7 EdTech Books to Add to your Summer Reading List

16 Jun 2022 5 min read
Matt Jacobson
Matt Jacobson
Online Learning Coordinator, Learning Technology Center
Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

Still have a little room left in your vacation-bound suitcase? Looking for something to read on the plane or car ride to your long-awaited getaway?

Why not slip in an edtech book or two so that you can continue learning and growing while you soak up some well-earned rest and relaxation. These books are some of our team’s favorites, too, so you can bet that they’ll be a reliable resource as you work to unlock new tech integration strategies this fall.

7 Summer Reads for K-12 Teachers

#1 – EdTech Essentials: The Top 10 Technology Strategies for All Learning Environments

Dr. Monica Burns

Dr. Burns’ works have always been fan-favorites in the edtech community, and her latest release lives up to that hype. This book places adaptability at its core, offering educators at various grade levels insights on navigating online learning spaces, creating collaboration opportunities, and assessing student performance – all in a tech-rich environment.

This timely resource also includes plenty of supporting research and classroom examples to make adoption streamlined, including in distance learning classrooms.

Past IETC attendees may recognize Dr. Burns as a regular speaker and contributor to Illinois’ statewide edtech conversation. Her keynote presentation this year will expand on many of the ideas outlined in this book, so prospective attendees should check it out before November!

#2 – The Perfect Blend

Michele Eaton

Now that embedded classroom technology is here to stay, it’s time for educators to begin thinking about how they can use these electronic resources to further personalized learning. This book can help you do that by outlining how a teacher in today’s classroom can transform their role from a content deliverer to an architect of learning.

Eaton also provides insights geared toward educators with all levels of tech-use experience. Greenhorns and experts alike can easily pick up this book and discover new ways to blend technology into their teaching strategies, thanks in part to its inclusion of templates that can be modified to fit a variety of lesson types and learning situations.

#3 – Tech with Heart: Leveraging Technology to Empower Student Voice, Ease Anxiety, & Create Compassionate Classrooms

Stacey Roshan

By now, a lot of edtech enthusiasts have read and learned from Tech with Heart. But if you haven’t had the pleasure yet, then this summer is a great chance to pick up this book tailor-made for meeting the current focus on mental health and social-emotional learning in the classroom.

Illustrated by the Tinman on its cover, Roshan emphasizes that one of the best ways to break through to students is to humanize learning. To do that, she offers innovative strategies for elevating student voice and shifting learning time toward meeting students’ needs, rather than automatically putting the needs of the curriculum first.

#4 – UDL and Blended Learning: Thriving in Flexible Learning Landscapes

Katie Novak & Dr. Catlin Tucker

A former LTC Remote Learning Conference speaker, Dr. Catlin Tucker joined up with Katie Novak to create this approachable guide to implementing Universal Design for Learning into today’s classrooms. The clear, grounded strategies outlined in this book aren’t just theoretical, either; Dr. Tucker and Novak go out of their way to ensure that their frameworks can find prize in a variety of learning environments, both across grade levels and content areas.

Unique to this book, the authors also take time to highlight how the line between learning at home and learning in the physical classroom is growing increasingly hazy. Accordingly, they offer flexible solutions for making the most of this changing learning landscape while offering some stable ground that tech-connected teachers can stand on when the next inevitable shift arrives.

#5 – Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities

Kristin Mattson

You can’t beat homegrown wisdom, which is why I have to recommend Kristin Mattson’s memorable guide to empowering students through digital citizenship principles and skills. Even as the meaning of “digital citizen” continues to evolve, Mattson’s perspectives remain essential as she focuses her recommendations on what students “can” do to be good digital citizens, rather than only focusing on what they “shouldn’t” do.

As a high school library media center director in Aurora, IL, Mattson also illustrates her ideas with spotlight stories on real educators fostering participatory digital citizenship in their real classroom. As a result, this book is a practical read for grade 6-12 educators, particularly library media specialists who want to help their institution aspire to greater digital citizenship adoption.

#6 – Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom (2nd Edition)

Sylvia Libow Martinez & Dr. Gary Stager

If your school is working to find its place in the burgeoning maker movement, then this book is a must-have. In it, you’ll find innovative ways to get your students engaged in hands-on STEM learning using both high-tech (Arduino, Makey Makey and Raspberry Pi) and low-tech makerspace activities. This equitable approach to STEM learning stands out from the pack and offers new and existing programs a model for fostering STEM learning that’s accessible to all learners.

Authors Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager also do an excellent job breaking down traditional barriers between STEM topics and the rest of the curriculum. Many of the activities and frameworks in this book are flexible enough for use in a humanities classroom, making this a great read for curriculum leaders curious about the possibilities of cross-curricular STEM learning.

#7 – Learning First, Technology Second: The Educator’s Guide to Designing Authentic Lessons

Liz Kolb

Now that technology use is expected (and often, required) in most every classroom, actual integration can become a bit arbitrary. If you feel like you’re getting stuck in that rut, this book can help you reorient your lesson planning toward matching technology to your existing learning goals, rather than the other way around.

Readers should also check out this book to learn more about the Triple E framework, which author Liz Kolb presents as a simple, flexible solution to planning instruction that authentically utilizes technology.

Stay in the Loop this Summer

While you’re out enjoying these beach reads this summer, be sure to drop into the LTC Community and share what you’re learning with your fellow educators. There, you can also share your own reading recommendations and join any of our several topic-focused conversations, including groups for STEM, classroom integration, and digital leadership.

Interested in learning more about authentic learning and integrating STEM into the curriculum? There’s still time to register for EdTech Next, this year’s destination learning experience for educators, coaches, and educational leaders. There, you’ll have the chance to connect with peers and discover fresh strategies for harnessing tech-powered learning while taking in all of Galena, IL’s refreshing amenities – all for only $150.

A special thank you to RETC Eric Santos for his contributions to this collection!

Matt Jacobson
Matt Jacobson
Online Learning Coordinator, Learning Technology Center

Matt designs, develops, and evaluates the LTC’s digital professional learning, including working with subject matter experts to create learning objectives, conducting needs assessments, and delivering interactive online PD opportunities.

Sam Fishel
Sam Fishel
Digital Content Manager, Learning Technology Center

Sam leads and supports the execution and growth of LTC services through the development and creation of innovative, impactful, and timely digital content.