Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mobile device affect on students

A national survey of educators and interviews with school principals reveal big concerns about how the proliferation of digital devices is affecting K-12 education. Two-thirds of students use smartphones in schools, 90% of high schoolers use them on campus. While such devices facilitate communication and remediation through relevant apps, it also facilitates distractions, misbehavior, and cheating, Nevertheless, usage will probably increase. 
Smartphones and other devices in schools. (2020). Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/media/tc2020%20survey%20report%206.5.20.pdf

Friday, June 12, 2020

Libraries Respond: COVID-19 Survey

As a follow up to PLA’s March 2020 Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19 Survey, a new American Library Association (ALA) survey of U.S. libraries documents a shift in services to support students, faculty, and communities at large during the crisis and phased preparations for the months ahead. More than 3,800 K-12 school, college and university, public, and other libraries from all 50 states responded to the survey between May 12–18, 2020.
While virtually all libraries (99%) report limited access to the physical building, survey respondents shared leaps in the use of digital content, online learning, and virtual programs. Several themes emerged from the survey results, including that libraries are: involved in community crisis response, cautiously planning for re-opening facilities, committed to meeting the educational needs of students and researchers, and experiencing ongoing or increased demand for library programs and services.
COVID-19 crisis response: of respondents involved in community crisis response, the majority reported new partnerships, distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), addressing food insecurity, and sharing accurate community information and resources.
Caution with facility re-opening: Virtually all libraries have expanded virtual and phone services during the crisis, continuing a trend of library activities beyond physical walls. The survey finds that most libraries have limited access to their buildings while they work to establish health and safety protocols for staff, social distancing requirements for patrons, and processes for sanitizing materials. Curbside pickup, delivery, and by-appointment services are the most common next steps as national and state/local guidance evolve. Over one-third (37%) of respondents expect phased re-opening in June and July, and almost half (47%) are unsure when buildings will begin to re-open to the public.
American Library Association. (2020).  Libraries respond: COVID-10 survey. Chicago, IL: Author.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

COVID-19 and the State of K–12 Schools

COVID-19 and the State of K–12 Schools

Results and Technical Documentation from the Spring 2020 American Educator Panels COVID-19 Surveys

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Student social skills and screen time study


A new study suggests that, despite the large amount of time spent on smartphones and social media, young people today are just as socially skilled as those from the previous generation. Researchers compared teacher and parent evaluations of children who started kindergarten in 1998, six years before Facebook launched, with those who began school in 2010, when the first iPad debuted. The findings show that both groups of kids received similar ratings on their interpersonal skills, including the ability to form and maintain friendships and get along with those who are different. The two groups were also rated similarly on self-control, such as the ability to regulate their temper. There was one exception, however: Social skills were slightly lower for children who accessed online gaming and social networking sites several times a day.
Downey, D. B., & Gibbs, B. G. (2020). Kids These Days: Are Face-to-Face Social Skills among American Children Declining?. American Journal of Sociology125(4), 1030-1083.

Survey of digital material use by teachers

This researh adds new insights from English language arts (ELA), math, and science teachers on their use of digital materials. Drawing on data from the spring 2019 American Instructional Resources Survey, researchers share the digital materials that ELA, math, and science teachers across the United States reported using regularly for instruction during the 2018–2019 school year. Researchers then examine how teachers' use of these materials compares with their use of comprehensive curriculum materials, as well as teacher-reported barriers to digital material use. Researchers also explore several hypotheses regarding factors that might influence digital material use.

Key Findings

  • Most teachers use digital materials both for planning and classroom instruction. However, they use these materials to supplement other curriculum materials rather than as main materials.
  • For all subjects, the top digital materials used during instructional time include a mix of general resources, such as YouTube, and content-specific resources, such as ReadWorks and Khan Academy.
  • Teachers who used standards-aligned curricula, who had more low-income students, or who attended certain teacher preparation programs were more likely to use digital materials.
  • Expense was the most commonly cited barrier to digital material use, even more so among teachers with more low-income students.

Tosh, K., et al. (2020). Digital instructional materials: What are teachers using and what barriers exist? Santa Monica, CA: Rand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How schools should respond to pandemics.



“This resource provides the text of state statutes and regulations—as well as noncodified guidance from state health and education agencies—that relates to pandemic planning for schools. This tool is designed as a resource for educators, policymakers, and general audiences to learn more about pandemic planning for schools within their states; it is not designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of these policies.”
Nunez, B. (2020, Mar. 11).  As COVID-19 Spreads, Most States Have Laws That Address How Schools Should Respond to Pandemics.  ChildTrends. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

How to bridge homework gap with tech study

Enhancing connections between schools and communities could help close digital divides and curb the "homework gap," according to a study of schools in Alabama and Arizona. The study finds that bridging this divide relies on robust in-school technology programs and relevant community connections.
Lee, N. (2020). Bridging digital divides between schools and communities. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.
https://www.brookings.edu/research/bridging-digital-divides-between-schools-and-communities/