Monday, October 14, 2019

Inquiry-Based Learning Study

A massive experiment involving 17,000 students in four countries finds gains for inquiry-, or problem-based teaching over traditional approaches. Introducing math and science through inquiry and problem-based instruction can pay off throughout elementary school. However, while both boys and girls improved in inquiry-based classes, the researchers found that boys improved faster, widening the gender achievement gap.
Bando, R., Näslund-Hadley, E., & Gertler, P. (2019). Effect of Inquiry and Problem Based Pedagogy on Learning: Evidence from 10 Field Experiments in Four Countries (No. w26280). National Bureau of Economic Research.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Views on classroom tech study

A survey from the University of Waterloo found that 68% of faculty don't like students using phones during class and 32% disapprove of laptops, saying that noneducational use of technology distracts from their teaching. Students, however, felt it was their choice to use such technology in class, with some saying they expected professors to be entertaining enough to earn their attention.
Neiterman, E., Zaza, C. (2019).A mixed blessing? Students' and instructors' perspectives about off-task technology use in the academic classroom. Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of the Teaching and Learning, 10(1).

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Fan Fiction Study

Students who resist creative-writing prompts in English class might enjoy writing in someone else's fictional world, a genre known as fan fiction. Researchers say the positive feedback and mentoring often present in online fan fiction communities encourage novice writers of all ages to polish their skills, while engaging in an activity that feels like play rather than work.
Beck, J. (2019, Oct. 1). What fan fiction teaches that the classroom doesn't. Atlantic.

Reading Instruction Studies

Much research has been conducted on the science of reading instruction. This article details several studies, including those showing the benefits of explicit phonics instruction, particularly for students who struggle to read. A few findings follow.
  • Children learn to understand speech through exposure to language and dialogue.
  • Learning phonological skills such as rhyming, alliteration, alphabet letters, knowing numbers, sequencing, remembering information facilitate learning to read.  
  • To read, they learn to connect oral and written language, depending on the orthographic and spelling rules. 
  • The best phonics programs are systematic. Sight works are also effective (e.g., were, one, friend). 
  • Reading with PK predicts elementary school level reading skill. 
  • Reading print differs from reading digitally. 
Schwartz, S., & Sparks, S. (2019, October 2). How do kids learn to read? What the science says. Education Week.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Study on Typical Teen Hackers

A new study concludes that many hacker kids tend to have the same qualities as other children who engage in more traditional troubled behavior out in the real, offline world. Low-self control is one of the biggest predictive factors in whether or not students are likely to turn to cybercrime, the researchers found. They may have had other additional involvement in digital piracy. Boys are more likely to hack, and they have different motivations for hacking than girls. Boys are more likely to turn to become hackers if they use drugs, spend a lot of time watching television, or play a tons of computer games. And girls are more likely to turn to cybercrime if they hang out with other kids who shoplift or engage in other types of petty theft. They're also more likely to become hackers if their friends like to frighten or intimidate people "just for fun."

Other risk factors are environmental. Student hackers of both sexes are more likely to have parents who are of higher socio-economic status , and live in small towns or rural areas where there are fewer activities and less structured time.
Holt, T. J., Navarro, J. N., & Clevenger, S. (2019). Exploring the Moderating Role of Gender in Juvenile Hacking Behaviors. Crime & Delinquency.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Digital content survey

Conducted online among ASCD members, this report aimed to collect information in order to better understand the usage and attitudes toward digital content in the classroom and school library in 2019. This 2019 study focuses on current usage habits and future plans, as well as administrators' mindsets as they make their decisions on digital content going forward.
Digital content report. (2019). Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Screen Time Use and Academics Study

Not all screen time is created equal, according to a review of 58 studies from 23 countries published recently. The review found that time students spent watching television and playing video games -- rather than time spent on the internet and using mobile phones -- negatively affected academics. Watching more TV impacted language and math abilities as well as an overall academic composite for teens; just language and math abilities were impacted in younger children. Teen scores appeared to be worse than those of younger children when the amount of time spent watching TV went up. On average, a typical child plays video games for 40 minutes a day and watches between 1.8 and 2.8 hours of TV each day. Almost a third of children and adolescents spend more than four hours a day on screens, with boys outpacing girls.
Adelantado-Renau M, Moliner-Urdiales D, Cavero-Redondo I, Beltran-Valls MR, Martínez-Vizcaíno V, Álvarez-Bueno C. (2019, Sept. 23). Association Between Screen Media Use and Academic Performance Among Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis . JAMA Pediatrics. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.3176