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Who Owns the Learning?: Preparing Students for Success in the Digital Age

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  214 ratings  ·  39 reviews
While the world outside the classroom has developed, classroom instruction has remained stagnant. Students are encouraged to just cover the curriculum and the power of purpose and meaningful contribution are absent. Furthermore this old way of doing things doesn't credit students' natural curiosity to direct their own learning. In Who Owns the Learning?, author Alan Novemb ...more
Perfect Paperback, 95 pages
Published May 21st 2012 by Solution Tree
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Average rating 4.05  · 
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Angie Hull
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Who Owns the Learning?" brings ideas of integration of technology into the classroom in a mindful way. The short text shares a number of ideas on how to create global awareness and perspective, creating students to complete their own work and learning, and building a collaborative classroom in a digital world. It shifts the idea of having the "computer be a $1000 pencil" into the power of technology to enhance learning and critical thinking. The ideas are easily applicable and there are models ...more
Margaret Towery
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
This books lays out the ways that technology can help students take charge of their learning. What I liked about this book is that is gave several specific paths to student ownership of their learning. What I fear is that the specific tools and methods outlined may be out of date by the time many teachers get their hands on this book. Less than a year after publication, it seems like one or two major tools are now on the scene that are not mentioned in the book.

November compares today's classroo
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully informative as to what can 'be' in the classroom to motivate students by allowing more freedom in their research, but first teaching the importance of effective research. Alan November calls for increasing empowerment of the students in co-creating curriculum, owning their own learning, and making contributions to online-created sites like class wikis. It's an exciting and inspirational book to help teachers re-look at their teaching, here in the 21st century! A favorite quote: "As l ...more
Kris Patrick
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
“Too many of our elementary students are still memorizing the fifty state capitals when they could be building interactive digital maps of the history of state capitals.”

Big props for November’s enthusiastic support of school libraries AND school librarians. Loved to that he consulted Joyce Valenza for Chapter 4, The Student as Researcher. He shares specific ideas for teaching research strategies with students - not a plea to just do it. Who Owns the Learning doesn’t, however, address K-2 or AP
Marybet Hudson
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book has lots of ways to empower students to take more responsibility for their own learning, as well as the learning of those around them. I have found some ideas very easy to implement in my own classroom very quickly. For example, I now have a class scribe every day who is responsible for updating the Google doc about our current read-aloud.

I also learned a lot about what I don't know as far as internet research. I had no idea you could type in a country code to get information just fro
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book offers up suggestions for integrating technology into classroom learning...using technology in ways to open the world up to students NOT using technology to replace pen and paper.
Some suggestions are a little dated in that technology has advanced. However, the book still provides inspiration for rethinking how we teach.
Tam Newell
Jan 06, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick read about an easy way to integrate technology into classrooms better. The author suggests four roles in the classroom that start to turn the Learning over to the students. This one I will definitely be putting into practice.
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: professional
It seems so specific, not as many options or voice and choice as we have been learning about through personalized learning.
Sara-elizabeth Cottrell
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
An easy must-read for every educator! Only issue: as is inevitable with technology books, some of the information is out of date or there are better options now, but that's not November's fault.
Aug 13, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school, nonfiction
I was required to read this book as part of my summer homework by my school. I am inherently biased against it.

In addition, I don't think I'm the target audience. I think this book seeks to persuade non-tech-using teachers to begin using tech. I'm usually a tech leader in my department so I didn't find a lot in the book to inspire me.

It did, however, remind me of a survey I read about in June from A.C.T. That survey showed that only 18% of college professors believed the freshman class could dis
Shannon Clark
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: not-reviewed-yet
This book just confirmed what I had already been contemplating having my students do in science this year. I had wanted to divide them up into research teams to construct their own learning of the standards so I'll definitely be doing that.

Having them create math tutorials is a great idea, even if they only do it in a note form instead of video.

A daily scribe would be great as part of our blogging experience, but not sure if they would need to write about our entire day or limit it to a subject.
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I have not been so geeked up after reading an educator book in quite a while. I've been a longtime fan of "learning to learn" over "teaching to the test", and this missive is all about student engagement, effective research skills in the digital age, and other issues that resonate with me. Alan November (fab name for a teacher) articulates why it's the way to go for 21st century schools, and has great concrete examples of how to involve students in creating content and becoming responsible for t ...more
Joy Kirr
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
I was thinking this was going to be about how to let students choose what or how they learn. I've heard Alan November in my district, and also in Boston at the BLC conference in 2012, and this book was full of stories that I've already heard.

