So I did a thing. In less than 4 weeks, I have read the first 10 books from Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. I started this little journey in the middle of June when the 50th book was released. There was a big Twitter hype using #DBC50. There was a bit of what Dave calls Creative Alchemy going on. I had a massive amount of the DBC books on a shelf, many of which I had never read due to time constraints. Something else always came up and those books stayed on the shelf. I knew I wanted to start blogging again. I enjoy writing, but hadn’t been inspired to write anything in a long time. I also wanted to be more involved on Twitter. I take so many amazing ideas from Twitter and wasn’t giving a lot back, especially with school dismissed for the summer. I wanted to give back and strengthen my Professional/Personal Learning Network (PLN). Upon seeing #DBC50, I thought to myself, “Self, do it now. Read them all.” So before I could chicken out, I mentioned it to Dave, found out the book release order, and blogged it. Boom – accountability.
What I never expected was the huge response I’ve gotten from the Twitter community, Dave & Shelley Burgess, Wendy & Tara of DBC, Inc, and the authors of DBC, Inc! I have felt so much support and encouragement on this wild little ride I’m on this summer.
A cynic could say, “Of course they are being supportive, Alicia – they’re getting advertisement.” (I’ve actually had people say that, or something similar, as I share the kindness each of the authors has shown thus far.) I’ve definitely been picked on for doing this – told that I need to dial it back a notch. UGH – naysayers. Here’s the thing though… they DESERVE the “free advertisement” and my students deserve a teacher wiling to do something “radical” like read 50 books with cohesion throughout all fifty, then think of ways to implement what I’ve learned to make their experience amazing! These authors worked their tails off writing each book, poured their heart and soul into it; Dave and Shelley took the time to vet them and put the Pirate seal of approval on them, painstakingly made sure that there was no contradiction and that the message flows throughout the books. DBC is amplifying the impact of INCREDIBLE educators beyond their own students and districts… so yeah, I’m happy as can be to share their books with my small part of the world! I can assure that I have gotten much, much more out of this experience than they will by my sharing my ramblings on #DBC50Summer. Sure, DBC is getting advertising for every. single. book. Sure, the authors are getting shout-outs on Twitter – some of them with books that were published 3-4 years ago. It’s not like I’m bashing their books – however I have been, and will continue to be, VERY honest. Some of the books, I’ve not really wanted to read. This is part of why I wanted to be methodical in how I went about reading the #DBC50. If I read the ones I enjoyed first, I would likely quit before I finished all 50. As it stands now, number 49’s author and I met several years ago and he’s a local guy. I adore him and cannot wait to read his book! I’ve been focused for the past year on taking care of my health and have lost 40 pounds; I am beyond excited to read number 50, which is about building a stronger mind and body. I had already read number 45 and 46 before #DBC50Summer even started, but won’t publish those blogs until I get to them in the #DBC50 – those authors haven’t seen the blogs I’ve written either.
Several people have joined me in the quest to read and blog about DBC books! You’re more than welcome to join, too! For me, it’s a 50 book challenge. For you, it doesn’t have to be! It can be just ONE book – because that ONE book is ONE more book of inspiration and ideas that you can implement next year! When you read and blog about DBC books, share with me by using the hashtag #DBC50Summer! I’d love to read YOUR reflections and how you plan to implement what you learned! Also – if you aren’t the blogging type (or even if you are), join the Flipgrid discussions on each of the books! There is a link to Flipgrid in each blog post! The password for each of them is DBCSummer (case sensitive). The idea is that while many of us are doing book studies in pockets, which is fantastic, why not ALSO come together as one HUGE global book study of ANY DBC book out there! Imagine the think tank this space could become! Don’t be shy – share your reflections, your takeaways! The questions prompts are just suggestions – we just want to hear your voice and share in the learning with you! If you don’t see your favorite DBC book yet, hold your horses. It’ll be here soon enough! The Flipgrid was the brainchild of my new #tlapsister friend, Andrea Paulakovich! She is an incredible educator from Kansas who approached me about joining the fun when I first blogged about #DBC50Summer! This girl has a heart of gold and a story that needs to be told! I adore her and am so thankful that #DBC50Summer brought us together, although I feel like we would’ve found one another anyway eventually! We were just meant to be friends! Be sure to follow along on her journey as well! Her blog is stunningly beautiful!
