Minds Online covers much more than Teaching Effectively with Technology

There are a couple of books I recently finished and had planned to write about by using quotes as prompts for short blog posts. AprilBlogaDay has given me the opportunity and motivation to do so and I did include a few quotes in some earlier posts. Today's prompt gives me chance to write about one of those in general and gives me fodder for another post later this month if I hit a writing roadblock. I may also be bending the prompt to suit my purposes (What's new?) because it centers on what I am reading now so I'll mention that I am currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird with my class. It did write about Atticus Finch in an earlier post and tried to connect it in some way to technology in the classroom. 

It was the subtitle, Teaching Effectively with Technology of Minds Online by Michelle Miller that intrigued me enough to order the book. I have created a couple of online “courses” for students but they are way more like digital file cabinets than online classrooms for my liking. I was hoping that this book would give me ideas to help create a better virtual classroom environment for my students and as it turns out, it provided many of those ideas plus much, much more.

The following portion of the book jacket description sums up some of the overall highlights of the book for me:
Drawing on the latest findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Michelle Miller explores how attention, memory, and higher thought processes such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning can be enhanced through technology-aided approaches. The techniques she describes promote retention of course material through frequent low‐stakes testing and practice, and help prevent counterproductive cramming by encouraging better spacing of study.
This book is not solely about technology in education. There are several chapters, specifically ones on Memory, Motivation, and Thinking, that maybe 75% deal with learning in general and then the other 25% with how technology can help in the process. There are specific chapters devoted to online content and course creation but even in those there are ideas to help in any classroom.

If a teacher wants to learn how to use technology more effectively with his or her students, Miller has included many practiced and researched ideas in her book. In fact, it has created quite a situation for me because now I’ve got no choice but to update my online courses to get it more right for my students. Next up on my reading list may need to be a time management book or preferably, a very short article.

‘Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology’ by Michelle D Miller is published by Harvard University Press, ISBN 9780674368248


  1. Tom, I really appreciate you sharing this book, wonder if you think it applies to adult learners as well? I facilitate professional development online and I'm always looking for ways to ensure I'm reaching everyone.

  2. Certainly. Much of the research discussed was done with college age students and many of the practices would work for any learners, I feel.


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