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

Digita learning report

This national study examines the state of digital learning today and highlights the need for high-quality, actionable data on the digital learning tools and methods students use. Student choice at the state level, student choice at the course level, and the existence and strength of charter school laws are three predictors of how strong a state’s digital learning opportunities are likely to be. Overall, more students than ever before have access to digital learning opportunities, including online and blended learning, but state policies and other factors often limit digital learning’s availability.
The researchers outlined four main reasons schools are increasingly incorporating digital learning opportunities into teaching and learning:
1. Improving student access to a variety of schooling options
2. Ensuring that students reach their maximum achievement levels
3. Increasing technology skills, which parents, teachers, and stakeholders believe to be essential for college- and career-ready students
4. Reducing costs
Most school districts use digital learning tools and resources, but the extent, type, and goal of that use vary widely.
Different grades use digital content and tools differently, too, according to the report:
  • High schools tend to offer fully online courses and many forms of digital content.
  • Elementary schools tend to offer self-paced interactive activities that are topic-focused and collaborative
  • Middle schools are a hybrid of high schools and elementary schools, in which younger middle school students are more likely to use interactive and skill-based lessons, while older middle school students use other forms of digital content and begin venturing into online learning opportunities

Evergreen Education Group. (2014).  Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning.
http://kpk12.com/
 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Deeper learning research

Deeper Learning Approach Shows Positive Student Gains
      The idea that students need to develop a deeper understanding of content and the ability to apply what they learn in one area to another area are major premises of new learning standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. A new study now shows that schools promoting the practices of what's called "deeper learning" are getting better results from their students. According to the American Institute for Research,
deeper learning consists of three elements: a "deeper understanding of core academic content"; "the ability to apply that understanding to novel problems and situations"; and "development of a range of competencies," such as communication, collaboration, "learning to learn," development of an academic mindset and self-control.
     The organization examined outcomes for students attending schools that participate in a deeper learning network community of practice. Researchers compared 13 "network" schools against non-network schools with similar levels of incoming student achievement rates and comparable levels of federal, state and local funding. All are public high schools with student populations that include students of color, English language learners and students from low-income families.
     The study found that the network schools tackled development of deeper learning competencies in different ways. Most used project-based learning to help students master core academic content areas and critical thinking skills, but the structure of those projects varied across schools. Students at these schools reported "greater opportunities" to engage in deeper learning than the students in non-network schools. The network schools, for example, put a bigger emphasis on internship opportunities, study groups and student participation in decision-making.
 American Institute for Research.  (2014). Study of deeper learning: Opportunities and outcomes.
http://www.air.org/project/study-deeper-learning-opportunities-and-outcomes