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IPPY Book Award Winner

I am proud to say that I am now an award-winning author!

In May of 2023, my book Knowledge-ABLE: Igniting a New Generation of Lifelong Learners was awarded the Silver Medal by the Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs) in the category of Education (Commentary/Theory).

Check out the full list of the 2023 IPPY Award Medalists.

What are the IPPY Awards?

Conducted each year to honor the year’s best independently published books, the “IPPY” Awards recognize excellence in a broad range of styles and subjects. In a year where war and economic crisis has been ever present in the headlines, the 2023 IPPY medal-winning books offer inspiration and reflection. These independent voices have added hope and enlightenment to readers.

About the IPPY Awards

Each year since 1996, the Independent Publisher Book Awards have identified a reading list of progressive, thought-provoking books, the kind that can touch lives, advance careers, and stretch our imaginations. With the tag line, “Recognizing Excellence in Independent Publishing,” the IPPY Awards showcase the best books from throughout North America and the English-speaking world. Launched as the first unaffiliated awards program open exclusively to independent, university, and self-published titles, the awards are presented each spring by publishing services firm Jenkins Group of Traverse City, Michigan and IndependentPublisher.com, “THE Online Voice of Independent Publishing.”

“In a times like these, when the world can seem overwhelming, books offer us a bridge between what is and what can be,” says Amy Shamroe, director of the Awards. “Our medalist have created new worlds to escape to, shared new experiences and ideas, illuminated complex issues, and given us reflection with action. Each book is a new opportunity to move forward and find out what happens next with a little more insight and inspiration.”

Independent Publishing is the Future

Throughout this process I have learned that there are so many incredible authors who exhibit the courage, innovation, and creativity to go beyond the confines of traditional publishing in order to share their message. I have also learned that choosing to self-publish has significant advantages.

When I started my book project I assumed that I would land a book deal with an educational publishing company like many of my other colleagues did. However, I discovered that this was a lot more challenging than I had previously thought. After submitting my book proposal to a few publishing companies—and getting turned down—I decided to take this as an opportunity to self-publish my book.

Seeing the upside of this situation allowed me to really lean into the idea of self-publishing. After doing some research, I learned that most people choose not to self-publish because of the perceived lack of professionalism, and the additional work that is required. However, I have found that choosing to self-publish is often more lucrative in the long-term, and authors have complete control over the rights and content of the book.

In the end, I am so glad to I chose to self-publish my book and I am grateful for this incredible learning journey. Thank you to the Jenkins Group who established the Independent Publisher Book Awards, and congratulations to my fellow medalists!

If you are interested in learning more about the book you can visit my Book Page.

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7 Days of Giveaways Recap

In case you missed it, I am providing a quick recap of my 7 Days of Giveaways event that I shared on social media during the first week of my book launch. Below, you will find an assortment of bite-sized content from my book Knowledge-ABLE: Igniting a New Generation of Lifelong Learners.

DAY 1 of Free #Knowledge_ABLE Book Content

Students today need to be able to find and evaluate #CREDIBLE media sources to become informed citizens in a constantly evolving global society.

Consider using my CREDIBLE template to discern fact from fiction.

DAY 2 of Free #Knowledge_ABLE Book Content

Before any significant learning can occur, we need to believe in ourselves.

If we want our students to become knowledge-able, we need to help them build their self-confidence as a learner.

DAY 3 of Free #Knowledge_ABLE Book Content

Let’s help guide our students into Audacious Exploration as they pursue their learning goals.

If we are able to foster these conditions—#curiosity and #courage—then we will be setting them up for success.

DAY 4 of Free #Knowledge_ABLE Book Content

When students engage in making, tinkering, or building they don’t just make things—they make memories.

How might you promote purposeful play in your lessons so students can learn by doing, and have fun doing it?

DAY 5 of Free #Knowledge_ABLE Book Content

Consider creating areas of the classroom that are dedicated to different levels of thinking.

These can be physical spaces in the classroom or a shared digital space for students.

DAY 6 of Free #Knowledge_ABLE Book Content

Persistent Improvement is optimal for significant growth and learning.

Let’s teach our students that we can always improve our abilities with education, practice, and hard work.

DAY 7 of Free #Knowledge_ABLE Book Content

IQ and EQ are important, but students need a different set of skills to meet the demands of a rapidly-changing world.

A set of skills that determine their #learnability intelligence—their learning quotient (LQ).

For even more content, follow the #knowledge_ABLE conversation on social media, and visit the book website at www.knowledge-able.org.

