book covers
Outside the Classroom

Top 7 Education Books for Back-to-School 2020

As more and more districts make the decision to move to online learning, how are you preparing to return to school? Unlike typical back-to-school preparation, 2020 finds educators creating multiple plans for instruction delivery, preparing online resources for students and staff, and making time and space for sanitizing and social distancing. With such an unusual and challenging year in store, we compiled our top seven education books for back-to-school 2020 to help guide and educate you on best practices and tools for virtual learning.

Online Teaching book cover

Online Teaching: The Ultimate Guide to Share Your Knowledge, Applying Learning Science to Teach Anything to Anyone
Frank L. James

Are you a teacher feeling overwhelmed by the daunting task of teaching online because of the ongoing situation? Or, you are interested in teaching online, but you are not sure where to start? The ongoing situation surely has people across the world working from home, and for teachers, things can be a bit tricky. If you’re a teacher suddenly faced with the task of learning how to teach classes online, you might be feeling overwhelmed—and that’s totally understandable.

After all, everything happened overnight. You went from your normal routine of working with your students in the classroom to “being forced” to move all your teaching online all of a sudden, and maybe without any training or support. And we have no idea how long this “new normal” will last.

You might be asking: How do I do an effective job of teaching online? Teaching online, like any new experience, might feel a bit challenging at first if you’re used to working in a face-to-face classroom. But, with some guidance and preparation, you will surely survive—or even stand out-as a virtual instructor.

In this book you’ll learn:

  • Designing for Learning
  • Backward Design
  • Guiding Learning Through Engagement
  • Using Media and Technology Tools
  • Building Community, Giving Feedback, and Dealing with Difficult Students
  • Motivating Online Students (and Instructors)
  • Building Connections
  • Developing as an Online Instructor

Whether you’re a teacher teaching a virtual class for the first time, an online instructor with experience looking for new ideas, or even a student or parent just wanting to know more about digital education, this book will give you practical advice and useful resources for learning on the internet.

Permission to Feel book cover

Permission to Feel: Unlocking the Power of Emotions to Help Our Kids, Ourselves, and Our Society Thrive
Marc Brackett

Marc Brackett is a professor in Yale University’s Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In his 25 years as an emotion scientist, he has developed a remarkably effective plan to improve the lives of children and adults—a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. The core of his approach is a legacy from his childhood, from an astute uncle who gave him permission to feel. He was the first adult who managed to see Marc, listen to him, and recognize the suffering, bullying, and abuse he had endured. And that was the beginning of Marc’s awareness that what he was going through was temporary. He wasn’t alone, he wasn’t stuck on a timeline, and he wasn’t “wrong” to feel scared, isolated, and angry. Now, best of all, he could do something about it.

In the decades since, Marc has led large research teams and raised tens of millions of dollars to investigate the roots of emotional well-being. His prescription for healthy children (and their parents, teachers, and schools) is a system called RULER, a high-impact and fast-effect approach to understanding and mastering emotions that has already transformed the thousands of schools that have adopted it. RULER has been proven to reduce stress and burnout, improve school climate, and enhance academic achievement. This book is the culmination of Marc’s development of RULER and his way to share the strategies and skills with readers around the world. It is tested, and it works.

This book combines rigor, science, passion, and inspiration in equal parts. Too many children and adults are suffering; they are ashamed of their feelings and emotionally unskilled, but they don’t have to be. Marc Brackett’s life mission is to reverse this course, and this book can show you how.

The Growth Mindset book cover

The Growth Mindset Classroom-Ready Resource Book: A Teacher’s Toolkit for Encouraging Grit and Resilience in All Students
Annie Brock and Heather Hundley

Skip the late-night lesson planning and start stretching your students’ minds with this practical, ready-to-use companion to the popular The Growth Mindset Coach series.

Thanks to revolutionary power of growth mindsets, teachers everywhere have been helping their students realize their boundless potential. However, with busy schedules and crowded classes, infusing growth mindset principles into your lessons every day is sometimes easier said than done. From the bestselling authors of The Growth Mindset Coach, this new book makes implementing mindset strategies easier than ever before.

