Faculty Summer Reads

The faculty summer read promotes the sharing of fresh perspectives on education among us when we are away from classes and students. U Prep purchases these books and provides them to all faculty members and those staff members who would like to participate. During opening faculty meetings, the three authors will join the U Prep faculty via Skype for a question and answer session about the readings.

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Hamlet’s BlackBerry: Building a Good Life in the Digital Age (William Powers, 2011)

A crisp, passionately argued answer to the question that everyone who’s grown dependent on digital devices is asking: Where’s the rest of my life? Hamlet’s BlackBerry challenges the widely held assumption that the more we connect through technology, the better. It’s time to strike a new balance, William Powers argues, and discover why it’s also important to disconnect. Part memoir, part intellectual journey, the book draws on the technological past and great thinkers such as Shakespeare and Thoreau. “Connectedness” has been hconsidered from an organizational and economic standpoint—from Here Comes Everybody to Wikinomics—but Powers examines it on a deep interpersonal, psychological, and emotional level. Readers of Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point and Outliers will relish Hamlet’s BlackBerry.

Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Cathy Davidson, 2012)

A brilliant combination of science and its real-world application, Now You See It sheds light on one of the greatest problems of our historical moment: our schools and businesses are designed for the last century, not for a world in which technology has reshaped the way we think and learn. In this informed and optimistic work, Cathy N. Davidson takes us on a tour of the future of work and education, introducing us to visionaries whose groundbreaking ideas will soon affect every arena of our lives, from schools with curriculums built around video games to workplaces that use virtual environments to train employees.

Curriculum 21: Essential Education for a Changing World (Heidi Hayes Jacobs, 2010)

If you believe that an essential role of schooling is to prepare students to be successful in today’s world, then here is a must-read book that makes a powerful case for why and how schools must overhaul, update, and breathe new life into the K–12 curriculum. World-renowned curriculum designer Heidi Hayes Jacobs leads an all-star cast of education thought leaders who explain:
– Why K–12 curriculum has to change to reflect new technologies and a globalized world.
– What to keep, what to cut, and what to create to reflect 21st century learning skills.
– Where portfolios and new kinds of assessments fit into accountability mandates.
– How to improve your use of time and space and groupings of students and staff.
– What steps to take to help students gain a global perspective and develop the habits of mind they need to succeed in school, work, and life.
– How to re-engineer schools and teaching to engage and improve students’ media literacy.