Sybil Low by Sybil Low

As the year winds down and the festive season begins, EdSurge, a prominent educational technology news outlet, has taken a break from its regular schedule of writing and editing to share some noteworthy recommendations for holiday reading, watching, and listening. In a recent article, journalists from EdSurge reflect on the past year and offer insights into books, articles, and podcasts that have resonated with them, covering a broad range of topics from education to general human experiences.

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Key Takeaways

  • The list includes a mix of educational materials and general interest content, from books and films to podcasts, offering something for everyone during the holiday break.
  • The recommended content is not only entertaining but also offers deep insights and reflections on various aspects of life and education.

The Teenage Experience

Emily, the senior reporter, highlighted the challenges faced by 13-year-olds today, exacerbated by social media and technology. She has recommended Jessica Bennett’s New York Times feature, “Being 13,” which artfully captures the lives of three teenage girls over a year. She paired this with the film adaptation of Judy Blume’s novel, “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret,” for a nostalgic yet contemporary look at girlhood.

Additionally, Emily praised John Green’s book “The Anthropocene Reviewed,” a collection of essays rating human experiences from the mundane to the profound. She described the book as “personal, contemplative, funny, and deeply human.”

Exploring Tech and Friendship

Jeffrey R. Young, EdSurge’s editor, on the other hand, has shared his admiration for the Hidden Brain podcast, specifically the series “The Paradox of Pleasure,” which delves into the addictive nature of the internet and technology. He also mentioned his interest in Substack newsletters about education, having found them highly informative.

A standout book for Jeff was “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow” by Gabrielle Zevin. This novel, centered around three friends starting a video game design company, is an exploration of friendship, love, and collaborative creation, offering a fresh perspective on the tech-infused culture.

Don't Miss Out on the EdSurge's Holiday Reading and Viewing Picks for Educators and Students

Education and Music

Daniel, a reporter at EdSurge, pointed out the challenges in education for those who didn’t fit the conventional mold, having referenced Sarah Carr’s piece on dyslexia screening. Carr critiqued the discrepancy model, advocating for a change to lift reading achievement for many students.

He also delved into the world of music with Woody Guthrie’s autobiography, “Bound for Glory.” Daniel said to have found Guthrie’s storytelling compelling, highlighting the musician’s influence and his unique perspective on life.

Teaching and Inspiration

The reporter Nadia Tamez-Robledo focused on Jen Manly’s Strategic Classroom account on Instagram, as it offered insights into contemporary teaching strategies and practical takeaways for educators. She also recommended the film “Radical,” a story based on the real-life teacher Sergio Juárez Correa, emphasizing the power of nurturing curiosity in students.

Homeschooling and Literature

Rebecca Koenig, both an editor and a reporter, was fascinated by The Washington Post’s series on the rise of homeschooling in the U.S., having noted its rapid growth, and the variety of people and companies involved in teaching children outside traditional school settings.

She also recommended “Whose Names Are Unknown” by Sanora Babb, a novel set during the Dust Bowl era. Despite being overshadowed by John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” Babb’s book offers a gripping portrayal of farm family life and class consciousness during the 1930s.


As the holiday season unfolds, these recommendations from EdSurge provide a wide array of choices for educators and students alike, offering both entertainment and thoughtful reflection.


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