I’d been thinking about trying to put together a basic reading list for people interested in getting their brains around the Read/Write Web and the changes it’s bringing about specifically related to education. So when I saw that Chris Lehmann was putting together a reading list for his future faculty… So here’s a start, and I’m definitely looking for suggestions:
1. Small Pieces Loosely Joined—David Weinberger
Just from a Web philosophy standpoint, this is a great place to start. It really provides a great deal of context in terms of how the Web is evolving and what that means for us humans. Not education specific, but all sorts of connections.
2. Free Culture—Lawrence Lessig
Lessig is my hero at the moment. I’ve seen him speak three times and I just find his ideas and vision to be amazing. He’s the person behind Creative Commons which is as good an idea as I’ve seen in a long time. This book made me see many things in a totally different way. Best part is it’s free online.
3. Connectivism—George Siemens
This essay describes a new theory of learning for a digital age. Personally, the idea that learning is “a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources” makes a lot of sense since it parallels my own experience in this space over the last four years.
4. We the Media—Dan Gillmor
I have a journalism background, so maybe this book appeals to me more than to others. But these changes are already being felt in journalism, politics and business (we’ll get there eventually) and this book does such a great job of describing the effects in media. And guess what? It’s free too.
5. The World is Flat–Thomas Friedman
I actually like this book less and less as time passes because I think Friedman is capitalizing (and overusing) an easily accessible metaphor, and in doing so, I think he makes his argument a bit too lopsided. I’ve read much since that tempers the picture he paints. Nonetheless, the general idea that our world is changing in large part due to the technologies that connect us is an important one. And he does make that idea very accessible in this book.
6. bgblogging–Barbara Ganley
There are many really good ed bloggers out there that I love to read, but if you really want to cut to the chase, Barbara’s blog is the place to start, I think. No one that I have found writes more eloquently and with more synthesis than she, and I really love it when my Bloglines account shows a new post on her site. She’s one of the few bloggers whose content I don’t read in Bloglines because I just find it more engaging to do it at her blog.
7. Educational Blogging–Stephen Downes
8. OL Daily–Stephen Downes
Stephen is a pretty amazing thinker about these technologies, and this article in Educause and his daily wrapup of interesting links should both be required reading by anyone seriously trying to understand the Read/Write Web.
That’s just kind of a brain dump beginning. Now remember, this is a read/write list because you have to write about your reactions after you’ve done some reading. That’s the whole point.
Please feel free to add whatever you think might benefit educators who are thinking about drinking the Kool-Aid.