Brandi is the library system administrator in Richardson ISD and the Secretary/Treasure of LIB-SIG. Kristi is the library media specialist and co-campus technology leader at Coronado High School in Lubbock ISD and the President of LIB-SIG. This blog is part of a monthly series of blogs from LIB-SIG. 

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