Knowledge Games: How Playing Games Can Solve Problems, Create Insight, and Make Change
By Karen Schrier
Imagine if new knowledge and insights came not just from research centres, think tanks, and universities but also from games, of all things. Video games have been viewed as causing social problems, but what if they actually helped solve them?
This question drives Karen Schrier’s Knowledge Games, which seeks to uncover the potentials and pitfalls of using games to make discoveries, solve real-world problems, and better understand our world. For example, so-called knowledge games – such as Foldit, a protein-folding puzzle game, SchoolLife, which crowdsources bullying interventions, and Reverse the Odds, in which mobile game players analyse breast cancer data – are already being used by researchers to gain scientific, psychological, and humanistic insights.
Schrier argues that knowledge games are potentially powerful because of their ability to motivate a crowd of problem solvers within a dynamic system, while also tapping into the innovative data processing and computational abilities of games.
In the near future, the author asserts, knowledge games may be created to understand and predict voting behaviour, climate concerns, historical perspectives, online harassment, susceptibility to depression, or optimal advertising strategies, among other things. In addition to investigating the intersection of games, problem solving, and crowdsourcing, Schrier examines what happens when knowledge emerges from games and game players rather than scientists, professionals, and researchers.
Published: June 2016
By Randall Munroe
Richard Feynman once said that if you can’t explain something to a first-year student, you don’t really get it. In ‘Thing Explainer’, Randall Munroe takes a quantum leap past this: he explains things using only drawings and a vocabulary of just our 1,000 most common words. Many of the things we use every day – like our food-heating radio boxes (‘microwaves’), our very tall roads (‘bridges’), and our computer rooms (‘datacentres’) – are strange to us. So are the other worlds around our sun (the solar system), the big flat rocks we live on (tectonic plates), and even the stuff inside us (cells).
Where do these things come from? How do they work? What do they look like if you open them up? And what would happen if we heated them up, cooled them down, pointed them in a different direction, or pressed this button?It’s good to know what the parts of a thing are called but it’s much more interesting to know what they do. In this book, Munroe gives us the answers to these questions and many, many more in a series of brilliantly simple diagrams. Funny, interesting, and always understandable, this book is for anyone who has ever wondered how things work, and why.
Published: November 2015
The Dark Net
By Jamie Bartlett
Beyond the familiar online world that most of us inhabit lies a vast network of sites, communities and cultures where freedom is pushed to its limits. A world that is as creative and complex as it is dangerous and disturbing. A world that is much closer than you think. The Dark Net is a revelatory examination of the internet today, and of its most innovative and dangerous subcultures, stretching from secret Facebook groups to the encrypted and hidden Tor network. In it, Bartlett goes in search of the people behind the screen, meeting trolls and pornographers, drug dealers and hackers, political extremists and computer scientists, Bitcoin programmers and self-harmers, libertarians and vigilantes. Based on extensive first-hand experience, exclusive interviews and shocking documentary evidence, The Dark Net offers a startling glimpse of human nature under the conditions of freedom and anonymity, and shines a light on an enigmatic and ever-changing world.
For anyone interested in using the web, especially in an education capacity, this is a revealing book that will give you a whole new perspective on all things ‘online’.
Published: March 2015
Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud to Individualize Instruction
By Kenneth P. Halla
Whether you’re on top of your technology or just getting started, this is a detailed, must-read book for understanding how cloud-based tools can facilitate learning.
Teacher – and well-regarded education blogger – Ken Halla explains explains how to implement new, online technology tools to create a self-paced, learner-centred classroom. He goes through strategies for leveraging the cloud environment to ensure that students have access to an individualised, personalised education. Plus, the book ably provides, real-life case studies and activities that will make applying Halla’s strategies to your classroom not only enjoyable but also achievable.
Cloud-stored data that can be entered, changed, and accessed anywhere is a concept that’s full of potential for today’s classroom. This publication is the all-in-one resource you need to be sure you and your students reap the fullest rewards from cloud-based developments.
This is a great book and a great read for all educators that offers a simple and practical guide to classroom tools in the cloud.
Published: July 2015
Flipping the Classroom – Unconventional Classroom: A Comprehensive Guide to Constructing the Classroom of the Future
By Matthew Ralston Ogles and Brent Bogan
Curious about the concept of ‘flipping the classroom’? How could it benefit you and your students?It’s an idea that’s certainly catching on – and quickly – and this book gives a step-by-step guide on how to successfully ‘flip your classroom’. It offers commentary on a range of teaching techniques to make any classroom better suited for today’s tech-savvy students.
In every classroom, teachers can struggle with having enough time to cover all of the state mandated curricula and standards. If they do too many hands-on activities, then there’s not enough time for the lectures, and if they do too many lectures, then they’re at risk of losing the students’ attention. Flipping is the process where typical lecture and homework elements of a course are reversed. Short video lectures are viewed by students at home before the class session, while in-class time is devoted to exercises, projects or discussions.
Or maybe the author’s idea of a ‘hybrid flipped class’ is the answer. You’ll need to read it to find out. And, in doing so, you’ll be preparing to change everything you know about how your classroom works and become a pioneer of this revolution in teaching.
Published: September 2014
Learning with ‘e’s: Educational Theory and Practice
By Steve Wheeler
With young people seemingly so well connected with smartphones, computer games and social media, teachers face a big challenge when it comes to technology… or do they? On the back of his popular blog, also named ‘Learning with ‘e’s’, Steve Wheeler shows how educators can take devices that have the potential for great distraction and appropriate them as tools that can inspire and engage.
