What's on my Bookshelf? (Part 1)

All readers are not leaders, but all effective leaders are readers.

If you are in a position of leadership, you should have a bookshelf.  It shows you are open to new ideas, to learning, and to input from others.

Your bookshelf says a lot about who you are... and want to be.

So... I thought I'd take you on a tour of my bookshelf... one snapshot at a time.

Once I'm done with the physical books (which I am still a rabid consumer of), I'll post a screen shot of my eBook libraries.

Here goes with picture #1...


Don't Confuse BYOT and iTextbooks with Student Engagement

Some days I get up, look in the mirror and say "You sir, are a closet Luddite!"

Image: Frame Breaking 1812 Wikimedia Commons
It's not that I don't like progress, (as some mistakenly think Luddites do... for the actual explanation of Luddite, go to my previous post - Beware! Lest you turn into a new Luddite!".)

What I'm having issues with is the propensity of press that describe BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) as THE solution to technology assisted education.  What better way to offer choice? Get technology in the classroom? (And if we are honest) Offload the technology costs to the parents of our students?

Schools without technology see this as a way to get technology into the classroom, and we all  (I'm doing air quotes) "know" that technology in the hands of the student means an engaged student. Right?

On a related note, Apple Computer just made a "breakthrough" announcement for the education sector.  They are getting textbooks out of the 16th Century metaphor (Bound Books) and making them more interactive, more "engaging" and more affordable... (as long as you have an iPad to read them on).

Now both of these concepts delight me... I'm the world's biggest proponent of how technology can be leveraged to do things never dreamed possible... that with educational technology properly implemented, teachers can squeeze more into a 45 minute class than they ever could before, or what student or school board hasn't winced at the price we pay currently for textbooks... but at the same time I can't help but feel we are sending the wrong message when we promote BYOT,  or now... iTextbooks.


How to avoid becoming IT road kill.

I had the delightful experience today of being interviewed for an upcoming article in CIO Canada magazine.  The topic of the interview was about hiring and recruiting for IT, including the skills I was looking for, the expectations of today's hires vs. 5 years ago, and most interestingly what a new employee could do in their first year that would make me excited.

I can't give away my full response here, but there is one area in my response that has been rolling around in my ponderbox since getting off the phone.  (You DO have a ponderbox, don't you?  It's the place in your mind where things roll around until you come up with an answer, or are distracted by something more perplexing.)

The question dealt with the changing career path of IT employees.

I'm not sure the interviewer expected the answer I gave him.


I fell off the planet... and survived.

The holidays have come and gone.

While I had a thoroughly enjoyable time eating, visiting family, eating, skiing, hosting family, eating, playing games, finally fixing all the little things around the house that have been loose, burnt out, broken or just plain annoying, eating, hiking, visiting friends... and did I mention food (there were 2 turkey dinners)?

Image: MS Office Imagebank
The one thing that didn't happen, despite all my best intentions, is to get the time to add much to this blog.

It's like I fell off the blogosphere, and was banished from the Twitterverse.

Did anything interesting happen while I was gone?

I'm back in the office now, and the frenetic pace we all love has started up again, and surprisingly, so is the flow of ideas that gave muse to all my other postings.

For me, the writing is an instrument that allows me to organize my world.  I'm really beginning to see that now.

Blogging is part of my survival in the fast pace of "getting much done".