Book Review: Learning in the 21st Century: How to Connect, Collaborate, and Create By Ben Curran and Neil Wetherbee

This book, the latest in the Perspectives In Gifted Homeschooling Series from GHF Press, may be intended for homeschoolers … but don’t let that stop you from buying it if you’re not a homeschooler! All the books in this series are excellent resources for parents of gifted children, and this latest one is no exception. It is easy to read, easy to understand and a book that will have tattered edges before long … unless you buy the ebook version. Then, you’ll just have a low-battery issue facing you.

As the title indicates, the book is divided into three sections: Connect, Collaborate and Create with the latter divided into Creation Tools and Ready-Made Projects. All are superb intros into the world of using technology in education.

Had I written this review a few weeks earlier, I would not have to take a short intermission to inform you that Google announced a few days ago that it was pulling the plug on Google Reader … one of the first tools reviewed in the book. It is no reflection on the authors … many in the online technology community are in a tizzy over this development as there are no viable alternatives available to aggregate news sites and blogs. An editorial in the New York times found here places blame squarely on the shoulders of Google itself.

That’s okay though; the other tools ~ Google Drive, Blogger, Twitter, Diigo, Edmodo … to name a few ~ are all still intact. It’s like a one-stop shop for ‘how-to’ lessons on all things tech. Even after many years of utilizing tech tools, I found myself pouring over the instructions in this book and learning something new in every section. I really, really like this book. Ben and Neil know what they are talking about and have a way of explaining it all in layman’s terms.

When parents think about education, it seems only natural that we tend to think back to our own days in school. Big, big, big mistake. School isn't what it used to be. If you want your gifted kids to soar, you need to be prepared to assist in lift-off! Learning in the 21st Century helps you to find and use the tools you need to help guide your children to new heights. It may just earn you a little respect as well in their eyes! Too many parents shrug off their responsibility when it comes to educating their children. It takes a village to raise a child, and in the case of gifted children; it takes a metropolis!

One of my most favorite parts of the book is the Ready-Made Projects section. You can read all the ‘how to’ books you like, but the authors make it easy by giving you several projects to get you started. Once you try out a few of these and tweak them for your own use … you’ll be hooked!

Here’s an added bonus … this book will help you out personally as you begin your foray into the world of online technology and social media. Along with guiding your child, you’ll pick up some great tips as well. You’ll learn how to connect and collaborate with other parents of gifted children in ways you never dreamed of. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a great community of folks who will become your support system. Feelings of being alone will be a distant memory as you find blogs to read and Twitter accounts to follow; all while helping your child to learn about the many different types of technology available online.21st cent

From the authors ~ “…when it comes to technology and education, be the type of learner you want your children to be—a learner that is dedicated, motivated, not afraid to try new things, and one who recognizes the immense value of learning from mistakes.” I couldn't agree more. To learn more, check out the book on Amazon. You’ll be glad you did!