Monday, April 7, 2014

AASL School Library Research studies

The 2014 volume of AASL’s peer-reviewed online journal, School Library Research, features studies on college readiness, information literacy during the high school to college transition, and educational stakeholders’ perceptions of school library programs.
  • In “College Ready—What Can We Learn from First-Year College Assignments? An Examination of Assignments in Iowa Colleges and Universities,” Jean Donham examines the readiness of high school graduates to produce scholarly work that meets the expectations of college instructors.
  • Jana Varlejs, Eileen Stec and Hannah Kwon examine school librarian and teacher working relationships in their article, “Factors Affecting Students’ Information Literacy as They Transition from High School to College.”
  • To provide data for their article, “What Do Stakeholders Know about School Library Programs? Results of a Focus Group Evaluation,” the research team of Nancy Everhart and Marcia Mardis ran four focus groups throughout the state of Pennsylvania to identify what educational stakeholders expect from school library programs.
Articles can be found on the AASL website at

Sunday, April 6, 2014

PISA 2012 results

The PISA assessed the competencies of 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science (with a focus on mathematics)in 65 countries and economies. In 44 of those countries and economies about 85 000 students also took part in an optional assessment of creative problem solving. The test aimed to measure the capacity to engage creatively in cognitive processing to understand and resolve problem situations where a method of solution is not immediately obvious (including motivational and affective aspects).
Among the findings were:
US students did better in problem-solving than in math, reading, or science. 
Proficiency in mathematics is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults, influencing their ability to participate in post-secondary education and their expected future earnings. Across OECD countries,a more socio-economically advantaged student scores 39 points higher in mathematics– the equivalent of nearly one year of schooling – than a less-advantaged student. Pre-primary school attendance also advantages students in math. Other positive associations include high parental expectations, enjoyment of school, sense of belonging at school, punctual school attendance, good teacher-student relations,heterogeneous classes, and resiliency.

OECD. (2014). PISA 2012 - Creative Problem Solving: Students’ skills in tackling real-life. problems. Paris: OECD.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Study on children's books that portray animals

Animals with human traits in children's books lead to less-factual learning
A recent study showed that children's books that portray animals with human characteristics hindered factual learning, abstract thinking and conceptual reasoning about animals. "Books that portray animals realistically lead to more learning and more accurate biological understanding," said the study's author Patricia Ganea, a psychologist at the University of Toronto.
Ganea, P.  et al. (2014). Do cavies talk? The effect of anthropomorphic books on children's knowledge about animals. Frontiers in Psychology, 5.
Do cavies talk?: The effect of anthropomorphic books on children's knowledge about animals - See more at:
Do cavies talk?: The effect of anthropomorphic books on children's knowledge about animals - See more at:
Do cavies talk?: The effect of anthropomorphic books on children's knowledge about animals - See more at:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Common Core, Teachers, and Literacy

A new report reveals that educators across the US feel ill-prepared to help their students achieve the new Common Core State Standards in literacy. The report, , investigates the extent to which the professional expertise of educators working together is driving standards implementation. AASL members helped provide the data used in creating this report.
National Center for Literacy Education. (2013). Remodeling Literacy Learning Together: Paths to Standards Implementation. Urbana, IL: Author.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Web history report

This report is the first part of a sustained effort through 2014 by the Pew Research Center to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Lee wrote a paper on March 12, 1989 proposing an “information management” system that became the conceptual and architectural structure for the Web.  He eventually released the code for his system—for free—to the world on Christmas Day in 1990. It became a milestone in easing the way for ordinary people to access documents and interact over a network of computers called the internet—a system that linked computers and that had been around for years. The Web became especially appealing after Web browsers were perfected in the early 1990s to facilitate graphical displays of pages on those linked computers.
It thus became a major layer of the internet. Indeed, for many, it became synonymous with the internet, even though that is not technically the case. The internet is rules (protocols) that enable computer networks to communicate with each other. The Web is a service that uses the network to allow computers access files and pages that are hosted on other computers. Other applications that are different from the Web also exploit the internet’s architecture to facilitate such things as email, some kinds of instant messaging, and peer-to-peer activities like internet phone calling through services like Skype or file sharing through torrent services.
Using the Web—browsing it, searching it, sharing on it—has become the main activity for hundreds of millions of people around the globe. Its birthday offers an occasion to revisit the ways it has made the internet a part of Americans’ social lives.
This first report looks back at the rapid change in internet penetration over the last quarter century, and covers new survey findings about Americans’ generally positive evaluations of the internet’s impact on their lives and personal relationships. In the coming months, the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project in association with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Project will further mark the 25th anniversary of the Web by releasing eight reports about emerging trends in digital technology that are based on surveys of experts about the future of such things as privacy, cybersecurity, the “internet of things,” and net neutrality. We will also explore some of the economic change driven by the spectacular progress that made digital tools faster and cheaper. And we will report on whether Americans feel that the explosion of digital information coursing through their lives has helped them be better informed and make better decisions.
Rainie, L., Fox, S., & Duggan, M. (2014). the web at 25 in the U.S. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.
Find related reports about the future of the internet at Find related data about the long-term trends in technology adoption at

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Novel reading and brain function study

The new research, carried out at Emory University in the US, found that reading a good book may cause heightened connectivity in the brain and neurological changes that persist in a similar way to muscle memory. The changes were registered in the left temporal cortex, an area of the brain associated with receptivity for language, as well as the the primary sensory motor region of the brain. The neurological changes were found to have continued for all the five days after finishing a novel, proving that the impact was not just an immediate reaction but has a lasting influence.
Berns, Gregory S., Blaine, Kristina, Prietula, Michael J., and Pye, Brandon E. (2013). Short- and Long-Term Effects of a Novel on Connectivity in the Brain. Brain Connectivity, 3(6): 590-600.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Teens and tech research

This article discusses findings from 3 Pew Internet Projects, providing an overiew of tech in teens' lives, the role of libraries in the lives of older teeas and YAs, and the impact of the Internet on middle and high school students' research habits.
Zickuhr, K. (2014). Teens and tech: What the research says. YALS (winter), 33-37.