Eminently Readable - Nancy Willard's Book

Like a beggar at the banquet of cyberbullying wisdom, I was thoroughly impressed by a new book Nancy Willard recently published. She was kind enough to send me a PDF copy of it at no charge (disclosure), expressing a wish I might mention it here.

Nancy Willard has certainly set out a feast of wisdom and ideas that engage! As I sat in a meeting listening to how disruptive technologies can be leveraged--that's a blog entry in itself--to indulge in IT simplification (whatever that is) I was engaged by Nancy's words from her new book. Here's the official announcement:

...pleased to announce the publication of a downloadable book entitled Cyber-Secure Schools in a Web 2.0 World. This book focuses on three critical issues for schools: Creating Change in Technology Adoption. Effective Internet Use Management. Web 2.0 in Schools Legal Issues. Cyber-Secure Schools in a Web 2.0 World also contains extensive templates for District Internet Use Policies, Regulations, and a Student Agreement that incorporate the provisions necessary to address the challenges of managing Web 2.0 interactive technologies in schools and to allow the educational and professional use of these technologies to flourish.

Note:
Cyber-Secure Schools is available on the CSIRIU site at: 
http://csriu.org/professionals. Individuals may purchase an “Individual Use” copy. District may purchase a “District Use” copy that grants permission to reproduce the book for staff and modify/use the policies, regulations, and agreement. 


As I skimmed the book, I was struck by the sheer wisdom in some of the remarks and how well Nancy had crafted the content. For example, consider this perspective:
Conservatives will not change until after the Tornado of Change and innovations have been adopted by a majority of the population....
from the book

I read that in the midst of considering technologies like cloud computing and as the sole voice at the table advocating their use.

What I liked about the book:

  • Pithy, hard-hitting points that summarized previously shared points of view on change management
  • Citations of research you wish you had handy in an argument, making this a great book to have in your hands and to put in the hands of others
  • Librarians/information specialists will love this book because it advocates on their behalf
  • Discussion of FERPA issues
What  I didn't like:
  • Formatting of the book made it difficult to review online, but it's clear it was intended for print.
  • 1990 type illustrations/images
  • No real discussion of how to accomplish change, only that innovators had to wait until 30-40% of folks adopted a new tech. How do you get from here to there? Wait?

HASTY CONCLUSION
Overall, the book was great because it summarized in one place much of what many edubloggers and pundits have been discussing. Yet, that was it's weakness. It's possible that many readers who are also "in the know" may find the book a repetition of what they are already familiar with. For my part, I see it valuable because, unfortunately, the vast majority of readers just don't have a clue.


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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Comments

Nancy Willard said…
Thanks Miguel. However I would like to respond to your one point of criticism - and I will take responsibility for the lack of clarity.

Throughout this book I provide recommendations for the critically important steps that I think Visionaries must provide the leadership on that will enable us to engage the teachers and administrators who are less comfortable with taking risks. A critically important step, I believe, is setting up a professional development network for staff using the interactive technologies that can also be used with students. This is a strategy to engage the staff in a way that effectively manages the risk. Thus all of the guidance in part 2 of the book is specifically directed at bringing in those educators who are not yet fully engaged in the effective use of instructional technologies.

All best. Nancy

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