– by Susan White –
I thought I was going to read a book; I was wrong. What I got from Kasey Bell, was well-rounded professional development in paperback – an interactive learning experience I hadn’t expected. Bell notes, “For our purposes, we will define pedagogy as the process of bringing learning to life.” Bringing learning to life is what the best flipped learning practitioners do differently, and that is exactly what Bell does for the reader, in her new book from Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. entitled Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic (2018). She effectively conveys her message in three parts- the why, the what, and the how of dynamic learning.
Who is Kasey Bell?
Kasey Bell is a former middle school teacher turned keynote speaker. Bell, an international presenter, is a Digital Learning Consultant in Richardson, Texas, and technology integration extraordinaire. Known as a prominent thought leader and blogger, Bell co-hosts The Google Teacher Tribe podcast, with Matt Miller – author of Ditch That Textbook- and shares her expertise in educational technology through her blog ShakeUpLearning.com.
“Traditional learning with desks in rows and a teacher in the front of the room serving as the keeper of all knowledge simply doesn’t work anymore,” author Kasey Bell emphasizes. The purpose of this book is to provide the reader with insight on moving from static to dynamic learning. Although not about Flipped Learning (FL), Kasey Bell’s book embodies the very framework of Flipped Learning 3.0. The entire premise of her book is similar to the first of five points of the FL 3.0 framework; namely, that Flipped Learning is not static. Dynamic learning is not just an FL ideology, though; it is a global perspective on 21st-century education today.
This three-part book is a blueprint for transforming your classroom. Part 1 of the book provides the foundation for why it is time to make a shift and shake things up. The author begins with a historical perspective of education, noting the changes that have taken place, and asserting the need to embrace those changes. These first four chapters set the stage for what dynamic learning is all about. Part 2 of the book dives into the what of dynamic learning. The heart of the book lies within this section, with eleven chapters devoted to the components of dynamic learning. The author defines dynamic learning as more than change; dynamic learning goes beyond- beyond our four walls, due dates, and curriculum. It goes beyond the tools that we use, and grade level or subject area. Bell addresses everything from taking risks to life-long learning and the empowerment of students. In one of the chapters, she supports yet another of the FL 3.0 framework points: it is essential to break out of our silos and connect globally. Global connections are equally as meaningful to educators and students alike. Bell provides an in-depth comparison of static versus dynamic learning, painting a clear picture of the difference between the two. She not only guides the reader through the Dynamic Learning Model but the entire Dynamic Learning Framework. Bell explains that the Framework, “focuses on the Dynamic Learning Characteristics, ways to go beyond static, one-and-done activities.” If part 2 was the heart, then part 3 is the soul of dynamic learning. It is here that the author follows up with the how of dynamic learning. Bell gives the reader a comprehensive look at the planning procedure for dynamic earning, including strategies and model lessons. These lessons provide the reader with a firsthand look through the window of dynamic learning. The book comes to a close with a template to create your own Dynamic Learning Experience as well as final thoughts on implementation and lesson reflection.
Who is the target of this book? Kasey Bell wrote this book with the 21st-century educator in mind. It’s perfect for anyone who has been looking to move their classrooms from passive to active learning, and anyone who has been following the Flipped Learning 3.0 framework. The outline of the book is both easy to understand and follow. Let me provide a word of caution, though: If you are looking for a quick read and then you are done, then this book is not meant for you. Although it is an easy read, it is anything but fast, even at only 169 pages. However, if you are looking to transform learning in your classroom, then you understand the time invested in doing so. At the conclusion of each chapter; the reader will find the location of online resources, discussion questions, and action steps to move forward toward dynamic learning. Also, there is a writing space for personal reflection. These bonus features are what brings the reader beyond a book and into an interactive learning experience. I will admit that during my reading, I fell down the rabbit hole of information. The multimedia resources and Shake Up Learning community, while enriching my learning experience, were time-consuming. However, like any student, I had to figure out the balance and not get so carried away with all Bell has to offer. The formatting would make it ideal for a book study since it has the reflection and discussion questions built into it. I could even see this book used as a textbook for online education coursework through a university.
Author Kasey Bell set out to inspire change, and I believe it is mission accomplished. As I read this book, I developed a deeper appreciation of the opportunities that technology has given to education. I was inspired to reflect on my teaching practices and the 21st-century learners that come through my door. Change is inevitable, and this book is about embracing and growing with that change. I recommend this book to anyone with a growth mindset, who is ready to evolve with today’s learners. It’s also perfect for the flipped practitioner looking to transform their classroom from passive to active learning. Looking into the Shake Up Learning mirror, I see a reflection of Flipped Learning 3.0. Kasey Bell’s Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic delivers on its promises to shake things up.
Shake Up Learning: Practical Ideas to Move Learning from Static to Dynamic
by Kasey Bell
Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc, San Diego, CA,
169 pp, 2018. ISBN-13: 978-1946444691