Thursday, May 21, 2015

Digital vs. print media reading and gender

Girls have more firmly embraced digital literacy and formats such as Facebook, email and text message, while boys are more comfortable with traditional printed media such as comics, manuals and newspapers, according to a study published by the National Literacy Trust.
The snapshot – based on responses from 32,000 pupils at more than 130 schools in the UK – found that girls continue to outpace boys in their enthusiasm for reading outside school at all age levels, with black girls in particular showing a prodigious appetite for literature.
Girls studying for GCSEs, for example, were more likely to read emails and social network sites than boys of the same age – and were also more likely to read fiction, suggesting that the growth of digital media has not diminished the popularity of literature.
Boys studying for GCSEs were more likely than girls to read print products such as comics, with 38% saying they read newspapers at least once a month compared with 30% of girls of the same age.
Overall, boys reported lower levels of enjoyment from reading than their female peers, according to the figures compiled by the trust. Boys also tended to read less often and think less positively about reading than girls did.
National Literacy Trust. (2015). Children's and young people's reading in 2014. London: National Literacy Trust.
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/research/nlt_research/6646_childrens_and_young_peoples_reading_in_2014

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Washington State study on school library impact

A recent study in the state of Washington showed the wisdom of investing in school librarians. As part of the study, Elizabeth Coker performed a data analysisof a 40-question survey conducted by the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction among 1,486 of the 2,428 K–12 schools in the state. The results  showed that students attending schools with certified teacher-librarians perform better on standardized tests and are more likely to graduate. The reason is that certified teacher-librarians “are far more likely to be directly involved in teaching curriculum-designed around Common Core standards.”
Coker, El (2015). Certified teacher librarians, library quality and student achievement in Washington State public schools. Olympia, WA: Washington Library Media Association. 
https://wala.memberclicks.net/assets/WLMA/Advocacy/wslitreport_final%204_11_15final.pdf

Friday, February 13, 2015

STEM gender gap report

The gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics may be starting to turn, according to new 2009 data from the National Center for Education Statistics. The data is coming at a time when states and districts are in a big push to get more students—and particularly girls—into STEM careers. By 12th grade, girls in 2009 were more likely than boys to have earned credit in advanced math and science, including Algebra II, chemistry, biology, and health sciences, though boys are significantly more likely to earn credit in computer science and engineering. However, girls continued to underperform in small but persistent ways across several STEM-related parts of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
U.S. Department of Education. (2015). Gender differences in science, technology,  engineering and mathematics (STEM) interest, credits earned, and  NAEP performance in the 12th grade. 
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2015/2015075.pdf

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Student independent reading report

Students generally do not select challenging nonfiction for independent reading, according to a recent report. While students' selection of nonfiction has increased by 5%, the number still is below recommendations in the Common Core State Standards.  Findings also indicated that reading peaked at 6th grade, and that girls outread boys.
The study is based on Accelerated Reader data.
Renaissance Learning. (2014). What Kids Are Reading. Wisconsin Rapid, WI: Renaissance Learning.
http://doc.renlearn.com/KMNet/R004101202GH426A.pdf

Thursday, November 13, 2014

School libraries and eboo survey

E-book usage is slowly growing among school libraries, with elementary schools showing the largest usage rates of one book for every three students, according to a report from the School Library Journal. Findings from the survey of 835 school libraries indicate that limited access to e-readers was the top reason schools are slow to adopt e-books, and iPads were the top devices used for reading.
School Library Journal. (2014). Ebook Usage in U.S. School (K–12) Libraries. 
http://www.slj.com/2014/11/books-media/ebooks/ebooks-take-hold-slowly/#_
http://www.thedigitalshift.com/research/ebook-usage-u-s-school-k-12-libraries-2014-report/

Friday, November 7, 2014

Personalized education impact research

Students who participate in personalized-learning programs may perform better on computerized reading and math assessments, according to a recent study. However, the researchers caution against attributing the gains solely to such programs. Moreover, there remain practical and systemic barriers to expanding programs that aim to tailor instruction to individual students’ needs and skills.

Rand Corporation. (2014). Early Progress: Interim Report on Personalized Learning. Seattle, WA: Gates Foundation.
http://collegeready.gatesfoundation.org/sites/default/files/Early%20Progress%20Interim%20Report%20on%20Personalized%20Learning%20-%20Executive%20Summary_0.pdf 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Exercise for productivity research

Second- and fourth-grade students in Canada were more attentive and less fidgety in class after spending four minutes engaged in physical activity, according to a recent study by researchers at Queen's University. They found that engaging students in what they called FUNtervals improved students' attention and performance in school.
Gurd BJ, Le Mare L, and Ma JK. Classroom-based high-intensity interval activity improves off-task behaviour in primary school students. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2014.
http://www.medicaldaily.com/fun-exercise-boost-kids-attention-school-performance-all-it-takes-4-minutes-308922