What this book does have... four key jobs, that if you can implement in your classroom, you'll have a totally global classroom that collaborates together. I see two jobs that I could implement with some ease - scribe and researcher. I could then use the coll
Barb Keister
Jul 06, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book as a participant in the 2013 #cyberPD book club on Twitter. It wasn't in my pile of books to read over the summer, but I'm glad I did. While this book is full of middle school and high school scenarios, I found many elementary applications. Most importantly, I learned how to use the Internet more effectively. This book is all about developing a global classroom - helping kids to use and analyze on-line resources, connect with learners across space and time, and creating an atmos ...more
Matt Lehotzky
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read thisfor schooland it was an interesting read. As an educator for 12 years I have always been the leader in the classroom. It looks the the tides are changing and the teachers role is to step back and let the students take charge of the classroom. The digital age is also very big and dominating how learning is being taught in the classroom. After reading this book and self reflecting, I realized I could have done thngs a little differently. I am looking forward to be challenged and ...more
Jennifer Brinkmeyer
In a nutshell, kids will own the classroom and the learning if it's authentic. He outlines 4 student jobs:
1. Tutorial Designer (great for reteaching)
2. Scribe (would get more students checking the blog and the notes would be more thorough than mine. Also builds in note-taking instruction).
3. Researcher. I do this quite a bit, but I could encourage it more.
4. Global communicator and collaborator. This is about bringing in an international perspective through Skype and pen pals mostly. I haven't d
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a great read about how to get students engaged and the pedagogical shift in education. Some very practical and realistic ways to implement various roles for students to let them be in charge of their learning. This is a book that would be useful for educators, administrators, educational researchers and Teacher Librarians. To try to implement all of the ideas at one time would be a bit much but adding one role for students and moving on would be great. I'm ready to jump in and try some o ...more
John F Garrett
Jun 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you are a teacher, admin, or parent of a student going into or starting a one to one program I recommend this book. I highly recommend this book for educators even if you are not in a one to one program. It helps you see how you can incorporate 21st century skills in your classroom without a lot of technology. What I enjoyed was that it reaffirms the notion that the teacher doesn't need to be a tech expert to help kids learn to use the technology they simply need to be a content expert and a ...more
Michelle Nero
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
A book that opened my eyes to the importance of global learning to help our students learn to collaborate, communicate, and creatve for a purpose and with a larger audience.

Reading this book and sharing my thoughts online (via my blog and #cyberPD), I practiced exactly what November is encouraging of forward-thinking teachers. Now, it's about small steps and incorporating what I can in my resource classroom and sharing my learning with colleagues.
Feb 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
This books requires a major shift in the culture of education, and calls on principals and superintendents to switch to "The Digital Farm," a school culture where students create, collaborate and connect globally to solve real world community problems or take their own notes and post on the classroom blog. Librarians are more important than ever to teach critical web literacy skills.
Apr 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A short text filled with a lot of ideas on how to balance accountability with responsibility in 21st century classrooms. The metaphor of learning space as a "farm" makes a lot of sense in designating students for important work in the classrooms. This is a text in which I bought several copies of for my staff to have, read, and ponder.
Mary Kay
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Love the ideas presented here-- but a little dry to read. Everything this man says makes sense, and I absolutely ADORE listening to him in public... yet I still struggled to get through this relatively short, important book.
Ted Graham
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
A quick straight-forward look at way to transform learning in the classroom to meet the realities of our society. My favorite is that it focuses on skills and instruction and not the tools of technology. Technology will always change but the need for critical thinking will not.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This reminds me of most of the books I read in grad school about teaching-it has some good ideas but is also impractical. I do like the idea of having students create an online textbook for your class (discussed in the last chapter).
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book. I wish it would have given more suggestions for lower grades. Most of the examples were middle and high school.
Jul 10, 2012 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Looking forward to reading this... #techitu
Very similar to other Alan November books. Not really any new insights.
Mar 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Liked, in particular, the practical examples and links he provided.
Navasota ISD
Available for checkout at NELC.
Debbie Shoulders
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A must read for anyone working with 21st century students!
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