Need Help on a Big Project

This morning, I started thinking of possibly writing a book. I’ve started novels in the past, but they always withered around the 100 page mark. I’ve realized that my skill with writing does not primarily lie with fiction; while this is initially disappointing as a librarian, I feel that I am really beginning to find my niche as an educational writer. This blog and Twitter are good preparation for writing something on a bigger scale. I’m considering writing a book on how to effectively integrate technology across content areas and grade levels. It will be directed towards those that are not yet completely comfortable with using technology in the classroom. I will provide fully developed lesson plans for several different grade levels and content areas to show how tools presented can be utilized. I will also post each chapter as it is written with supplementary content here, for free. Let me repeat, while I will try to get the book published, anything I write to help teachers will always be posted online for free. As an open-source advocate, I know no other way.

Here is my preliminary list of chapter ideas.

How to Use Technology to Become a Better Teacher
1 ) Build a Personal Learning Network (Google Reader, Twitter, Social Bookmarking)
2 ) Using Technology to Help Accomplish Educational Objectives
3 ) Using Web 2.0 to increase interactivity and engagement
4 ) Use a CMS (Moodle) to extend the classroom
5 ) Harness the power of social networking (Twitter, Edmodo, Facebook, etc…)
6 ) Tools to increase collaboration (Etherpad, Google Docs,
7 ) Tools to increase communication (Google Calendar, Google Forms, Poll Everywhere, etc…)
8 ) Digital Storytelling (Voicethread, Animoto, Kerpoof, etc…)
9 ) Blogs and Wikis
10 ) Podcasting
11 ) iPods (and pads) in Education

What would you add or take away? How would you approach writing to those who are not comfortable with technology? I would really appreciate it if you could leave a comment and/or fill out the Google Form below. I always depend on my PLN for help. I hope to give back in any way that I can, but if the PLN does not find this to be a worthy project, then I may wait for more inspiration.

  • http://whatsnewintheworld.net Olaf

    Two thinks occur to me (sadly neither of them very positive).

    The first is the advice of an author who is a good friend of mine. He described writing a book as a chronic sickness that only retreats when the book is finished.

    The second thought comes from me. The pace of change in technology is so fast that you need to be something of a soothsayer when it comes to writing books on this subject. The time to market for a book means that there is a great danger that the book will be out of date on its publication day. Therefore you need to have very good contacts with the producers of these tool to know what is going to be around in 12 to 18 months time.

    I for one would be far more likely to pay money to learn about this on a Moodle course than I would to buy a book. I do buy books on new technology, but they tend to be very specific in focus. The wider the focus of the book, the less likely I am to buy it (in this subject area).

    Nonetheless, self-belief sells far better than any amount of consensus, so I wish you all the best. Keep us informed via Twitter.

    Olaf

  • http://jasontbedell.com Jason Bedell

    Olaf,

    I always appreciate your help. I am worried about the pace of technology. Books on technology rarely keep up well. While I would keep updated copies posted here, I have few to no contacts in the publishing arena. Hopefully, the general ideas on integration and the techniques used in the lesson plans would transcend the pace of technology some. The basic message would stay consistent over time: use whatever tool best helps the students to master a skill or meet an objective.

  • http://www.marycooch.com Mary

    I like your book idea -have you approached Packt Publishing with the idea? They are quite receptive to this sort of book. Personally (as a female!) I found the book writing process not so much a (quote – chronic sickness tha only retreats when the book is finished – unquote) but like having a child. Such hard work and effort in the process -then once it is “out” great joy but the determination afterwards never to go through all that pain of childbirth again! And then – a few months later, you forget the pain and think -well – maybe just once more… and bookwise, plan to write another. It does involve an awful lot of self discipline and I would reiterate the points made about a book of this type being quickly out of date – even as it gets published at times.

  • http://jasontbedell.com Jason Bedell

    I just started considering it this morning. Thanks for the tip on Packt. I think I’ll write the first 1-2 chapters and then see if they’re interested.

  • robyn

    I would recomend starting out with more of an introduction chapter, a “starter” chapter if you may. basically outlining different lessons in the book and how they can help teachers who aren’t tech savvy. I know for a fact that teachers wont read something they do not understand or have to read.

  • http://jasontbedell.com Jason Bedell

    Robyn,

    Thanks for the help. I’m working on trying to write an intro that explains the purpose of the book and sets it up as a helpful resource, not something that is overly techie. I’m hoping to focus more on techniques than technology. Are you on Twitter?

  • robyn

    Jason,
    Your very welcome! I beleve starting out with techniques is a great way to work on it. It will ease many people in, and help them understand the basics of what is in the following chapters. You seem very people-savvy as well as tech-savvy, which is unusual. That will also help your book be a success! I have 2 twitter acoounts actually, one for my personal use and one for my more educational ventures. If you would like to follow, let me know soon, and I will send you my screenname. Good luck on your book!

  • http://jasontbedell.com Jason Bedell

    Robyn,
    Thank you. You seem very insightful so i would be interested in following you. My username is @jasontbedell. Thanks for the help.

  • Robyn

    Jason,
    You are welcome yet again. I started following you last ngiht, I hope you dont mind I took the liberty to find you. You seem quite insightful yourself. @robynjackson92 is my username. Thanks for listening