Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Summer Learning

I am embarrassed to admit it has been over 5 months since I last posted on this blog. I have still spent a lot of time reading great ideas from a long list of other bloggers, but fell out of the routine of publishing anything of my own. Well, leave it to #compelledtribe to get me "nudged" in the right direction.

Which is surprising because I have found over the years that I am very much a creature of habit. I spend most of my "free time" to get my exercise in for the day. Even if it means setting the alarm when the first number is a 4. I have found that through hard work, what starts off as hard becomes easy to adjust to while maintaining a routine. I find running, biking, and lifting weights to be great examples of this. Now, if I can take the time to push myself the same in this writing challenge I have created for myself...

We have been asked to spend some time sharing on our summer reading/learning for #compelledtribe. I have read several books (currently reading one on the early 1970s Oakland As) this summer, but there are two that I have learned a great deal from: Work Rules by Laszlo Bock and Hacking Google for Education by Scott Rocco, Billy Krakower, and Brad Currie. The first book I was not expecting to get so much out of, but did. The second one was filled with great ideas I could implement tomorrow (which I knew ahead of time).

Work Rules is written by the head of Google, Laszlo Bock. The one huge takeaway from this book was the simplicity that explained the philosophy that permeates through Google: Mission. Transparency. Voice. That simple message was a lightbulb moment for me. Being a math teacher, I am always looking for ways to break down difficult concepts so my students can better understand them. I found Bock's message had that same impact on me. I believe this to be a simple message that all educators should embrace. If we focused on these three things, imagine the impact we could have on our classrooms, schools, and districts. I highly recommend this book.

Hacking Google for Education was full of great "Hacks" for schools and districts that use GAFE. I have to admit, there were a few that I already used, but I learned new ways to use Google Maps, Google Calendar, and add-ons to help speed up my responses to emails. I am a big fan of the entire Hack Learning Series, and this book did not disappoint. I also highly recommend this book.

So, I hope you found two new books to add to your reading list. I am hoping I can find a couple more to share with you. Also, I am hoping to develop a new routine of writing and reflecting over the next couple of weeks. Again, thanks #compelledtribe for the motivation to get back at this writing thing.

No comments: