Book Review: Rewiring Education

How do we move from the grade-focused game of school that emphasizes what to think to the inspirational, creative educational experience that tunes in to the world of how to think?  In his book, “Rewiring Education: How Technology Can Unlock Every Student’s Potential,” John D. Couch provides an historical perspective of Apple’s research in education, stories of real classroom success with Challenge Based Learning, and ends with a call to action for real change in our educational system.


Couch articulates the value of infusing technology in education is much like that of a bicycle – it has the potential to amplify our intellect.  He further describes how technology supports our students to become agile learners in an environment for exploration.

In what ways are you working to learn, adapt, and change in order to better meet the needs of our students?

The book includes inspiration by a great mind in education, Dr. Todd Rose, whose story is sure to push your thinking about how we have focused on the average student for much too long.  Couch reminds us to beware of our own bias, both cognitive and confirmation, before we look to rewire education.

What the author refers to as the “21st Century ABCs of Learning” are Access, Build, and Code.  He describes these as necessary in order to rewire education:

Access to reliable internet is the prerequisite requirement for getting transformative technology into the hands of the students.  And, the ConnectED program is the answer to this need.

When students learn by doing, they are afforded the opportunity to see the purpose of the learning and take ownership as the build and create with autonomy and freedom.

To code is to think, to solve problems, to think logically and visually.  As we value coding, we value the process over the product.

Two stories of teaching are shared that shine a light on the wonder that is learning  enhanced with technology, Jodie Deinhammer’s high school science classroom in Texas and Larry Reiff’s humanities class in New York.

I encourage you to read how Jodie guided her students to impact our world around childhood malnutrition and how Larry teaches Romeo and Juliet like none other.  These stories help to begin to see what is possible.

The entire first article of the Visioning Document is devoted to the New Digital Learning Environment.

The Statement of Principle notes: We must embrace and seize technology’s potential to capture the hearts and minds of this, the first digital generation, so that the work designed for them is more engaging and respects their superior talents with digital devices and connections.

One Instructional Practice Consideration within A Framework for Vision-Driven Instruction and Leadership states:

How does my lesson design ensure that learners are able to use varying technology tools to demonstrate choice and voice in their learning?

Consider your work as a professional educator of students in a digital generation.  In what ways are you taking the initiative make a real change to rewire education?

I encourage you to read this book, reflect on its message, and take action in your work as an educational leader in 2018.

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