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Cultivating Communication in the Classroom

Cultivating Communication in the Classroom
Future-Ready Skills for Secondary Students

Foreword by Guy Kawasaki

Additional resources:

March 2017 | 224 pages | Corwin

Building 21st Century communication skills 

Students are expected to be innovators, creative thinkers, and problem solvers. But what if they can't communicate their ideas persuasively? Just because many students are raised communicating through technology doesn’t mean they know how to use it effectively. Knowing how to share ideas is as crucial as the ideas themselves. Unfortunately, many students don’t get explicit opportunities to hone this skill. 

Cultivating Communication in the Classroom will help educators design authentic learning experiences that allow students to practice their skills. Readers will find:

  • Real world insights into how students will be expected to communicate in their future careers and education 
  • Strategies for teaching communication skills throughout the curriculum
  • Communication Catchers for igniting ideas
  • Interviews with industry experts
  • Tools for building 21st Century skills

Written by Tech Chef Lisa Johnson, this book demonstrates how communication can be taught through the lens of college and career readiness. 

"This book is the most practical guide I have seen to truly help secondary students be 'future ready.' The advice and tips that Lisa shares should become a standard digital literacy read for all middle school and high school students."
Kyle Pace, Instructional Technology Coach
Grain Valley School District, Kansas City, Missouri

"This book has an unbelievable amount of tips, ideas and great advice for communicating in the 21st century. It's not only helpful for teaching students to be better communicators but adults as well!"
Jennie Magiera, Chief Technology Officer
Des Plaines School District 62, IL

Foreword by Guy Kawasaki
Chapter 1: Email Etiquette
Chapter 2: Collaboration and Positive Interdependence
Chapter 3: Visual Literacy and Presentation Skills
Chapter 4: Student Publishing and Projects
Chapter 5: Portfolios and Resumes
Chapter 6: Social Media
Chapter 7: Curation
Appendix A: Book Study and Communication Cohort Challenges
Appendix B: Communication Catchers
Appendix C: SEL Index
Appendix D: Industry Insights


"This is my new favorite professional read! The TechChef has cooked up a delicious meal I will want to enjoy again and again. There are so many great ideas for supporting digital communication, digital citizenship, and digital footprint in the classroom. The ready-to-go activities and templates make it easy for teachers to start implementing tomorrow! I want this book for all of the teachers I support!"

Terra Graves, Program Specialist, 21st Century Learning
Washoe County School District, Reno, Nevada

"As someone who grew up in the '80s, this is the resource I need to help me prepare my students to be 'future ready.' Great information and practical, use immediately ideas for the classroom!"

Jerri Michaelsen, Teacher
Briscoe Middle School, San Antonio, Texas

"The world would be a better place if everyone who sends and receives email reads Lisa Johnson's email etiquette in Chapter 1. Furthermore, Lisa follows her own advice in Cultivating Communication—much of the information in this book is presented in bulleted lists and visuals!"

Tony Vincent, Teaching and Technology Specialist, Council Bluffs, Iowa

"This book is the most practical guide I have seen to truly help secondary students be 'future ready.' The advice and tips that Lisa shares should become a standard digital literacy read for all middle school and high school students."

Kyle Pace, Instructional Technology Coach
Grain Valley School District, Kansas City, Missouri

"Full of convincing rationales, practical tips, and classroom solutions, this book will leave your head spinning with easily-implemented ideas that will energize and enrich your instruction. Johnson has compiled and created a vast array of resources that will improve both the teacher and student experience in lasting and meaningful ways."

Melissa Dupre, Teacher
Westlake High School, Austin, Texas

"My career has taken me from ESOL to tech specialist. My colleagues use to question why certain students were in the ESOL program because they spoke so well. They talked conversationally—not academically. It was my job to move them into academic language. Now as a tech integration specialist, the same type of conundrum is occurring. Students use technology but do not incorporate it. Many tech curriculums include how to type, how to insert a picture, spacing, but not when, why, nor discussions. Lisa's book effortlessly builds the bridge between the basic knowledge or 'how-to' of technology into synthesizing technology applications. Seventeen years into the 21st Century, technology is exponentially assimilating in our careers, lives, even our refrigerators. Lisa's book makes the skills needed to navigate the vastness and sometimes caverness pool of technology tangible. Technology is simply a tool—but a tool that makes education, jobs, & lives more efficient & engaging. This book would give knowledge to the educators in order to empower their students to garnish the power of these 'gadgets.'"

Tana Ruder, Instructional Technolgy Specialist
Wichita Public Schools: Cohort II & VI, KS

"Stop talking about technology, and focus on communication! Loaded with practical tools and useful pedagogical approaches honed through experiences in the classroom, Lisa's book seeks to define and support the literacies our students need now, and for a lifetime of learning."

Cathy Hunt, Visual Art Educator
iPad Art Room and St Hilda's School, Gold Coast, Australia

"Lisa Johnson has written a book that finally puts into words what our students and teachers need to know to incorporate and mirror true, 21st Century teaching and learning! This book needs to not only be in the hands of our current educators, but our future educators studying to teach our future leaders!"

Anne Beck, Instructional Technology Specialist
University of Oklahoma, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education, Norman, OK

"With her book, Lisa has her fingers on the 'pulse' of educators when it comes to cultivating communication with today's students. Her diverse experiences, and expertise as an Educational Technologist gives her insight into the fears that educators and administrators face, and her experiences can equip those same educators with the tools to overcome then."

Lucas Loughmiller, Director of Library & Instructional Media Services
Manhattan-Ogden USD 383, Manhattan, KS

"Lisa Johnson is a longtime leader of technology integration and this book distills the complicated mess of technology use in secondary schools down to a clean, lean, and easy to follow book. While all the concepts are based on sound pedagogy and the 'why' is certainly addressed, Lisa doesn't waste any time getting down to the classroom level to make it clear to all of us how best to support our students. As Danah Boyd points out in her book, It's Complicated, "most teens aren't addicted to social media; if anything, they're addicted to each other" and Lisa's book is here to help encourage the communication through the use of technology. Lisa puts the needs of students first, pedagogy second, and places the technology in it's proper place as a tool and not an obsession. This is the book we've been waiting for that rises above button-pushing and gets to the heart of what we need and want for our students."

Michelle Cordy, Teacher, Applied Researcher
Thames Valley District School Board, London, Ontario, Canada

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

For instructors

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