Finally, there will be sketch notes added to the blogs from my dear friend, Holly King! The beautiful artwork in sketch notes takes time, so they will be added as updates and posted as they come in! If anyone else would like to add their sketch notes, let me know! I can create a Google Drive folder, with you having full credit for your sketchnote of course, and add the link to the blogs as well! OR you can share your sketch note and use the hashtag #DBC50Summer – woo hoo!!! I love the collaboration and BOY has my PLN grown in the past month.
So let’s take just a second and recap what we’ve had so far.
1 – Teach Like A Pirate by Dave Burgess: inspiration, inspiration, inspiration. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve read it and it still makes my heart race. Even more so now that I’ve met Dave twice and been able to actually hear the passion, energy, and enthusiasm behind his written word.
2 – Pure Genius by Don Wettrick: how he put Genius Hour/20 Time on steroids and created an Innovation class in which students are actually running their own businesses in some cases
3 – P is for Pirate by Dave & Shelley Burgess: a picture book for educators to inspire them with every letter of the alphabet
4 – Learn Like A Pirate by Paul Solarz: student empowerment through a truly student-led classroom
5 – DITCH That Textbook by Matt Miller: how will you get messy and “punch fear in the face” to make your lessons Different Innovative Tech-laden Creative and Hands-On
6 – 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom by Alice Keeler & Libbi Miller: a handbook of sorts that takes you from beginner to pretty dang advanced in the use of Google Classroom (Bonus that the lessons learned go hand in hand with DITCH That Textbook!)
7 – Master the Media by Julie Smith: a guide for educators *and parents* sharing how media literacy can, quite literally, save the world – this is needed more and more with the digitally rich environment and constant stream of media that our world now takes in every single day without batting an eye
8 – The Zen Teacher by Dan Tricarico: I was such a naysayer and this book has proven to be insanely valuable to me! It made me stop and re-evaluate if I was really taking care of myself. I can’t do right by any students if I’m not taking care of myself!
9 – The Innovator’s Mindset by George Couros: The most viewed post to date with over 300 views in 24 hours. This blog barely had 300 total views in 3 years. A cry to eradicate the buzzword pandemic that “innovation” has become. How can we truly be innovative? Make it new and better!
10 – Explore Like A Pirate by Michael Matera: This book brings the element of fun back into classrooms through gamification. I want to be a student in his class – it sounds like he makes learning come alive through allowing students to discover the learning rather than spoon-feeding!
Going “way back” in the YouTube archives (the end of 2015), Dave Burgess shares these 10 books with us in 8 minutes.
The most frequently asked question I’ve had since beginning this journey… what will you do with #DBC51, #DBC52, etc?
I will continue. I can’t stop at 50. Number 51 and 52 are already waiting on the shelf for their turn, and 53 is already on preorder. I have learned so much from just the first ten that I can’t imagine missing out on the learning that future DBC books will bring! As long as DBC publishes, and I am physically able, I will be continuing.
I do have one problem though, and I need your help! What do I call this adventure when I’m on book 51 and Summer is over? It can’t continue to be #DBC50Summer… post your ideas in the comments or share with me on Twitter – I’m @iluveducating and follow the #DBC50Summer.
Now… on to the next ten. Having so much fun, and even if no one in the world reads another word, I’ve taken away ideas that will forever change my teaching practice. To see a simplified spreadsheet of what I plan to implement, titles/authors, as well as the blog link and flipgrid link, click here.