These 27 Educators Went Above and Way Beyond Writing a 5 Book Series
27 Chicagoland educators are changing the world of educational technology with their bold publication of five books focused on creating technology-rich experiences for students k-12. The series contains a Leadership Guide, and four-grade band books starting with grades k-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Leading the 26 co-authors is Meg Ormiston, an expert in the field of educational technology. Exceptional classroom teachers, instructional coaches, librarians, and administrators from the Chicagoland area make up the writing teams. Published by Solution Tree Press all five books will be available during the fall/winter 2017.
Creating the NOW Classroom Project
Mission of the Project
The NOW Classrooms Team mission is to create extraordinary passion filled classrooms where people can visit and see pedagogy, technology, and change in action. These classrooms are magical places buzzing with activity with everyone laser-focused on student data, growth, and change.
Meg Ormiston is the Lead Activator
An expert in educational technology, Meg founded this group because she wants to change the world of education bringing research on best practice to the classroom. Specifically, Meg wants to support and grow high capacity educators who collectively are creating transparent future-ready classrooms, we call NOW Classrooms and schools that are fundamentally different and innovative. Meg has been deep in research while writing her latest book Create Future-Ready Classrooms, NOW! Also published at the same time was her seventh book Designing Teacher-Student Partnership Classrooms.
Meg Ormiston has created this professional learning network for teachers, instructional coaches, librarians, and administrators focused on transforming teaching and learning today with technology. Starting in the Chicagoland area Meg has hand selected a team to collaborate on best practices for teaching and learning today to create future-ready classrooms, NOW! This dynamic group represents kindergarten through high school educators across all subject areas.
Uniting this team is very important to Meg because in her work as a change agent in districts she finds great teachers isolated from other like-minded educators ready to create these future ready classroom experiences. This group will collaborate and support each other through the change process.
Through Meg’s work she finds small pockets of great teachers that are ready to transform education and by creating the NOW Classrooms Team Meg has worked to bring these amazing educators together. Meg started small to get the hard work of writing books started, but the goal is to expand the group and blow the lid off public education. This group will be one to watch as they share their successes, challenges, and failures with other people ready to create NOW Classrooms.
The First NOW Classrooms Team
The first NOW Classrooms Team of risk-takers are currently collaborating to define what future-ready classrooms really look like within public schools. This group will tell their transformation stories through books, social media, presentations, classroom visits, camps, and online.
We have selected the initial classrooms in the Chicagoland area making it possible for face to face collaboration. The team members represent a variety of schools with different demographics, communities, and programs.
The 27 NOWClassroom teachers, instructional coaches, librarians, and administrators are from the following eight school districts:
- Community High School #99
- Berwyn South School District #100
- Downers Grove #58
- Hinsdale Township High School #86
- Maercker School District #60
- Gower School District #62 (retired)
- Lemont/Bromberek #113a
- Skokie #73.5
- Leyden High School District #212
From Kindergarten to the Superintendent’s Office the Missing Technology Curriculum is Here
NOW Classroom Project Team members have become the co-authors, contributors, or collaborators of a series of books that capture the pedagogy, technology, and change happening in these classrooms. The five books include a leadership book and four additional books targeting k-2 classrooms, 3-5 classrooms, 6-8 classrooms, and 9-12 classrooms. Solution Tree Press, in Bloomington, Indiana, is publishing this book series available fall/winter 2017.
The books will be very practical and filled with images of student work and lessons in all subject areas. Each of the five books will build on technology skills and curriculum connections with an emphasis on student voice and choice. The leadership book plots the journey through the change process starting with teacher-centered classrooms and transitioning to learner-centered classrooms.
Early Reviews for the NOW Classroom Books
“I found this book incredibly timely and practical to help schools and districts move from deploying technology to developing a plan to transform student learning. The Why, What, How, and Then What are critically important to creating a growth mindset for educators as well as students.” –Eric Ferguson, Director of Instructional Technology, Bellevue School District, Bellevue, WA
Now Classrooms 3-5 Book
“The text sets a standard of student empowerment with a positive urgency to create a more authentic learning environment for students today.”
Brady Venables, Technology Integration Specialist, Columbia, South Carolina
Expert Spotlight Q & A
What Inspired You to Write the NOW Classrooms Books?
I was inspired to write the NOW Classrooms books after a site visit to Berwyn South School District 100 in Illinois, where visitors from across the country are invited to see technology in the hands of students. After the visit, I created a team of teachers, instructional coaches, and school leaders to write the NOW Classroom series.
Our team agreed that other educators needed classrooms to visit to see good teaching and learning with technology. We want to make the Chicagoland area the destination field trip for districts to bring teams to see the best in teaching and learning in classrooms with technology. We realize, however, that a physical visit is not always possible; therefore, our books will help transport educators through detailed lessons. Through our series and collaborative professional development, we plan to create a movement around teaching and learning with technology. We also have created a blog and interactive website found at http://nowclassrooms.com/
What Challenges Will These Books Help Educators Solve?
The series offers solutions for the major challenge all school systems face when adopting technology for the classroom: the much-needed missing curriculum in grades k-12. Devices are now in the hands of many students, but teachers need the NOW Classrooms series to connect curriculum with the technology. The lesson sequence in each book is aligned to the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) student standards and multiple curriculum connections are part of every lesson.
What Makes NOW Classrooms Unique?
From kindergarten through high school, the lessons spiral and align to make a comprehensive curriculum that districts adopting technology desperately need. Each of the grade band books is structured with a series of classroom-tested lessons written by practicing educators for educators. Each lesson has multiple curriculum connections, teaching tips, and technology options. All the books connect to core curriculum as well as elective courses and in the high school book Career and Technical Education (CTE) connections are embedded into each lesson.
What professional Development Do You Offer to Support These Books?
Our team is ready to customize hands-on professional development to educators who want to improve teaching and learning with technology. From small groups to large keynote sessions, our team creates professional development experiences that are engaging and practical. Participants will leave each session with instructional strategies they can implement in the classroom immediately.