A thorough, convincing and useful exploration for modern educators.

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THE NEXT DIGITAL SCHOLAR

A FRESH APPROACH TO THE COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS IN RESEARCH AND WRITING

A guide for teachers looking to incorporate digital literacy, multimodal communication and the Common Core State Standards into their work.

Purdy and McClure (The New Digital Scholar, 2013) have collected essays by dozens of experienced educators that address Common Core implementation and the most effective ways to meet students’ needs by using digital forms of communication. The book focuses primarily on teaching the humanities, particularly reading and writing—or rather, information consumption and production. Several chapters stress the importance of incorporating standards across multiple formats, from print to digital text to video to infographics. The book is full of concrete methods that the authors have used in their own classrooms—such as Google Docs to write a collaborative poem, a geotagged map of neighborhood graffiti as part of a unit on Frankenstein, or an audiovisual “remix.” The chapters cite specific online tools, such as Weebly and Storify, but the emphasis is less on how to use particular tools than on the reasoning behind a particular educational strategy. Appendices include sample lesson plans and evaluation rubrics, and the book also includes links to a substantial amount of online material. The book’s primary audience is knowledgeable teachers in public schools, so readers without an education background may find some of the pedagogical theory a bit dense. However, each chapter focuses on implementing specific techniques and meeting clearly defined goals. Both supporters and opponents of Common Core will likely find value in this book; although it doesn’t address the standards’ broader controversies, it does acknowledge potential shortcomings that digital tools and digital literacy might address.

A thorough, convincing and useful exploration for modern educators.

Pub Date: July 14, 2014

ISBN: 978-1573874953

Page Count: 568

Publisher: Information Today Inc

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2014

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THE ABOLITION OF MAN

The sub-title of this book is "Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools." But one finds in it little about education, and less about the teaching of English. Nor is this volume a defense of the Christian faith similar to other books from the pen of C. S. Lewis. The three lectures comprising the book are rather rambling talks about life and literature and philosophy. Those who have come to expect from Lewis penetrating satire and a subtle sense of humor, used to buttress a real Christian faith, will be disappointed.

Pub Date: April 8, 1947

ISBN: 1609421477

Page Count: -

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1947

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Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

COLUMBINE

Comprehensive, myth-busting examination of the Colorado high-school massacre.

“We remember Columbine as a pair of outcast Goths from the Trench Coat Mafia snapping and tearing through their high school hunting down jocks to settle a long-running feud. Almost none of that happened,” writes Cullen, a Denver-based journalist who has spent the past ten years investigating the 1999 attack. In fact, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold conceived of their act not as a targeted school shooting but as an elaborate three-part act of terrorism. First, propane bombs planted in the cafeteria would erupt during lunchtime, indiscriminately slaughtering hundreds of students. The killers, positioned outside the school’s main entrance, would then mow down fleeing survivors. Finally, after the media and rescue workers had arrived, timed bombs in the killers’ cars would explode, wiping out hundreds more. It was only when the bombs in the cafeteria failed to detonate that the killers entered the high school with sawed-off shotguns blazing. Drawing on a wealth of journals, videotapes, police reports and personal interviews, Cullen sketches multifaceted portraits of the killers and the surviving community. He portrays Harris as a calculating, egocentric psychopath, someone who labeled his journal “The Book of God” and harbored fantasies of exterminating the entire human race. In contrast, Klebold was a suicidal depressive, prone to fits of rage and extreme self-loathing. Together they forged a combustible and unequal alliance, with Harris channeling Klebold’s frustration and anger into his sadistic plans. The unnerving narrative is too often undermined by the author’s distracting tendency to weave the killers’ expressions into his sentences—for example, “The boys were shooting off their pipe bombs by then, and, man, were those things badass.” Cullen is better at depicting the attack’s aftermath. Poignant sections devoted to the survivors probe the myriad ways that individuals cope with grief and struggle to interpret and make sense of tragedy.

Carefully researched and chilling, if somewhat overwritten.

Pub Date: April 6, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-446-54693-5

Page Count: 406

Publisher: Twelve

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2009

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