He explores the practical ways in which technology is influencing how we learn, and looks toward emerging trends to examine what the future of learning may look like. Subjects covered include: Learning with technology; Theories for the digital age; Digital literacies; Pedagogical theories and practices; New and emerging technologies; New learning architectures; Changing education; and Global educators
Throughout the book, he discusses issues such as curriculum, assessment, mobile learning, and personal learning, and makes suggestions on how to make a positive difference through technology. With passion and academic reason in equal measure, Wheeler’s words will go a long way towards helping you make sense of the impact of technology on your teaching and learning.
Published: February 2015
Data and Goliath:
The Hidden Battles to Collect your Data
By Bruce Schneier
Cellphone providers can track location. Search histories are recorded. Emails can be read. Almost any digital data online can not only be stored but also manipulated. If you’re grappling with ways to keep data secure – whether your own, your students’ or your school’s – then this book will be an interesting and illuminating read.
The author, a security expert by trade, spends a lot of time detailing the dangers
of mass data collection. He’s far from impressed by
Governments, who use surveillance to discriminate and censor, and corporations that use it to manipulate news, demand and prices. Nevertheless, he also admits that much of the data sharing is done voluntarily from users, especially via social media.
What can we do? Well, Schneier offers another path. He explains how we can reform government surveillance and shake up tracking-based business models, while also providing tips for you to protect your privacy every day.
It’s a compelling and engrossing read, and a major wake-up call about online data. You’ll never look at your internet activity in the same way again!
Published: May 2015
Making School a Game Worth Playing: Digital Games in the Classroom
By Ryan L Schaaf and Nicky Mohan
If you’re looking to explore the use of digital games in your classroom, then this is a must-read book.
This straightforward, easy-to-follow guide will help you leverage technology students love best – digital games. With step-by-step strategies, you’ll easily find, evaluate, and integrate gaming into your existing lesson plans or completely redesign your classroom.
This practical publication helps teachers use well-designed game elements to:
- Promote meaningful student buy-in;
- Create student-centred, collaborative learning spaces;
- Teach and assess 21st Century Fluencies aligned to Common Core State Standards; and
- Address multiple intelligences using research-based strategies.
Whatever your level of digital expertise, this book is rich in resources for finding, evaluating, implementing, and designing classroom games. If reading it doesn’t inspire some sort of urgency to modify your teaching to include more gaming in your classroom, then nothing will.
Published: August 2014
Minecraft in the Classroom: Ideas, Inspiration, and Student Projects for Teachers
By Colin Gallagher
Whether you’re new to Minecraft or want to take your use of it to a new level, flipping through the pages of ‘Minecraft in the Classroom: Ideas, Inspiration, and Student Projects for Teachers’ will be an enlightening read.
Why use Minecraft? Gallagher starts by reflecting on reasons for using it: collaboration and creativity, leadership and fun. Learn about MinecraftEdu, how to set up and manage it, and how to use its teacher controls. You’ll also find detailed instructions for setting up and running a Minecraft server in the classroom.
The heart of the book investigates how other educators are using the program as a tool to engage students across a range of subjects, like maths, science, languages, and special needs. Ten teachers share specific classroom projects, which include a summary, learning objectives, getting started, project organisation and tasks, and ideas for reflection and assessments.
The last part of the book speculates about the future of Minecraft in education, from computer programming to 3D printing, as well as offering lesson ideas and further resources to explore.
Price: $32.61 Order now
Published: October 2014
Wikipedia U: Knowledge, Authority, and Liberal Education in the Digital Age
By Thomas M Leitch
Since its launch in 2001, Wikipedia has seen more than its fair share of criticism. It has come under particular scrutiny from those who question whether a crowd-sourced resource – in which most entries are subject to potentially endless reviewing and editing by anonymous collaborators whose credentials cannot be established – can ever be accurate or authoritative. In ‘Wikipedia U’, Professor of English Thomas Leitch looks perceptively at the online encyclopaedia’s philosophy of freedom, and argues that the assumptions its critics make about accuracy and authority are themselves open to debate.
Leitch discusses the nature of authority and how it can, and must, evolve and be refined as both society and technology change around us. Various practical aspects of the Wikipedia model are examined in detail. He also explores the learning opportunities presented by Web 2.0 technologies, both as an avenue for academic learning and as the basis for generating debate.
This book is an insightful read about how knowledge is disseminated and when it should be believed.
Price: $34.62 – Order now
Published: October 2014
Literacy is Not Enough: 21st Century Fluencies for the Digital Age
By Lee Crockett, Ian Jukes, Andrew Churches
How to upgrade literacy instruction for digital learners? Educating students to traditional literacy standards is no longer enough. If students are to thrive in their academic and 21st-century careers, then independent and creative thinking hold the highest currency. The authors explain in detail how to add these new components of literacy: Solution Fluency; Information Fluency; Creativity Fluency; and, Collaboration Fluency. Students must master a completely different set of skills to succeed in a culture of technology-driven automation, abundance, and access to global labor markets. The authors present an effective framework for integrating comprehensive literacy or fluency into the traditional curriculum.
Price: $49.26 – Order now
Published: May 2012
More Books to Explore
An Intelligent Person’s Guide to Education
By Tony Little
Published: September 2015
Educating Ruby: What Our Children Really Need to Learn
By Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas
Published: June 2015
Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education
By Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica
Published: April 2015
Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator
By Dave Burgess
Published: May 2013
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