In this recent article from Huffington Post, the writer poses the following questions to students preparing for their future careers:
- “Are you adaptable?
- Can you quickly learn a new skill?
- Can you draw on different, seemingly unrelated knowledge and then connect that knowledge in a meaningful, creative and effective way?
- Can you throw yourself into a job or career and learn quickly without needing a supervisor to hold your hand?”
In essence, employers are rarely interested in how well potential employees can memorize or fill in the right bubbles on standardized tests, but in their abilities to be flexible problem solvers who are able to leverage available resources (or create new ones) to meet unprecedented challenges.
Lisa Johnson’s new book, Cultivating Communication in the Classroom, offers teachers tools they can use to prepare secondary students so that they will thrive in the “real” world that will envelop them after high school, and be able to answer the each of the above questions with a confident, “Yes!”
Lisa Johnson is well known in the ed-tech community as TechChef4U. As an instructional technologist, writer, presenter, and even jewelry-maker, Lisa’s creativity and massive portfolio of shared resources have already made a huge impact on innovative educational practices. She continues to add to her legacy with her new book, a practical but fun guide to infusing curriculum with important 21st century skills.
In each of the 7 chapters in Johnson’s book, you will find great visuals, industry insights on the value of each topic, and plenty of use-it-right-now resources. One of the unique features is the inclusion of “Communication Catchers,” which can be printed and folded just like those fortune tellers that seem to fall in and out of fashion as often as tides ebb and flow. The Communication Catchers, designed for student use, are great tools for reflection and review of the key topics covered in the book.
Throughout chapters on topics such as e-mail etiquette and social media involvement, Johnson is careful to remind us that educators who ignore or ban technology in the classroom will not be doing their students any favors. Instead, we should be teaching our students how they can benefit from responsible use of unlimited information and the ability to communicate in so many ways.
Although Johnson’s book is targeted for a secondary audience of teachers and students, much of it can easily be adapted to students in higher elementary as well. To be honest, many adults, whether or not they are educators, could benefit quite a bit from its wisdom. I would even recommend this book to parents so they can guide their children through the complexities of our digital age.
If you want to learn more about how to prepare your students for a world that requires critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, and communication, then I highly recommend you purchase and read Cultivating Communication in the Classroom by Lisa Johnson.
Full Disclosure: I did receive a digital copy of this book to review. However I received no compensation, and all opinions are my own.