Outside the Classroom

Top New Books for Educators: See What’s Coming in October

Here are some of the top new books for educators being released in October:

Using Digital Humanities book cover

Using Digital Humanities in the Classroom: A Practical Introduction for Teachers, Lecturers, and Students
Claire Battershill, Shawna Ross

Rooted in the day-to-day experience of teaching and written for those without specialist technical knowledge, this book is the first practical guide to using digital tools and resources in the humanities classroom.

Using Digital Humanities in the Classroom covers such topics as:

  • Overcoming resistance to technology – your own, your colleagues’ and your students’
  • Finding, evaluating and using digital resources
  • Designing syllabi and planning classroom activities and assignments
  • Solving problems when technology goes wrong
  • Using digital tools for collaborative projects, course work and theses
  • Enhancing your teaching by finding support communities and connecting to your research

Taking a step-by-step approach to incorporating digital humanities tools into your teaching, the book is also supported by a companion website, including tutorials, sample classroom activity prompts and assignments, and a bibliographic essay for each book chapter.

Leading Personalized and Digital Learning book cover

Leading Personalized and Digital Learning: A Framework for Implementing School Change
Mary Ann Wolf, Elizabeth Bobst, Nancy Mangum

Leading Personalized and Digital Learning provides needed guidance for principals, aspiring principals, and other school leaders at a critical time when educators are looking to put the power of technology to work for student-centered learning. The authors identify eight leadership essentials that school leaders must attend to if they are to lead an effective and sustainable transition to a new way of teaching and learning. They also offer resources and wisdom gleaned from years in the field.

The proliferation of technological tools means K–12 education can now be tailored to meet the needs and interests of individual students, empowering them to take charge of their own learning. For educators, however, transitioning to digital and personalized teaching is immensely challenging, often requiring a fundamental change in mindsets and school culture. Drawing on their extensive experience coaching school leaders across the country, the authors highlight expert principals who have successfully made the transition to customized education through the use of personal pathways, competency- and project-based learning, and other models.

Competency-Based Education book cover

Competency-Based Education: A New Architecture for K-12 Schooling
Rose L. Colby

Competency-Based Education introduces educators to a new model for anytime, anywhere schooling and provides tools and curriculum resources for redesigning the traditional structures of K–12 schools.

Based on pioneering work across multiple states, the book shows how educators can design central elements of competency-based education—including performance tasks, personal learning plans, and grading systems—to meet the needs and interests of all students. Rose L. Colby provides critical tools for creating these elements in collaborative teams and engaging stakeholders such as educators, parents, and community members. The book incorporates case studies and voices from the field, and examines the variety of competency models that schools have adopted, highlighting the benefits for students.

Competency-Based Education provides a much-needed resource at a time when states, districts, and schools are working to implement competency-based models and experimenting with new accountability systems that include evidence of learning beyond standardized tests.

Active Literacy book cover

Active Literacy Across the Curriculum: Connecting Print Literacy with Digital, Media, and Global Competence, K-12
Heidi Hayes Jacobs

Help students become more confident and successful readers, writers, and thinkers in today’s world. In this new edition of a bestseller, highly acclaimed author and speaker Heidi Hayes Jacobs offers practical ideas for closing the literacy gap by teaching classic literacies (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) along with essential new literacies (digital, media, and global). The expanded second edition features Heidi’s latest work on the new literacies and provides enhanced versions of strategies designed to help educators integrate critical language skills into their daily operational curriculum. These strategies include:

  • Revising and expanding the role of all teachers so that they see themselves as classical language and contemporary literacy teachers;
  • Separating vocabulary into three distinctive types with distinctive instructional approaches to sustain and extend independent language development;
  • Building creative and visual notetaking and sketchnoting strategies;
  • Designing media projects for every class level and employing a consistent editing and revision policy for writing assignments;
  • Using a formal approach to develop speaking skills through four discussion types to increase civil public discourse;
  • Employing direct technical instruction that promotes the use of the human voice and body as a speaking and communication instrument;
  • Using Curriculum Mapping to develop formal benchmark assessments for active literacy and new literacy cultivation in every subject and on every level.

Each chapter is focused on a specific strategy and includes practical examples so you can easily implement the ideas, no matter what grade level or subject area you teach.

Tasks Before Apps book cover

Tasks Before Apps: Designing Rigorous Learning in a Tech-Rich Classroom
Monica Burns

Content-hosting websites, videoconferencing apps, grade- or subject-focused social media accounts: with such a dizzying array of mechanical and virtual help at our disposal, it can be a challenge for educators to know where to even start. Educator and technology consultant Monica Burns can relate, which is why she wrote this book: to share strategies, tools, and insights that teachers can use, regardless of subject or grade level, to effectively incorporate technology in the classroom. Focusing on the “three Cs” of technology implementation—creation, curiosity, and collaboration—Tasks Before Apps offers K–12 teachers

  • Detailed advice for (and copious examples of) tech-infused lessons that help students meet learning goals while also developing vital digital citizenship skills.
  • Customizable checklists and graphic organizers for planning tech-enabled activities; choosing appropriate programs, devices, and platforms; and setting unit and lesson goals.
  • Recommendations for and links to apps and online resources that can facilitate and energize learning.
  • Reflection and brainstorming questions for use in book clubs and professional learning community (PLC) discussions.

