Edpuzzle Blog

Illustration by Edpuzzle Staff

This month for our Edpuzzle Book Club, we’re diving into Illuminate: Technology Enhanced Learning by high school social studies teacher and edtech advocate, Bethany Petty.

We know how hard it can be to find the time to read as a teacher, so all of the books we choose to recommend are full of practical tips that will make a big impact on your classroom (and they’re also fun to read!).

In our review, we’ll tell you about what to expect in Illuminate and why it’s worth your hard-earned time.

Who Should Read Illuminate

One of the reasons we love Bethany’s book is because of its broad appeal both to teachers who are well-versed in technology as well as to teachers who have never used anything other than a textbook.

You’ll enjoy reading Illuminate if:

  • You’re getting your degree in education (it might even be on your syllabus already!)
  • You’re a teacher who loves technology and are looking to compare tips and tricks
  • You’re terrified of technology in the classroom and are looking for a friendly beginner’s guide
  • You’re an admin who wants to up your school’s stake in technology
  • You’re stuck in a rut and are looking for creative ways to spice up your teaching

If any of those descriptions sound like you, definitely give this book a try!

Who is author Bethany Petty?

In addition to teaching high school social studies, Bethany is also an adjunct educational technology instructor and a keynote speaker.

If you like her writing (and we think you will – it’s super friendly and accessible), you can also check out her popular edtech blog which made Edtech Magazine’s list of 50 K-12 Blogs to Read.

She’s a pro on every edtech tool under the sun, so if you’ve got a question about how to use one, chances are, she’ll have the answers!

What is Illuminate about?

Broken down into easily digestible chapters, you’ll find information on how to incorporate technology into every aspect of your teaching from designing lessons to motivating your students, communicating, creating and using edtech for assessment.

At the end of every chapter, you’ll find a “Try This Tomorrow” tip, with an actionable piece of advice you can literally try tomorrow to start putting some of Bethany’s expert strategies into practice. It’s perfect for beginners!

At the end of the book, there’s also a super useful tech tool index, which is a fabulous reference with 35 of Bethany’s tried and true edtech platforms and a brief definition of each one.

If you’re like us, you might be tempted to gobble up Bethany’s book in one sitting!

Top Takeaways from Illuminate

So what can you expect to gain from Illuminate? To give you a sneak peek at what to look forward to, these were our top takeaways:

  • Learn how to harness the power of the internet to “encourage students to emphasize the importance of collaboration and critical thinking” (pg. 56).
  • Find inspiring anecdotes on how edtech can make big ideas possible (like video conferences with a school across the globe and a U.S congressman).
  • Stay current and meet students where they are using social media and memes.
  • Instill the idea in your students “that they should create projects and other work in class as if they were going to present their work to a future employer as an example of their skills” (pg. 25).
  • Use edtech to empower student choice.

… and of course, discover where Edpuzzle fits in!

If you’re looking for a useful book to read on educational technology and creativity in the classroom, we definitely encourage you to check out Illuminate and let us know your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag #EdpuzzleBookClub!