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 are about topics that fall into that “more serious” category—think cybersecurity and IT modernization—but others are inspirational and even fun.

  1. Looking to modernize?

The thought of IT modernization may be intimidating, but the mandate to update IT systems is very real. 5 Steps to IT Modernization in Education starts with the basics to simplify the concept. Discover the advantages, and learn the steps you need to take to make IT modernization a reality for your institution.

  1. Keeping systems—and users—safe

Ensuring cybersecurity from core to edge is one of the essential elements of IT modernization, and the subject of cybersecurity is top of mind for many. This is especially true for those in education, where institutions strike a delicate balance between safeguarding personal data and intellectual property, and encouraging academic freedom, openness, and collaboration. The numbers reflect the challenge, with 60 percent of institutions saying that they have experienced at least one public security breach (for all industries, this number is less—55 percent).

60% of higher education institutions reported

at least one public security breach.

(For all industries, this number was 55%.)

In the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity Report, you can read about advances in malware and new exploits that threaten the frequently undefended: Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud devices. Then, to learn about strategies that can help schools protect what’s most valuable and most vulnerable, you can also check out the Impacts on Public Sector edition of the report.

  1. Discovering the bright side

Did you know that the median number of cybersecurity personnel at most colleges and universities is just 20? Other businesses and organizations have twice as many employees on staff to secure IT resources, investigate and remediate threats, deploy new technology to improve security, and more.

The median number of security professionals is increasing consistently.

Still, for schools, colleges, and universities educating tomorrow’s workforce, the lack of skilled security talent across all industries has positive implications: the median number of security professionals at organizations has increased consistently since 2015, and most organizations report that they intend to hire more resources for their security teams. Check out this video about Cisco Networking Academy, and discover innovative ways Cisco can help train the workforce of the future.

  1. Making it real

It’s always exciting to learn about how other schools, colleges, and universities are changing teaching and learning with digital technology.

  • In rural Howe, Okla., educators at Howe Public Schools have reimagined education and expanded learning opportunities for their students.
  • In upstate New York, Troy City Schools are fostering global engagement for improved student outcomes with video in the classroom. Read the complete best practice study to learn more.
  • At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, digitizing the student experience has changed how students engage with the curriculum, with faculty, and with each other.

We’d love to hear what you’re looking forward to reading this summer! Share your recommendations in the comments section below.


Donna Eason

Global Customer Marketing Writer