Monday, February 22, 2021

PBL Study

 Project-based learning could improve outcomes for all students, according to two studies. The studies found that half of students who engaged in project-based learning passed Advanced Placement exams -- higher than the rate in traditional classrooms -- and that students from low-income households made similar progress as peers from wealthier ones.

Saavedra, A. et al. (2021). Knowledge in action: Efficacy study over two years. Los Angeles, CA: USC.

Krajcik J. et al. (2020). Assessing the Effect of Project-Based Learning on Science Learning in Elementary Schools. Lucas Educational Foundation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Online vs F2F learning and stress study

 High-school students who have at least some amount of in-classroom learning are less likely to report stress and worry than their peers who are learning fully online, according to a recent study. The survey of 10,000 students at 12 high schools also found that remote students were more likely to worry about their grades and less likely to have an adult to speak with about a personal issue.

Challenge Success and NBC News. (2021). Kids under pressure. Challenge Success.

Friday, February 5, 2021

Study on strategies to curb student learning loss during the pandemic


Researchers say early data shows the pandemic is taking a toll on student learning. They concluded that children have lost at least one and a half months of reading, with students of color faring worse. And some experts say the loss could be even worse because some of the most vulnerable students may not be regularly attending class online or taking assessments this year. The report  details five strategies schools are taking to curb these losses: tutoring; lengthening the school year; ensuring learning materials are at grade level; partnering with community organizations; and tapping parents as partners in boosting literacy.
Dorn, E. et al. (2020, Dec. 8). COVID19 and learning loss. McKinsey.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Family media use study

 A national study found that completing a family media use plan was not linked to statistically significant changes in media rule engagement among adolescents. An editorial that was published alongside the study delved into some of the reasons that can complicate using a family media use plan in adolescents including the increasing use of screens in both education and socialization as well as the urge to fight against parental expectations.

Moreno M, Binger K, Zhao Q, Eickhoff J. Effect of a family media use plan on media rule engagement among adolescents. JAMA Pediatrics. January 25, 2021. Epub ahead of print. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2020.5629

Friday, January 15, 2021

Teacher online presence research

The science behind engaging students via instructional videos is complicated, according to findings by researchers. Their findings show that when these visuals are used effectively, it can drive student engagement, but in some cases it could be distracting. While students reported higher engagement when the instructor looked at the camera than when they didn’t, the transparent whiteboard wasn’t always the most effective. Stull says that it seems that actually seeing the teacher’s face the whole time may have distracted attention away from the words and drawings on the transparent whiteboard.

Stull, A. T., Fiorella, L., & Mayer, R. E. (2020). The case for embodied instruction: The instructor as a source of attentional and social cues in video lectures. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Teacher-student digital divide study

 Educators from school districts across the nation – from the most underserved to the most affluent – made significant strides in embracing and using technology tools to start the school year. Unfortunately, that balance still has not been fully achieved by all students.

According to a new study, there remain large gaps in the use of education technology among students from lower-income schools compared with those from higher-income areas.

Through its analysis, LearnPlatform noted that teachers from districts with 25% or more free-and-reduced lunch quickly made up ground on peers from other districts in November in their use of education technology. However, their students were still engaging about 30% less on digital platforms than other students.

The yearlong research, has looked at more than 270,000 educators and 2.5 million students across K-12 districts in 17 states.

Although those students seemed to be on the right track in October, the study said there was a notable drop-off in those gaps in November. In its report, authors said, “If the trend continues, the gap could expand beyond pre-COVID levels.”

One of the many potential reasons for the continuing divide is the sheer number of education technology tools out there. The study noted an analysis of “8,000 tech tools” used by teachers this year, including more than 1,300 in the past month alone. Since March, the authors said more than 70 tools were utilized for math and English courses and that most districts employed more than one LMS plus multiple single sign-on providers.

“The data suggest that having to learn and navigate so many digital tools may be contributing to confusion and disengagement, rather than creating more options,” researcher Rectanus said.

Rectanus, K. (2020). The Exponential Growth of the Digital Divide. LearnPlatform.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Digital Divide report

 As digital learning is expected to expand, data shows 67% of K-12 schools -- affecting 31.5 million students -- do not meet the recommended threshold of 1 megabits per second per student, according to a national report. Yet, data shows some improvement in median bandwidth per student and costs.

Connect12: 2020 executive summary. (2020). Connected Nation.