Thursday, September 18, 2014

Millennial view of libraries

A new report synthesized the library habits of Americans 16-20 years old. The survey questioned how they see libraries’ roles in their lives and communities. The good news is that young people are reading as much as older adults, and are even more likely to have read a book in the past 12 months. Also, their library use is holding steady. Nonetheless, the report warns, their levels of engagement vary in a number of ways.
Millennials read about as much as older adults, with 43 percent saying that they read a book in some format (print, audiobook, or ebook) every day. As a group, they are also as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past 12 months, and more likely to have used a public library website.
One of the survey’s most interesting findings is that, despite the major presence of technology in their lives, 62 percent of the group as a whole agrees there is “a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the Internet,” as opposed to 53 percent of older Americans. Still, 98 percent of all Millennials believe that “the Internet makes it much easier to find information today than it was in the past,” and 79 percent of those surveyed hold that “people who are without internet access are at a real disadvantage.” A full 98 percent of Millennials use the Internet, as opposed to 82 percent of those over 30.
At the same time, only 57 percent of those surveyed believed that “it’s easy to separate the good information from the bad information online.” Some 61 percent of all Americans—those over 30 as well as the Millennials—have a library card, and roughly half of the younger Americans have visited a library in the past year.
However, the report notes that Millennials do not seem to be engaging with libraries to the fullest extent possible.Zickuhr, K., & Rainie, L. (2014). Younger Americans and Public Libraries. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Survey of mobile technologies in schools

Mobile technology is becoming more popular in today's classrooms, according to a recent survey. A majority of educators -- 86% -- who responded to the survey said mobile technology bolsters student engagement, and 67% said it helps support personalized learning. Nevertheless, the digital divide persists.
  • Eighty percent of students in grades 9-12, 65 percent of those in grades 6-8, 45 percent of grades 3-5 students, and 18 percent of K-2 students have access to a smartphone.
  • When it comes to tablets, 45 percent of 9-12, 52 percent of 6-8, 48 percent of 3-5, and 26 percent of K-2 students have access.
  • Sixty-three percent of children from high-income homes have access to a tablet, compared to 20 percent of those from low-income homes. Seventy-five percent of high-income parents and 35 percent of low-income parents have downloaded educational apps for their children.

Grunwald and Associates. (2013). Learning and living with mobile devices study. Bethesda, MD: Grunwald and Associates.

Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study
Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study

Digital inclusion survey

This 2014 survey reveals the newest library technology trends: uneven tech growth (slower in rural areas), STEM maker spaces, 3D printing, coding/programming, wifi printing, social media training. Libraries' greatest identified need was more bandwidth, and the chief barrier was cost/money.
ALA. (2014). Digital inclusion survey.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School stats survey

The National Center for Education Statistics has added the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) data to PowerStats. This update includes the following datasets from the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey: Public Schools, Private Schools, Public and Private Schools combined, Public Principals, Private Principals, Public and Private Principals combined, Public Teachers, Private Teachers, Public and Private Teachers combined, Public School Districts, and Public School Library Media Centers.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Social class changes research

The 2014 book The Long Shadow draws insights plucked from three decades spent diligently tracking nearly 800 Baltimore inner-city kids, from first grade to age 28 or 29. The  researchers found that the resources and strength of a child’s family tended to exert a powerful influence over a child’s future. Poor kids tended to become poor adults, with surprisingly few kids jumping up or down the socioeconomic ladder in Baltimore. Mostly, kids grew up only to arrive where they started.
The finding has major implications for health, too, since ample research has long shown that income and education levels – one’s socioeconomic status – are strongly linked to all sorts of health measures, including disease susceptibility and lifespan. The entrenched poverty and lack of social mobility that researchers found in Baltimore raises questions about the prospects for success of the battle to reduce class- and race-based health disparities.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Social media and social skills research

The social skills of students using digital media may be declining, according to a new study. The researchers "found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to spend hours each day looking at their electronic devices," according to a news release about the study.
"Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education, and not many are looking at the costs," said a senior author of the study.. "Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues — losing the ability to understand the emotions of other people — is one of the costs. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interaction seems to be reducing social skills."
Uhls, Y., et al. (2014).Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preten skills with nonverbal emotion cues. Computers in Human Behavior, 39(Oct.), 387–392.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pole: public's attitudes about schools

This poll captures the public’s perceptions of public schools, including the Common Core State Standards. Some of the findings deal with testing, local control, and government role.

Gallup. (2014). PDK/Gallup poll of the public's attitudes toward the public schools.