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Innovative Education

books to inspire and explain innovative teaching practices

The world is changing at exponential rates giving educators the ultimate test of being a lifelong learner in order to stay updated and relevant.  The following books will inspire and help you implement effective teaching strategies that reach our current generation and inspire them to become lifelong learners and help change the world!  Each of these books have been read and recommended by someone on our staff.  Please feel free to email us at with any book recommendations.  Also, in an act of transparency, AssistEd Shift receives a small percentage of any sales which are accessed through the links on this site.  This money is used for the operating costs to keep improving this website and help to transform education. 

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship.

                                                                            -Louisa May Alcott


Teach Like a Pirate

Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator

By: Dave Burgess

Review by: Oliver Schinkten  |  @schink10


When I first read the subtitle of this book, I was surprised at how bold of a statement it was:  "Increase student engagement, boost your creativity, and transform your life as an educator."  After reading the book, I believe that author Dave Burgess backs up this statement, as the book has definitely transformed the lives of many educators.  Check out any one of the #tlap chats on Twitter and you will quickly realize the impact that Burgess and this book have had.   The book offers a plethora of strategies for engaging and motivating students to be active learners in your classroom.  The book poses two very interesting questions:  If your students didn't have to be there, would you be teaching to an empty room? Do you have any lessons that you could sell tickets for?

This book will help you answer "yes" to those questions as you follow the concepts and hooks in the book to increase student engagement.  Another reason I love this book, is that it gives you some great takeaways which you can implement immediately.  One quote from the book that resonates with me is: "Provide an uncommon experience for your students and they will reward you with an uncommon effort and attitude".  

I strongly suggest you buy this book.  Your students deserve it!



Digital Leadership

Changing Paradigms for Changing Times

By: Eric C. Sheninger

Review by: Brad Gustafson  |  @gustafsonbrad


Reading Digital Leadership, by Eric Sheninger, was an inspiring experience. The book is built around six powerful pillars that today’s school leaders must be interacting with and immersed in. I found myself reflecting upon the work Eric and other educators across the country are doing to help cultivate skills for a digitally connected age in our students. (The short vignettes that were included helped me envision how others are putting the pillars into action, and I made connections to the work our school community is committed to as well.) I found that parts of the book served as an affirmation for important work our team is already doing. Other parts of the book were more of a call-to-action, and served as a roadmap of sorts. When I read a book I often mark-up the margins and take notes on new ideas and action items I plan to take…after reading Digital Leadership my margins and the book’s cover pages are full of great take-aways. Highly recommend.



Teaching the Core Skills of:

Listening & Speaking

By: Erik Palmer

Review by: Oliver Schinkten  |  @schink10


Yes! Yes! Yes!  This book is desperately needed as a wake-up call and instructional resource for two of the most important skills our students need to prepare for their futures:  Listening & Speaking.  Approximately 75% of our communication time is spent either listening or speaking.  While reading and writing have been strongly emphasized, and rightfully so, these two skills were lost in the mix.  This is unacceptable!  I have experienced many situations like the ones described in the book in which teachers are asked how they teach "speaking" or "listening".  Often the teacher will reply that students present a power-point or give a presentation on content they learned.  Although these are examples of speaking and listening (usually painful ones), students are rarely taught how to speak effectively or how to listen effectively.  Why?  Considering the importance of these skills in our students' futures, I think it is time that these skills become a much higher priority.  In this book, Erik Palmer does a fabulous job explaining the importance of listening/speaking and then proceeds to break down these skills, giving strategies, resources, and assessment ideas for implementing this in your classroom.  I believe that this book will leave you paying more attention to teaching speaking and listening, and have you feeling confident n doing so.  I strongly suggest you buy this book.  Your students deserve it!



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