When my children were younger, the first sign of summer—besides the longer days and warmer temperatures—was our annual trip to our local bookstore. We (me included!) always came home from these jaunts with arms full of books. A few were from their school’s ubiquitous “summer reading” list, but many were titles we selected ourselves. There were usually books from across genres—from old favorites and best sellers to self-help and cookbooks—books we thought looked interesting or sounded fun, even books we’d been looking forward to reading all year.
My children are older now, so a family trip to the bookstore to kick off summer is no longer a guarantee. Still, I am gathering my own summer-reading collection. There’s some new fiction I’d like to read, and I think this may be the summer I tackle George Eliot’s Middlemarch. Plus, I have a few more serious, business-related books and articles in my pile as well.
If you’re thinking of your own summer-reading list and have digital teaching and learning on your mind, I’d like to make a few suggestions. Some of these fall into that “more serious” category—think safer schools—but others are inspirational and even fun. I’ve even worked in a few videos to make things informative and easy.
1. Making a difference for the historically underserved. Located two hours from any major population area in the poorest county in North Carolina, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke uses technology to help students, faculty, and staff push through limitations of history, geography, and economics, and overcome what might otherwise be barriers to success. They’re changing lives through education. Read the full story, and watch the video to see transformation in action.
2. Overcoming the skills gap. For more than twenty years, Cisco Networking Academy has helped students—more than 9.2 million in 180 countries—prepare for careers that are in worldwide demand. These students build expertise in computer networking, programming, IoT, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, and more. Megan Chapman was one such student. See her story in this video, and read about her success—and learn about Cisco Networking Academies in your community—in this post.
3. Safer schools take a village. To perform their best, educators and students need to feel safe—on campus and online. Finding ways to protect school communities is top of mind for leaders in education and law enforcement. To better understand the issues facing school districts and first responders—and get their points of view—the Center for Digital Education (CDE) surveyed K-12 education leaders and public safety officials. The results appear in the report, Community Approaches to Safer Schools, and a related white paper, Collaborating for Safer Schools. In them, you’ll learn ways schools and public safety agencies collaborate, what they see as their biggest priorities, and the challenges involved in keeping schools and students. Watch the video to learn more about the technology that can help address security challenges.
4. A best practice for safer schools. In Texas, the Lewisville Independent School District has implemented a comprehensive technology suite to build a safer school environment. Read how they did it in 5 minutes with an edtech expert, and then watch the video for more.
5. Summertime professional development. This is the perfect time of year to learn new things. Cisco Connected Educator is a professional learning network that helps inform and inspire educators to use technology to connect and engage students. Read more, and learn about badges you can earn as you build your skillset and create more immersive learning experiences.
We’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to reading this summer! Share your recommendations in the comments section below.