Knowing how to navigate technology wisely—how to communicate effectively on posts and message boards, locate credible information on search engines, and select efficient, cost-effective equipment—is essential for both teachers and students. Whether you are a novice or a veteran, teach kindergarten students or high school seniors, this book is an indispensable guide to furthering academic skills, social development, and digital aptitude in the classroom.

Digital Citizenship in Action book cover

Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities
Kristen Mattson

For years, much of the available curricula for teaching digital citizenship focused on “don’ts.” Don’t share addresses or phone numbers. Don’t give out passwords. Don’t bully other students. But the conversation then shifted and had many asking, “Why aren’t we teaching kids the power of social media?” Next, digital citizenship curriculum moved toward teaching students how to positively brand themselves so that they would stand out when it came to future scholarships and job opportunities.

In the end, both messages failed to address one of the most important aspects of citizenship: being in community with others. As citizens, we have a responsibility to give back to the community and to work toward social justice and equity. Digital citizenship curricula should strive to show students possibilities over problems, opportunities over risks and community successes over personal gain.

In Digital Citizenship in Action, you’ll find practical ways for taking digital citizenship lessons beyond a conversation about personal responsibility so that you can create opportunities for students to become participatory citizens, actively engaging in multiple levels of community and developing relationships based on mutual trust and understanding with others in these spaces.

This book includes:

  • Tips for creating a digital space where students can try something new, grow through mistakes, and learn what it means to be a citizen in different spaces.
  • “Spotlight Stories” from teachers engaged with participatory digital citizenship that demonstrate how these ideas play out in actual classrooms.
  • Featured activities to help you integrate these ideas into your classroom.

Now Classrooms book cover

NOW Classrooms, Grades K–2: Lessons for Enhancing Teaching and Learning Through Technology
Meg Ormiston, Beth Hatlen, Kristy Hopkins, Kirstin McGinnis, Lissa Blake, Nicole Ring

Developed specifically for grades K–2, this resource presents classroom-ready lessons that support the ISTE Standards for Students. Use the lessons, which focus on four essential skills—communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity—to take instruction and learning to the next level through the use of technology. Each chapter includes strategies for developing authentic learning experiences and ends with discussion questions for personal reflection.

  • Understand that real transformational change results from teaching and learning, not ever-changing digital devices.
  • Give students opportunities to exercise their voice, choice, and creativity using multimedia and digital tools.
  • Implement practical novice-, operational-, and wow-level lessons and tips for using digital tools in classroom lessons.
  • Help students keep themselves and their data safe online and make ethical decisions on the Internet.

Embedded Formative Assessment book cover

Embedded Formative Assessment, Second Edition
Dylan Wiliam

By integrating formative assessment practices into daily activities, educators can substantially increase the rate of student learning. The second edition of this best-selling resource presents new research, insights, and techniques teachers can immediately apply in their classrooms. Updated examples and templates are included to help teachers elicit evidence of learning, provide meaningful feedback, and empower students to take ownership of their education.

  • Understand that real transformational change results from teaching and learning, not ever-changing digital devices.
  • Give students opportunities to exercise their voice, choice, and creativity using multimedia and digital tools.
  • Implement practical novice-, operational-, and wow-level lessons and tips for using digital tools in classroom lessons.
  • Help students keep themselves and their data safe online and make ethical decisions on the Internet.

Explicit Direct Instruction book cover

Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI): The Power of the Well-Crafted, Well-Taught Lesson, Second Edition
John R. Hollingsworth, Silvia E. Ybarra

A proven approach to better teaching and learning.

Explicit Direct Instruction (EDI), an approach based on the premise that all children can learn, helps teachers deliver well-designed, well-taught lessons that significantly improve achievement for all learners. Authors Hollingsworth and Ybarra have refined and extended their highly successful methods in this second edition of their bestselling book.

Written in an easy-to-read, entertaining style, this resource provides K–12 teachers with concrete strategies, detailed sample lessons, and scenarios that illustrate what EDI techniques look like in inclusive and diverse classrooms. With chapters covering the individual components of EDI, such as checking for understanding and activating prior knowledge, this updated edition refines the methods so that they are even more effective and easier to implement. Readers will find:

  • Strategies for continuous, systematized student engagement
  • Expanded corrective feedback strategies
  • Clear alignment to the latest content standards
  • A new, field-tested strategy for skill development and guided practice
  • Expanded information about differentiation and scaffolding

Combining educational theory, brain research, and data analysis, this is a fine-tuned, step-by-step guide to a highly effective teaching method.

Did you miss last month’s recommendations? It’s not too late to see September’s back-to-school reading recommendations for educators.

About the Author


Laura Almozara

As a child, Laura spent a lot of time reading and telling stories, at one point reading a new book every day. She took that interest with her to college, where she studied English and journalism. She then started working in publishing and eventually made her way to edtech. Laura is excited to be a part of the Where Learning Clicks team, helping to provide innovative education tools to some of the people who need them most.