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2022 Twitter Book Giveaway Contest OFFICIAL RULES

Twitter Book Giveaway Contest

OFFICIAL RULES

IN ORDER TO ENTER, A CONTESTANT MUST COMPLETE ALL THREE OF THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS ON TWITTER:

  1. LIKE THE GIVEAWAY TWEET
  2. RETWEET THE GIVEAWAY TWEET
  3. TAG (OR MENTION) ANOTHER TWITTER ACCOUNT USER ON THE GIVEAWAY TWEET

CONTEST BEGINS ON DECEMBER 23, 2022 AND THE OFFER WILL END ON DECEMBER 30, 2022. THREE WINNERS WILL BE SELECTED AT RANDOM. ALL WINNERS WILL BE ANNOUNCED AND CONTACTED VIA TWITTER AT 3:00PM EST AND WILL BE ASKED TO EMAIL THEIR HOME ADDRESS TO BRAD@UPLEARNLLC.COM FOR MAILING AND DELIVERY OF A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK KNOWLEDGE-ABLE: IGNITING A NEW GENERATION OF LIFELONG LEARNERS.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER TO WIN. VALID ONLY IN THE UNITED STATES (EXCLUDING U.S. TERRITORIES). ENTRY IN THIS CONTEST CONSTITUTES YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE OFFICIAL RULES.

OFFICIAL BOOK SALES BEGIN ON JANUARY 1, 2023 ON AMAZON.

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At Your Upservice

Welcome to UpLearn! My name is Bradley Lands and I am an educational consultant ready to help support your unique professional learning needs and goals. I set high expectations, and deliver upstanding educational services to enhance teaching and learning. 

As a passionate educator with 15 years of experience in the classroom, I have been providing consulting services to schools for 10 years now. I am currently the Director of Technology and Innovation at a Prekindergarten though Grade 8 Independent School in Northern Virginia, but I intentionally carve out time to work with other teachers and school leaders to broaden my impact in the field of education.

UpLearn’s Upservice

What separates me from other consulting companies is twofold. First, I offer what I like to call “upservice” which is an elevated professional learning experience that exceeds normal expectations. And two, because I operate alone, my consulting fees are significantly lower than the competition. Simply put, I am able to provide better service, for a better price.

Custom Professional Development

Every school community has its own unique strengths and challenges.  I partner with school leaders to develop custom professional learning experiences that target educational needs.

Over the course of my career in education, I have taught in both public and independent schools, as well as in higher education as an adjunct professor for a graduate level course. I have been an administrator at my current school for nine years and I continue to find new ways to build capacity in my colleagues. My mission as a leader is to positively influence different stakeholders to help students construct the knowledge and skills they will need to become lifelong learners, and creative problem solvers in our global society.

Keynote Presentations and Workshops

It has never been more important than it is today to reground in education.  We are losing talented and passionate teachers to the profession every year, and we simply can’t afford to lose any more. I deliver inspirational and informative messages that uplift the spirit of teaching, and unleash the power of learning.

As an innovator in education, I have sought out highly competitive professional development experiences for myself. This allows me to connect with other innovative educators in my field, and it helps me to stay positive and energized throughout the school year. Because of this, I am a Google for Education Certified Innovator, a Google for Education Certified Trainer, an Apple Distinguished Educator, a Siemens STEM Institute Fellow, an ATLIS Leadership Institute Fellow, and a National Board Certified Teacher in Technology Education.

Consulting and Coaching Opportunities

Every school can benefit from additional support from an outside source. I offer intentional advising and training that is dedicated to achieving desired results in the classroom.

My background is in middle education with a focus in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) instruction and content knowledge. This allows me to adapt my services to many different grade levels and subject areas.

Expertise in Education

While I offer many different professional development services, I specialize in inquiry-based learning instruction, innovative technology practices, and highly effective leadership strategies.

I train educators on how to use powerful technology tools to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. I lead workshops for educators on how to leverage inquiry in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning. And I partner with administrators to help them become change agents in order to make progress on the goals and initiatives of their strategic plan.

Free Content from my Book

I am currently in the process of writing and publishing my own book titled, Knowledge-ABLE: Igniting a New Generation of Lifelong Learners. My aim with this book is to offer a unique set of ideas that teachers and administrators can hopefully use to help students become better learners in this rapidly-changing world that we live in today. You can learn more about my book, and get some free content by visiting my Book website.

Connect with me on social media, or use my Contact page to see how I can help support you this school year.

4 Lessons I Learned from Writing a Book

When I initially set out to write my book Knowledge-ABLE I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I had a bunch of ideas that I wanted to organize and share for myself, and for other educators.

For about 10 years I had been collecting these ideas and publishing them to my personal blog The Landscape of Learning. After my blog reached one-million views in March of 2022, I was inspired to take my writing to the next level. I decided that I was going to write a book.