With over 50 ready-to-use resources all focused on fostering growth mindsets, The Growth Mindset Classroom-Ready Resource Book, is your new go-to teaching assistant. These resilience- and grit-building ideas include:

  • Interactive lesson plans
  • Creative conversation starters
  • Mindful reflection exercises
  • Classroom management strategies

A perfect supplement for any teacher looking for additional support in banishing fixed mindsets and instilling a growth mindset culture in their classroom.

K-12 Digital Transformation book cover

K-12 Digital Transformation: Practical Playbook
Clever Books

Modern businesses undergo an important transformation from a traditional form of business to a new digital structure that is driven not only by technology innovation but also by strategic decisions of companies’ management that aim to increase revenues and market shares, sustain competitive market positions, and improve internal and external operational processes.

The integration of technology in the educational process is the answer to the challenges in today’s rapidly changing world. The schools are obliged to innovate, and educators are forced to break traditional pedagogical barriers to accommodate 21st-century learning demands of digital-native students. “EdTech serves as an excellent means to deliver multimedia and interactive course content to today’s generation of digitally connected students anytime, anywhere, and across devices.”

Is your school facing digital transformation? You may not be sure WHAT and HOW to do. This playbook with practical advice will help you to start, maintain, and be on top of digital transformation in every classroom in your school.

Making the Move book cover

Making the Move to K-12 Online Teaching: Research-Based Strategies and Practices (Second Edition)
Kerry Rice

Written specifically for K–12 teachers, this book covers all aspects of online education. Unique in its focus on K–12 learning, this book shows educators how to transform their teaching as they move from traditional face-to-face classrooms to online settings. Included in this edition, a BONUS chapter including practical strategies for the blended classroom!

The Interactive Class book cover

The Interactive Class: Using Technology to Make Learning More Relevant and Engaging in the Elementary Classroom
Joe and Kristin Merrill

Are you looking for ways to make teaching and learning more interactive in your classroom? Do you ever feel overwhelmed when it comes to integrating technology and content standards? Are you searching for lessons that you can immediately implement in your learning environment? Then you are ready to dive into The Interactive Class!

In this practical and idea-packed book, coauthors, classroom teachers, and EdTech experts Joe and Kristin Merrill share their personal framework for teaching.

Transform Your Teaching – Define interactive learning and how to use it to instantly transform your learning space.

Empower Your Students – Create long-lasting bonds with students and parents that will empower your learners and lead to success both in and out of the classroom.

Elevate Your Lessons – Learn to PIVOT! You’ll design interactive lessons that foster grit and challenge students to grow.

The Perfect Blend book cover

The Perfect Blend: A Practical Guide to Designing Student-Centered Learning Experiences
Michele Eaton

Learn how to redesign lessons with technology to individualize and personalize instruction, transforming what learning looks like for your students.

Many blended learning initiatives start from the top down and are designed for specific populations or make drastic changes to a school’s learning structure. But any K–12 classroom teacher can find ways to leverage blended learning, regardless of the constructs of their learning environment. All they need is a willingness to rethink their role—moving from content deliverer to architect of learning.

In The Perfect Blend, you’ll learn how to create a “homemade recipe” for effective blended learning for your students. Rather than focusing on finding and implementing a specific established model, author Michele Eaton shows teachers how to embrace the flexibility of blended learning to take an active role as a designer of learning and, in the process, help students become advocates for their education.

This book:

  • Provides an accessible resource for teachers beginning to use technology, as well as master blended teachers who are looking for new ideas or strategies.
  • Includes templates and planning tools that can be used as-is or modified to fit the needs of your students.
  • Focuses on understanding and reflecting on your role as a designer of learning experiences and creating and using digital content in the classroom.

You’ll gain practical skills, strategies, and lesson ideas for various types of blended learning thanks to examples from real classrooms and educators. Along the way, you’ll discover how to build on the skills you already have to support blended learning.

Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see July’s top books on education.

About the Author


Where Learning Clicks

Since 1998, Edgenuity has been creating products and services that help all students achieve their full potential. As an extension of our efforts, we also produce Where Learning Clicks to share meaningful and timely ideas about trends, developments, and changes in education, as well as how to further incorporate technology into today’s classrooms.