Archives - Resource of the Month



February 2019


A review of Blending Instruction With Technology, A Blueprint for Teachers to Create Unique, Engaging, and Effective Learning Experiences by Michael Martin

written by Kristi Burch


Technology is prevalent and pervasive in the lives of twenty-first century students. Students entering the classroom are equipped with myriad technological skills, yet crave relevance when incorporating technological tools into their learning. As teachers are striving to meet students where they are in terms of technological savviness, it is important to understand the range and nuances of low and high-tech tools and intentionally integrate the most effective tools to reach desired learning goals.


This book walks through the process of successfully blending instruction with technology by focusing on the relevant skills students are expected to gain in the classroom and the process by which carefully selected technology tools can help students gain those skills. In order for students to become creative, critically thinking, responsible adults, they need a framework in which to cultivate those skills. Teaching those skills accompanied by the right technological tools and resources will help students so much more than simply teaching them how to use the tool itself.


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January 2019


A review of MISE-EN-SCENE, Film Style and Interpretation by John Gibbs

wrriten by Todd Sheene


Mise-en-scene, from the French, began in the theatre.  The translation is “to put on stage.”  On the filmmaking side it is  “the contents of the frame and the way they are organized.”  These contents include decoration, wardrobe, lighting and the actors.  This also defines the organization of what resides in the frame; the relationship of actors to the camera, the decoration as well as other actors.  It is this organization that ends up being the view of the audience.  This term includes what the audience can see as well as the way in which they are invited to see it.


The book does a good job of providing an interesting and easy to follow overlay of what mise-en-scene encompasses.  It breaks down all the elements that can be used in the space of the visual frame.  These elements include:  Lighting, costume, color, props, décor, action & performance, space, position of the camera and framing.  The interaction of these elements, allow the filmmaker untold options of telling their story through careful manipulation.


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December 2018


A review of If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating by Alan Alda

wrriten by Lisa Curlis


The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines relate, and communicate, as follows:  relate – to give an account; to show or establish logical or casual connection between, and communicate – to convey knowledge of or information about; make known.


In this book, Alan Alda, acclaimed actor, science enthusiast, and co-founder of the Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University in New York, chronicles how an invitation to host Scientific American Frontiers, led him on a 20-year quest to figure out what makes communication work.


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November 2018


A review of Becoming a Critically Reflective Teacher by Stephen Brookfield by Stephen Brookfield

wrriten by Sarah Lashley


Critical reflection is the process by which we intentionally and continuously examine the assumptions that underlie our teaching practices. By engaging in critical reflection, we are poised to gain deeper insights about what we do, and how and why we do it. It is a way of ensuring that we gain new knowledge and understanding from our practice.


Simply put, the goal of critical reflection is to see our teaching differently. Seeing our teaching differently requires viewing our teaching through different lenses. Brookfield suggests that there are four useful lenses: student perspectives, colleague perspectives, personal experience, and pedagogical theory.


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October 2018


A review of Integrating Pedagogy and Technology, Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education by James A. Bernauer and Lawrence A. Tomei

wrriten by Candace Wentz


In the book titled Integrating Pedagogy and Technology, Improving Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, James Bernauer and  Lawrence Tomei introduces a model called the Integrated Readiness Matrix (IRM) and how using this model can help faculty understand where they are at with their teaching and with using technology in the classroom.  Using this model, faculty can understand where they are at, and then decide how they want to move forward in achieving higher success in the classroom and to achieve “the pinnacle of teaching effectiveness” (55).  This pinnacle of teaching effectiveness is described as mastery in both pedagogy and technology.


The Integrated Readiness Matrix (IRM) model uses Blooms taxonomy (y axis) and Tomei’s taxonomy for technology (x axis).  Bernauer and Tomei explain that by incorporating both of these models they have “built a model for improving college faculty development in both the cognitive and technological domain” (50).  Faculty should look at their course objectives and their student learning goals and make sure that they are.......  Click here to continue or to print the full review



September 2018


A review of Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World by MaryAnne Wolf

wrriten by Andrew Patrick


In Reader, Come Home: The Reading Brain in a Digital World (2018), Maryanne Wolf explores the neurological consequences of our increasing reliance on digital technologies and the implications for our empathy, critical thinking, and reflection. While many trendlines are troubling, for example, reading comprehension and empathy are on the decline even as attention-deficit diagnoses and digital distractions multiply, Wolf offers a potential antidote in her concept of building a “biliterate brain” that is equally fluent in digital and print environments.


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