Because I am an educator and I value the process of learning, I wanted to document and share the knowledge that I gained while writing my book. So I created a book project website (www.knowledge-able.org) and shared my progress on social media with family and friends. Throughout this process of writing, sharing, and reflecting, I learned four valuable lessons:

1. You don’t have to be a writer to become an author

2. I learned so much more than I anticipated

3. Vulnerability takes courage

4. Self-publishing can be advantageous

My aim with this post is two-fold. First, I hope you find the information that I share to be insightful by giving you a sense of what it is like to write a book. And two, if you are someone who is thinking about writing a book, I hope the lessons that I share inspire you to take action, and support you along the way.

1. You don’t have to be a writer to become an author

Before I wrote my book, I used to think that you had to be a “writer” to become an author. I thought the only people who write books are English majors, journalists, professional authors, and celebrities who could easily get book deals. Now I know that anyone can become an author. It just takes a lot of time, dedication, practice, and support.

With a background in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) I had a lot to learn about the writing process. My strength as a writer has always been my creativity, but I struggled when it came to grammar, vocabulary, and composition. But by practicing my writing on my blog and analyzing the work of others, I quickly began to improve my skills in these growth areas.

2. I learned so much more than I anticipated

Before I started writing my book, I made an outline of the chapters that I wanted to include. This helped me to organize and structure all of my knowledge that I wanted to share. What I didn’t anticipate is how much more I learned as I began to write each chapter. I found myself conducting research on various topics to confirm that my knowledge was accurate. And by researching these topics, I ended up gathering more information, learned new information, and even gained knowledge in areas that I hadn’t intended on learning.

Aside from learning new content for my book, I also learned so much about the process of writing a book. I connected with my colleagues in education—who are authors of successful books—to solicit their advice. I performed queries online in search of tips and tricks for new and aspiring authors. And I learned about effective strategies to help me sell and market my book. While I didn’t anticipate learning all of this additional information, I realized that it was simply a natural byproduct of the process.

3. Vulnerability takes courage

The most powerful lesson that I learned from writing my book is that vulnerability takes courage. And whenever you put yourself out there—such as writing a book—you naturally become vulnerable to criticism. Someone once told me that an effective book in education leaves your readers wanting to shake your hand because they learned so much, and wanting to give you a hug because they feel like they know you. This really resonated with me and I made it a goal to intentionally connect with my readers.

After doing some reflection, I realized that some of my favorite books were written by authors who shared personal narratives that really moved me. So I decided to share stories in my life that were difficult to write about, but were meaningful and relevant to the content in my book. Some of my stories are about triumph, and others involve mistakes and hardships. But in every story I include in my book, I also share a lesson that I learned, and how my readers can apply it to their role in education.

Not only was I vulnerable by sharing personal stories in my book, I was also vulnerable with the entire book writing process. This is because I was passionate about my book idea, but I feared what others might think about me. I worried that people would think that I am conceited. I was curious if people would think I might fail. And I wondered if people would find my book to be valuable. Battling with all of these thoughts in my head, I eventually found the courage—and the confidence—to write and promote my book. The hope that my book might make a positive impact on students helped me to overcome my self-doubt.

4. Self-publishing can be advantageous

When I started my book project I assumed that I would land a book deal with an educational publishing company like many of my other colleagues did. However, I discovered that this was a lot more challenging than I had previously thought. After submitting my book proposal to a few publishing companies—and getting turned down—I decided to take this as an opportunity to self-publish my book.

Seeing the upside of this situation allowed me to really lean into the idea of self-publishing. After doing some research, I learned that most people choose not to self-publish because of the perceived lack of professionalism, and the additional work that is required. However, I have found that choosing to self-publish is often more lucrative in the long-term, and authors have complete control over the rights and content of the book. I also learned that it is recommended to self-publish under a single-member company (such as an LLC) to separate finances and add liability protection. This is the main reason why I created UpLearn LLC, but as a bonus I am beginning to learn that there are a lot of other advantages to owning an individual consulting company.

After I wrote my book I was reminded of a message that I frequently share with my students: You can accomplish anything in life if you are willing to work hard enough, smart enough, and long enough. I even shared a story with my students about a fourth-grader at my wife’s school who recently co-authored a children’s book with an adult. I told them that I used to think that only professional writers could become published authors. But now I know that anyone can become an author if they are passionate about an idea, and have the determination to share it with the world.

Have you ever thought about writing a book? If so, I would love to read some questions that you might have. If you are already a published author, what are some lessons that you have learned from the writing process? Leave a comment below if you are willing to share your insights.