Books of Interest to School and Technology Leaders

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Today's school and technology leader must understand many aspects of technology, learning, society and culture, and management. One way they can stay current in each of these areas is by reading. While there us a rich literature on the web and on social media, the book continues to be a valuable professional resource. They present a detailed and comprehensive treatment of a topic from the perspective of one who has committed many years to understanding the field. These are Gary's recommendations for educators interested in educational technology.

Those individuals born since 1990 have never known a world that was not filled with computers, mobile phones, and the internet. The first of those individuals are now parents whose children are entering school, so educators are no longer creating schools for the digital generation, but for multiple digital generations. The first collection of books describing these generations have been replaced with those that reflect new discoveries about these generations.

Twenge, J. M. (2017). IGen: why todays super-connected kids are growing up less rebellious, more tolerant, less happy--and completely unprepared for adulthood (and what that means for the rest of us). New York: Atria Books.

Twenge, a psychologist from San Diego State University, describes iGen (the generation to follow millennials) and reviews the characteristics of this group. My full review will be on my blog soon.

iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy--and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood--and What That Means for the Rest of Us

Gazzaley, A., & Rosen, L. D. (2016). The distracted mind: ancient brains in a high-tech world. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Gazzaley and Rosen consider the effects of technology on human brains. My full review in on my blog entry The Realities of the Digital World.

The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World (MIT Press)

Palfrey, J. G., & Gasser, U. (2016). Born digital: How children grow up in a digital age.New York: Basic Books.

This is an updated version of the 2008 book by the same authors. My full review in on my blog entry Thoughts on Born Digital #borndigital .

Born Digital: How Children Grow Up in a Digital Age

Greenhow, C., Sonnevend, J., & Agur, C. (Eds.). (2016). Education and social media: Toward a digital future. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

A collection of chapters focusing on how these tools are affecting education. My full review in on my blog entry Everything has Changed: Thoughts on Education and Social Media

Education and Social Media: Toward a Digital Future (The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning)

Ackerman, G. L. (2018). Efficacious Technology Management: A Guide for School Leaders.

This is my book that I released under a Creative Commons license in November 2017. You can buy a hard copy and an ebook copy at my Author Spotlight Page on or you can download a copy at

Whitehead, B. M., Jensen, D., & Boschee, F. (2013). Planning for technology: A guide for school administrators, technology coordinators, and curriculum leaders (Second edition). Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin, a Sage Company.

I am not usually reader of books about "how to plan for technology," but this is a very comprehensive resource for those who are new to technology planning for schools.

Planning for Technology: A Guide for School Administrators, Technology Coordinators, and Curriculum Leaders

Sawyer, R. K. (Ed.). (2014). The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (Second edition). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

This is an updated version of the 2006 encyclopedia edited by the same scholar. This version contains updated versions of many 2006 chapters and it adds many entries to expand the collection. This serves as an excellent resource for those navigating the emerging practices of student-centered, proficiency-based, and project-based learning.

The Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences (Cambridge Handbooks in Psychology)

Dirksen, J. (2016). Design for how people learn (Second edition). San Francisco: New Riders.

This brief book (lots of pictures to illustrate the concepts) is a summary of important ideas about learning and how one can design effective learning environments. Dirksen organizes the book into reasonable and effective chapters and the approachable text is supported with reference to influential ideas in the professional literature.

Design for How People Learn (2nd Edition) (Voices That Matter)

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(c) 2017 Dr. Gary L. Ackerman
Last updated: January 8, 2018