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Wednesday
Mar162011

My bookshelf

Here are thumbnail sketches of a few books which I've come by recently. Taken as a whole they cover:

  • The future of cities: should we build cities around airports instead of away from them?
  • Schooling in the digital age: is it as much to do with politics as technology?
  • Useful educational resources for the iPad.
  • Learning and innovation in ICT: a European perspective.

Hope you find these useful.

Aerotroplis

Subtitled “The way we’ll live next”, this book by John Kasarda and Greg Lindsay looks at the possible airport city of the future. At the moment, airports are usually located outside the main part of the city. Yet, given the fact that we still need actual physical goods to be delivered, some might argue that it makes sense for cities to be built around airports. The airport is what makes delivery of smart phones (in a timely manner) possible. In an era of growing – and instant – connectedness, we need to pay attention to the logic of what the authors refer to as the “physical internet”.

I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but from what I’ve read it’s well-written and thought-provoking. I have to say I have my reservations about the authors’ standpoint, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve finished reading the book!

The book was published on 1st March 2011, and you can purchase it by clicking on the link on the Amazon Books page of the ICT in Education website.

Schools and Schooling in the Digital Age

In this eminently readable book, Neil Selwyn looks at the social and political aspects of educational technology. It’s a fascinating read, full of insights. Selwyn starts from the observation that most ed tech enthusiasts seem unable or unwilling to look at the effectiveness of educational technology in a critical, reflective way.

My copy is marked (in pencil!) on just about every other page, and I would highly recommend this book. Again, you can buy it via the Amazon Books page on the ICT in Education website.

iPads for Education: 33 Useful Resources

Dr Tim Rudd of Live Lab has collated these during the course of some research he has been undertaking on the utility, use and functionality of iPads for learning. This free download looks very comprehensive, with six pages of resources covering a whole range of subject disciplines, and also a conference on iLearning. This looks very promising. I’ve just joined the iLearning Ning community and am looking forward to some interesting discussions – not least because I have reservations about just how useful iPads (and similar devices) really are when it comes to actually doing stuff (as opposed to reading about it or watching someone else do it on video).

Learning, Innovation and ICT

The major strategic objective of the Cluster on ICT is to identify key factors for improving the quality of ICT integration in teaching, learning and education in European education systems.

I’m still reading this, but I can report that it has a number of interesting recommendations. The one I especially like is:

Drop the “e” in e-learning – it is about learning in a digital and networked society.

Precisely.

This article was first published in Computers in Classrooms, the free e-newsletter for educational technology professionals.

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