Communication Skills are a Building Block
Communication is one of the most essential twenty-first-century skills, but teaching these skills is not an easy task for teachers. Communication is a building block. Cultivating a culture of communication in the classroom creates a foundation for building the other, ‘C’s:’ collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. But what does this look like in the classroom? How do we cultivate these skills in our students?
A few weeks ago, I was given an advanced copy of Lisa Johnson’s new book, Cultivating Communication in the Classroom: Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students. You may know Lisa as TechChef4U, a blogger, speaker, and famously creative educational technologist. I have long admired her work, her blog, and the personal flair she brings to everything she does. First of all, if you don’t follow Lisa, you should! Second, she has been a little quiet over the last year, but only because she was cooking up something awesome–this amazing book!
I hesitate to call this post a book review because that sounds mundane and boring, which doesn’t describe this book at all! Lisa has put together a book with PRACTICAL ideas for teachers to truly help teachers cultivate communication in their classroom. This isn’t the pie in the sky book full of lofty inspirations. This a book with practical inspiration! Lisa gets down into the nitty-gritty. She doesn’t just say, “You should be teaching email communication.” She shows you HOW.
Communication is not just words. It is how we paint a picture or craft meaning with visuals, empathy, perspective, relatable and genuine stories, metaphors, and clear purpose. This book not only delineates how communication can be taught through the lens of college and career readiness and put in the context of the secondary classroom but also models the art of communication through storytelling and form.
Inside the Book
This book gives thoughtful insight into not only communication styles but true forms of twenty-first-century communication and collaboration like social media and curation.
While students may feed their digital doppelganger with tweets, posts, and videos, they may not realize that immediacy of online communication and access to content can be permanent. Neither does their familiarity with mobile devices and technology preclude their knowledge of appropriate and purposeful use of these tools…Many times they also don’t realize that the tools they use to communicate informally might be the very same tools that they will use to communicate formally.
To get a better idea of what is inside this book, I have given you the chapter titles below:
Chapter 1: Email Etiquette
Chapter 2: Collaboration and Positive Interdependence
Chapter 3: Visual Literacy and Presentation Skills
Chapter 4: Student Publishing and Projects
Chapter 5: Portfolios and Resumes
Chapter 6: Social Media
Chapter 7: Curation
Doesn’t this sound like the perfect book for your next book study?
Let me tell you, it is! Lisa has created a book loaded with resources, classroom activities, printables, infographics, graphic organizers, and insights from the business world–all to help YOU give your students future-ready skills. Lisa also works in a district with a large iPad initiative, so she has included lots of tips and workflows for the iPads in her book.
But Wait…There’s More!
I think my favorite part of the book is something very ingenious, and very TechChef. Each chapter also comes with what Lisa calls a Communication Catcher. You may recognize these better from your childhood, but Lisa has found an innovative way to bring these to the classroom.
Pinterest Boards for Each Chapter
Oh! Lisa has also curated resources for each chapter onto special Pinterest boards. (Of course, she did!) Lisa is a wonderful curator on Pinterest and one you should follow. CLICK HERE to see Lisa’s Pinterest boards. (She even made my list of 50 Educators to Follow on Pinterest.)
Get the Book
Connect with Lisa Johnson
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