Amazing Grades: New Interactive Book Removes Learning Roadblocks

Jul 13

Today’s students – particularly at the high school and college level – face challenges their predecessors never could have imagined.  Not only are they studying at a time when an outmoded, 19th century education system is being upended, they also face the pressures of a rapidly changing economy. They are preparing to join a workforce that looks very different from the workforce of just a few years ago. And while they often have a wealth of new technology tools to help them, using those tools productively and effectively doesn’t happen automatically.

So I’m thrilled that Microsoft has been able to contribute to a resource as insightful and invaluable as the interactive book Amazing Grades. The book allows students to learn new strategies in whichever way works best for them – by reading, by listening to the authors read aloud via audio, or by watching videos accessed by scanning tags with a smart phone. Of course, content is key, and this book delivers on that front, too. With chapters covering everything from “How Music Makes You Smarter” to “Developing Your Higher Math Intuition,” the book tackles study skills, life skills, learning differences and specific subject matter strategies. And while it’s directed at students, it also has a section written specifically for teachers.

Among the many impressive contributors to the book – all of them highly accomplished in their fields – is Microsoft’s own Nasha Fitter, whose chapter on “How to Succeed at Work with Savvy IT Skills Using Windows 8,” explores how Windows 8 tools translate to better preparedness for the job market. Fitter points out that “the IT industry continues to thrive despite the current economic climate,” and cites an International Data Corporation (IDC) study that suggests IT employment will rise by 5.8 million jobs in the next four years, creating 75,000 new businesses.

The best news about this new resource? We’re offering you and your community of peers a digital copy of the Amazing Grades book (which is currently being sold on Amazon for $14.36) at no cost.  If you would like to receive a free copy of this book, please write to v-jbapti@microsoft.com and we will send you the PDF copy of the book.

Once you read the book – and share it with your students – we’d love to hear your feedback @AnthonySalcito.  We’d especially like to know how, specifically, your students are applying these strategies, and what outcomes they’re achieving as a result. We’re thrilled to be able to share resources like this, and hope that you and your students will benefit.

- Anthony

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