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.
Here is a breakdown of the results:
How well are K-12 students in your school or district being prepared with the technology skills needed for college and careers?
- Not very well — 43.14%
- Somewhat well — 39.22%
- Very well — 12.75%
- Not at all — 4.9%
What is the most important technology-oriented way in which K-12 schools can prepare students for college and careers?
- Teaching students the rules of digital citizenship, including responsible social networking — 48%
- Teaching students how to learn online, through blended learning or fully online courses — 45.33%
- Teaching students to use the latest tech devices, from tablets to smartphones to 3D printers — 6.67%
Which statement best represents your views about online learning through massive online open courses in higher education?
- Online learning through MOOCs may be a viable option for all students — 53.91%
- Online learning through MOOCs is a good option for non-degree-seeking students only — 21.74%
- Online learning through MOOCs is poised to disrupt the higher education model as a whole — 16.52%
- Online learning through MOOCs is a passing fad — 7.83%
Do these numbers reflect your views as well? How is your school or district preparing students with the technology skills needed for their futures in college and the workplace? What skills do you think are most valuable for them to have? What do role do you envision online learning playing in higher education? Let us know in the comments below.
Katharine Haber is an education editor for SmartBrief, writing and editing content about a variety of topics in education.