SmartBrief on EdTech recently polled readers to discern how well they feel today’s schools are using technology to prepare students for college and careers, and to better understand what such preparation might look like. In addition, we wanted to gauge readers’ views on the use of massive open online courses — or MOOCs — in the context of higher education.

Our findings showed that a majority of readers — 82.16% — feel their schools are at least doing “somewhat well” at preparing students with the technology skills needed for college and careers, while the remainder gave their school or district lower ratings.

Regarding the specific type of tech skills being taught, respondents chose digital citizenship skills and online learning skills in almost equal numbers as the skills that are most valuable for students. A much smaller number put the highest importance on teaching students to use the latest technology devices.

More than half of readers weighing in on MOOCs in higher education responded that such courses may be a viable option for all students, while a smaller number — just over 16% — believe MOOCs may disrupt the higher education landscape as a whole. (read more…)

This month’s hottest stories from SmartBrief for the Higher Ed Leader span issues from MOOCs to enrollment at community colleges. For more education news and to keep up-to-date all summer long, subscribe to a daily email newsbrief.

1. What will higher education look like in 10 years?
Over the next decade, colleges and universities will be seeking secondary funding resources, embracing technology and offering more than traditional degrees, predicts University of Texas at Austin history professor Steven Mintz. Read more.

2. Why colleges must be more “intentional” about part-time faculty
College and university administrators must become more “intentional” about hiring contingent faculty, according to Paul Yakoboski, senior economist for the TIAA-CREF Institute. Read more.

3. Colleges in Ohio, Pa. lead list of most expensive schools
Ohio’s Miami University-Oxford was the most expensive four-year public institution in the country during the 2012-13 academic year with a net price of $24,674, according to U.S. (read more…)

Here are the most popular stories from SmartBrief on EdTech this month. For more education news and to keep up-to-date all summer long, subscribe to a daily email newsbrief.

1. How well does the Khan Academy work?
The U.S. Department of Education is investing $3 million in a study to determine whether the Khan Academy’s online courses are working. Read more.

2. What are common mistakes schools make with iPads?
Schools nationwide are making common mistakes when it comes to integrating iPads, EdTechTeacher director and co-founder Tom Daccord said at the International Society for Technology in Education conference. Read more.

3. Actress shares story of childhood struggles at ISTE conference
Ashley Judd was Saturday evening’s opening keynote speaker at the International Society for Technology in Education’s 35th annual conference and expo. Read more.

4. How students can improve note taking with technology
With students increasingly using technology to take and record notes in class, teacher and author Vicki Davis in this blog post shares a five-step process she’s developed to help students have success with electronic notetaking. (read more…)

professional developmentFor most of us in the field of education, summer is a time that we wait for all year. During the months of July and August (or, for some of our colleagues, June and July,) we relax and recharge. Perhaps we are doing some summer school teaching during these months or use the time to plan for next year. Still, we enjoy our time away from school and its many demands. In this context, it is pretty easy to feel balanced and unstressed.

Of course, the challenge for us is to maintain a sense of balance and control once the new academic year commences. At that point, we will again be inundated with our core responsibilities as well as the many ancillary components of teaching, such as planning, assessments, record keeping, meetings and communication. This is in addition to the responsibilities that we have towards our families, particularly for those of us with relatives (children and parents) to care for. (read more…)

textbooksA recent high-school graduate and a credit-recovery teacher from Sweet Home High School in Oregon share their insights on career and technical education.

Shela’s story

From the second you register for high-school classes as an incoming freshman, everything you do will be focused on graduation. You’ll be so caught up in taking the right classes, joining the right extracurricular activities and volunteering at the right places that it can be easy to forget the point: getting ready for life after graduation.

How do you plan for that? I’m no expert, having just graduated a month ago. But I do have an idea of my next steps, so hopefully you can learn from my story.

I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field, but there are so many opportunities to choose from that it can be a little overwhelming.

When I found out that my school offered online career and technical education courses, I was intrigued. (read more…)