Thursday, September 24, 2020

Best practices for online instruction study

 There is no "right" way to adopt remote instruction, according to a recent study. Its review of 12 schools revealed several best practices, including innovative instruction, support for students with special needs and a focus on social and emotional learning.  Among areas of best practices includes providing support and adjustments, innovative instructional approaches; big-picture planning and establishing core principles; designing data-intensive approaches; creating supportive school-student connections; and building relationships with families and communities. 

 LiBetti, A., BGraziano, L., & Schiess, J. (2020). Promise in the time of quarantine.  Bellwether Education Partners and Teach For America.   https://bellwethereducation.org/sites/default/files/PromiseInQuarantineBellwetherFinal.pdf


In a second report, researchers investigate the relationship between teachers' reports of their students' internet access and their interaction with students and families during school closures related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These data are drawn from the American Instructional Resources Survey (AIRS), which was fielded in May and June 2020 and included questions to teachers regarding their instruction during school closures as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. When teachers deliver remote instruction, their capacity to communicate with students and their families is shaped by home internet access. Researchers found that half of teachers estimated that all or nearly all of their students had access to the internet at home, and teachers in schools located in towns and rural areas, schools serving higher percentages of students of color, and high-poverty schools were significantly less likely to report that all or nearly all of their students had access to the internet at home. These data suggest that existing inequities for students in rural and high-poverty schools might be exacerbated by students' limited access to the internet and communication with teachers as remote instruction continues.

Stelitano, L., et al. (2020). the digital divide and COVID-19. Rand.  https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA134-3.html?utm_source=WhatCountsEmail&utm_medium=NPA:2559:6359:Sep%2024,%202020%206:03:48%20AM%20PDT&utm_campaign=NPA:2559:6359:Sep%2024,%202020%206:03:48%20AM%20PDT


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cyberbullying study

A massive study on the effects of bullying uncovered that social media are considered the biggest threats for cyberbullying. The study found some worrying effects from bullying, but on a positive note, it includes advice on coping mechanisms as well (from adults who were bullied as children). 

Childhood bullying. (2020). Injuryclaimcoach. https://www.injuryclaimcoach.com/childhood-bullying.html

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Research on K12 educational practices during the pandemic

To determine effective ways to deliver education during the pandemic, agent-based computational models ran thousands of simulations of infection spread across more than 100 different school situations, varying by school level, school size, operating strategy, approach to quarantines and closures, and the local community’s COVID-19 infection rate. The results offer educators and civic leaders a set of comparable schools to their own, and provide insights beyond the heated political rhetoric about the best approaches for individual communities and schools to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while providing meaningful learning opportunities. Key findings include:

  • Precautions such as requiring masks and limiting the mixing of students outside of classes can measurably reduce infection spread in schools.
  • Hybrid approaches where smaller groups of students wearing masks attend in person part time dramatically reduce the total number of likely infections in a school.
  • Infection rates in elementary schools are likely to be lower than in secondary schools employing the same operating strategies.
  • Part-time hybrid operation is far more effective at reducing infections than temporarily closing the school building each time an infection is detected.
  • In schools that are using a part-time hybrid approach, quarantining close contacts of individuals with detected infections is sufficient to keep the school’s infection rate low, while closing entirely reduces the number of days that students can attend with no demonstrable benefit in further reducing infections.
  • Schools using a hybrid approach in a community with a moderate infection rate are likely to experience little or no unplanned disruption in the number of days students can come to school.
  • Regardless of precautions taken, there is a chance that a school could have an infection on its first day of operation.
Gill, B., Goyal, R., & Hotchkiss, J. (2020).  Operating schools in a pandemic.  Princeton, NJ: Mathematica.


Pandemic impact on students

 Some high-school students feel more motivated to learn in school than online and do not have equal access to remote instruction, according to a national survey administered in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, from March 26 to April 1. Results also show the toll of the pandemic on students' mental health, with one sharing it felt like life was in chaos. "Most, but not all, students had access to the technology needed for online learning; however, many found it difficult to adapt." The study recommends addressing inequities of access to technology and Internet, addressing food insecuriy, considering the whole student, improving online instruction and materials.

Croft, M. et al. (2020). HIgh school students' experiences in March during the coronavirus pandemic. Iowa City, IA: ACT Center for Equity in Learning.  https://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/R1841-covid-insights.pdf 


Saturday, August 29, 2020

Research on school libraries and student well-being

 This paper explores how school libraries may support student well-being by operating as safe spaces for young people, promoting and resourcing mental health and well-being initiatives, and supporting and promoting bibliotherapeutic practices and reading for pleasure. It then highlights implications for future research to support the development of a sound, research-supported evidence base for advocacy moving forward.

Merga, M. (2020). How can school libraries support student wellbeing? Evidence and implications for further research. Journal of Library Administration, 60(6), 660-673.


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Writing time study

 Students are not spending enough time writing, according to a recent report. The findings, based on data from the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress, found that about 25% of middle-and high-school students write for 30 minutes a day, and even fewer say they do argumentative writing weekly. Schools are not making writing a priority, and writing does not occur across the curriculum. Black and Hispanic students are more likely to be graded on "mechanics and conventions" (25 percent) compared to 18 percent of White students. A potential explanation for this, researcher Picou wrote, is that Black and Hispanic students were "more likely to have accents, dialectic differences or speak another language at home, which educators may classify as deficient."

Picou, A. (2020). Are schools making writing a priority? Learning Agency Lab.

https://www.the-learning-agency-lab.com/the-learning-curve/are-schools-making-writing-a-priority

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Student motivation during COVID-19 survey

 During coronavirus-related school closures in the spring, students' ability to motivate themselves to complete schoolwork varied by age, with 57% of fifth-graders saying they were able to stay motivated compared with 26% of 12th-graders, a survey finds. Distractions at home were the most common reason students cited for lack of motivation, followed by feeling stressed or depressed. 

Large numbers were able to navigate the mechanics of accessing and turning in their schoolwork (87 percent and 79 percent, respectively). Nearly six in 10 (57 percent) said they spent more time than usual on activities they enjoyed. And half reported that they were able to focus on their learning.

But remote learning didn't always result in a lot of learning. Challenges were especially high for low-income and Latinx students, who cited lack of ready access to the internet and computing devices more than other groups of students. Also, female students and those who identify in a way other than male or female reported struggling more with mental health and well-being (57 percent and 70 percent, in order) more than male students (38 percent).

Students weigh in: Learning & well-being during COVID-19. (2020). San Francisco, CA: YouthTruth. https://youthtruthsurvey.org/students-weigh-in/#studentvoice