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Cultivating Communication in the Classroom

Cultivating Communication in the Classroom
Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students

Foreword by Guy Kawasaki

Additional resources:

April 2017 | 224 pages | Corwin

Building 21st Century communication skills 

Students are expected to be innovators, creative thinkers, and problem solvers. But what if they can't communicate their ideas persuasively? Just because many students are raised communicating through technology doesn’t mean they know how to use it effectively. Knowing how to share ideas is as crucial as the ideas themselves. Unfortunately, many students don’t get explicit opportunities to hone this skill. 

Cultivating Communication in the Classroom will help educators design authentic learning experiences that allow students to practice their skills. Readers will find:

  • Real world insights into how students will be expected to communicate in their future careers and education 
  • Strategies for teaching communication skills throughout the curriculum
  • Communication Catchers for igniting ideas
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Tools for building 21st Century skills

Written by Tech Chef Lisa Johnson, this book demonstrates how communication can be taught through the lens of college and career readiness. 

"This book is the most practical guide I have seen to truly help secondary students be 'future ready.' The advice and tips that Lisa shares should become a standard digital literacy read for all middle school and high school students."
Kyle Pace, Instructional Technology Coach
Grain Valley School District, Kansas City, Missouri

"This book has an unbelievable amount of tips, ideas and great advice for communicating in the 21st century. It's not only helpful for teaching students to be better communicators but adults as well!"
Jennie Magiera, Chief Technology Officer
Des Plaines School District 62, IL

Foreword by Guy Kawasaki
Chapter 1: Email Etiquette
Chapter 2: Collaboration and Positive Interdependence
Chapter 3: Visual Literacy and Presentation Skills
Chapter 4: Student Publishing and Projects
Chapter 5: Portfolios and Resumes
Chapter 6: Social Media
Chapter 7: Curation
Appendix A: Book Study and Communication Cohort Challenges
Appendix B: Communication Catchers
Appendix C: SEL Index
Appendix D: Industry Insights


"Often times communication is something we take for granted, or only address in terms of appropriate or not. This text helps delve into meaningful skill building to help our students survive and thrive in their post-secondary efforts as well career paths."

Leah Pagano, Social Studies Teacher
Westlake High School, Austin TX

"With levity, humor, and plenty of personal anecdotes, Lisa Johnson explains in the most captivating and encouraging way not only why educators can better foster their students’ communication skills with digital means but also how to do so incrementally. The book is packed with inspiring and useful tools, examples, and activities. This is the most accessible guide to incorporating technology into instruction that I have ever encountered. I would recommend it to teachers, administrators, and students, too."

Melinda Darrow, Advanced Placement Teacher, English and Art History
Westlake High School, Austin TX

"This book is an excellent, quick read that is immediately useful and applicable for both educators and students alike. The ideas are creative, cross-curricular, and also face-palm worthy in the sense of, ‘Yes! Why didn’t I think of that before?'"

Natalie Cannon, Latin, Mythology, & Credit Recovery Teacher
Westlake High School, Austin TX

"The digital world is growing, our students live in it, and teaching them to navigate this world in a meaningful way is vital to their success. This book offers a toolkit for teachers to guide their students in the digital world."

Mandy White, 8th Grade Science Teacher
Fort Riley Middle School, Kansas

"These days, young people seamlessly shift between modes of communication and sharing with emerging technologies, applying a deftness that those who remember a time before ubiquitous computing and networking will never fully comprehend. However, this does not necessarily mean that these students natively know how to apply their embedded habits in meaningful, context-driven, and generative ways. In this book, Lisa Johnson provides memorable anecdotes mixed with actionable steps. It is full of engaging imagery, clever templates, and thoughtful quotations which are sure to leave a lasting impression on today's teachers who are meeting students where they are and leading them where they want to be."

Reshan Richards, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Teachers College, Columbia University, NY

"In my opinion, Lisa Johnson’s book is a must-have publication for both learning about the skills needed by students, as well as utilizing all the great examples and ideas in each chapter in the classroom. A combination of a practical guide and a research review, I can see the content and activities in Johnson’s book being used with students as early as middle school, as the basis for a study group or PLC by educators at all levels, and as a grad school textbook at the university level. The set-up of each chapter— including research and resources, planning and preparation, challenges for educators, and a student self-assessment checklist— makes it easy to digest all the new skills both our students and we need to acquire. I learned so many new things while reading this book that will make my practice of training teachers better!"

Kathy Shrock, Educational Technologist, Adjunct Instructor
Wilkes University, PA

"Lisa truly recognizes the need for communication and authentic learning in education. Through reading this book, I discovered practical lesson ideas, my interest was peaked, and a call to action ignited by Lisa’s observations and suggestions. I highly recommend this book for any educator."

Don Goble, Multimedia Instructor
Ladue School District, St. Louis, MO

"We communicate 24/7 these days. But do we really use the right tools for communicating our message? Clear communication is a key skill. This book asks the right questions and helps students to really use technology to enhance their learning. Teachers from all over the world get practical examples on how to work on core skills. After reading this you will be able to give your students a voice to clearly communicate their stories."

Kurt Klynen, Content Coach
ICT Atelier, Belgium

"This book has an unbelievable amount of tips, ideas and great advice for communicating in the 21st century. It's not only helpful for teaching students to be better communicators but adults as well! Some of these tips are so exciting and thoughtful, I want a tip-a-day calendar version of this book!"

Jennie Magiera, Chief Technology Officer
Des Plaines School District 62, IL

"All teachers will find insight, ideas, and inspiration in this book. Lisa provides an enthusiastic, thoughtful approach to needed skills in the digital age. She highlights the value of different approaches and tools and shows us how to best use them. The provided Communication Catchers are a real bonus!"

Julie Willcott, Educator
Kennebec Valley Community College, Fairfield, Maine

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506356372

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