Back in January, I announced on this blog that I was in charge of a new book about SLA.
I’m happy to say that the project is in its final rounds of editing, and will be published in November. The title is Authentic Learning in the Digital Age: Engaging Students Through Inquiry.
I say that I’m “in charge of” the book because yes, technically I wrote it, but the project really belongs to all of the members of the SLA community, who work every day to build and maintain our learning environment. My job was just to share their stories and methods. We already encourage collaboration and cross-visiting of classrooms, but I’m happy to say that this project took that to a whole new level for me. Studying the work of my colleagues and our students was a real pleasure.
Another pleasure was sharing my writing process with my students. Like many of us English teachers, I resolve each year to do more writing alongside my students, and then an avalanche of grading comes along and sweeps away that plan. Sharing the project with them — especially the editor comments in the margins, that looked not-too-different from the feedback I give them — put us all in the same boat. Good stuff.
I am especially excited to share the book in Philadelphia, where there appears to be a rare opportunity for teachers to take the lead in redesigning their own school environments. The book is very much a framework that can be adopted and adapted by teachers themselves, instead of a rigid set of directives or scripts handed down from above. I look forward to working with anyone who’s interested in using the book at their school!