Contributors to the February 2021 issue of TD magazine offer their book recommendations.
Why Simple Wins: Escape the Complexity Trap and Get to Work That Matters by Lisa Bodell
If your organization is drowning in too many meetings, processes that are overengineered, and policies that lock down rather than unleash productive efforts, this is the book for you. Bodell is clear-eyed about the challenges facing those who are striving to unburden from work that stifles them, and she provides a road map for getting to just the right level of simplicity.
Seeing What Others Don't: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights by Gary Klein
This book can be either a quick read or a deep dive.Using dozens of historical examples and personal anecdotes, Klein describes what it takes to be an original thinker who can solve problems and make decisions.Even better, he suggests ways to remove the obstacles keeping individuals from making creative leaps of their own.
Designing Video and Multimedia for Open and Flexible Learning by Jack Koumi
This book offers readers a systematic way to match teaching and learning goals with audiovisual tools. Media producers wanting to learn about teaching principles will gain as much as teachers and trainers considering how to use video. The section comparing various audiovisual methods is useful to both. What I like most is the summary table of how video supports learning and skills development and the affective domain.
The Multiplayer Classroom: Designing Coursework as a Game by Lee Sheldon
Even though the term gamification is not used much in this book, this is a collection of cases where teachers gamified their courses. It is a book about applying video gaming techniques, not about video game design or how to use video games in courses. The author explains and provides plenty of examples to help readers learn how to design multiplayer environments to motivate students. Those principles work in face-to-face and virtual learning spaces.
Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons From the Science of Learning by James M. Lang
In both theoretical terms and practical examples, Lang explores the five- and 10-minute moments where teachers can be most effective in helping students learn and understand content knowledge. I have tried out almost every lesson he's shared, and they work.
Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or How to Become an Expert in Just About Anything by Ulrich Boser
This book looks at recent discoveries in the neuroscience and psychology of learning or what’s termed metacognition and focuses on how we learn rather than what we learn. It’s really a learn-to-learn book.