Thursday, January 31, 2008

Information literacy communications study

Students who explain concepts score better
Four- and five-year-olds who explain new concepts to themselves or their mothers score much higher on tests than those who do not, according to a new Vanderbilt University study.
Rittle-Johnson,B, Saylor, M., & Swygart, K. (2008). Learning from explaining: Does it matter if mom is listening? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology (in press).

Friday, January 25, 2008

Open Source report

School spending on open-source software to rise
Schools and universities worldwide will spend $489.9 million on open-source software and related services by 2012 versus the current $286.2 million, according to a new report from market researcher Datamonitor. Educators' interest in customizing software to suit their own needs is growing more quickly than expected.
Datamonitor. (2008). Unlikely bedfellows - open source initiatives and commercial vendors in the education market. New York: Datamonitor.
(note cost of report...)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tech career planning study

Schools Fail to Teach Innovation
U.S. teens say they aren't being prepared well for technology and engineering careers. The disparity is more pronounced among some groups historically underrepresented in these fields. Roughly two-thirds of African-American teens (64 percent) and teen girls (67 percent) believe they are not being prepared well in school for these careers.
Lemelson-MIT Program. (2008). Lemelson-MIT Invention Index. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Search engine study

Search-engine freshness
The update strategies of search engines Google, Yahoo, and MSN/ were analyzed by testing the updates of 40 daily updated pages and 30 irregularly updated pages. It was found that the search engines change in up-to-dateness over the years and that none has an ideal solution for index freshness. A major problem is the delay in making crawled pages available for searching, which differs from one engine to another.
Lewandowski, D. (2008). A three-year study of the freshness of web search engine databases. Journal of Information Science.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Education statistics update

DOE Releases National Dashboard
The U.S. Department of Education released what it calls a National Dashboard that shows how the nation is doing on key indicators such as high school graduation rates and closing achievement gaps.
U. S. Dept. of Education. (2008). Mapping today's educational progress. Washington, DC: Author.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Teaching report

Education Week focused this year on teaching issues. Here are some findings.
“Although student achievement is linked to good teachers, there's no system for attracting, training, and supporting the best people for the job.”
“States may be able to play a strong role in rethinking teacher compensation systems, including basing rewards, in part, on student gains.”
“When it comes to retaining teachers, studies show that the circumstances of their jobs may matter even more than their salaries.”
Quality Counts: Tapping Into Teaching. Education Week, Jan. 9, 2008

Bibliographic control study

The Library of Congress oversaw this report on the future of bibliographic control. Among its findings, the report suggests that increased efficiencies and the elimination of redundancies should help libraries increase access to rare, unique, and hidden materials. "Libraries need to expose their hidden long tail, especially in nontextual formats; catalog those unique and rare materials and they too will be exposed and used. How best to do that remains at issue. The report raised questions about MARC, which lacks extensibility and interoperability. More and more, the ways people come at library resources are going to be from places not created or designed by librarians.
Library of Congress. (2008). On the Record: Report of The Library of Congress Working Group on the Future of Bibliographic Control. Washington, DC: Author.

Medicine use study

5% of teens, young adults have abused cough meds
A new report has found that 5% of people ages 12 to 25 -- about 3.1 million young people -- have abused cough syrups and cold pills to hallucinate or get high. Whites reported taking cough and cold medications to get high at a rate three times higher than blacks, the research showed.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2007). Preventing teen cough medicine abuse. Washington, DC: Author.

Teen sex report

14% to 37% of 15-year-olds say they've had sex
Countries like the Netherlands with robust sex-education programs and teen access to contraceptives have the highest teen use of birth control and the lowest teen pregnancy rates, according to a survey of 33,943 adolescents from 24 European and North American countries. About 82% of sexually active teens report using contraceptives.
Santelli, J., et al. (2008). Contraceptive Use by 15-Year-Old Students at Their Last Sexual Intercourse.Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162(1):66-73.

Academic Libraries issues survey

The Association of College and Research Libraries has issued an updated list of the top issues facing its members. Among them: the increased emphasis on digitizing collections and preserving digital collections, the evolving skill set for academic librarians performing new rules, debates about intellectual property rights, demands for free access by the public to information, and a sense by students that they are “customers” of libraries.

School Library Media Programs survey

ALA surveyed state Departments of Education regarding state laws, policies, standards or guidelines governing school library media programs. A searchable database containing the data collected is now available on the AASL website.

teen cheating study

One in four teens say cheating on a test is OK
While 71% of 13- to 18-year-olds say they're ready to make ethical decisions, at least 24% said cheating on a test was acceptable and 38% said cheating, lying or violence may be necessary for success, according to the fifth Teen Ethics Survey. These attitudes point to more than a need for further ethics training at school.
Junior Achievement and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. (2008). Teen Ethics Survey. Colorado Springs, Jr. Achievement.

Library Automation perception study

Library Automation perception
With company mergers, library systems have been impacted significantly. An international survey results indicate major differences in satisfaction in the products and companies from which libraries acquire their automation systems. Dissatisfaction and concern prevail, yet some companies maintain exceptional levels of satisfaction from the libraries that use their products.
Breeding, Marshall. (2008). Perceptions 2007: An International Survey of Library Automation. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University

Parental TV control study

More parents restrict TV access
About 47% of parents set multiple TV rules for teens in 2004, including setting time and programming limits, compared to 40% in 1994, according to a new national study. Some 71% of 6- to 11-year-olds had such limits in 2004 compared to 60% in the 1990s.
U.S. Census Bureau. (2007). A child's day: 2004. Washington, DC: Author.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Teachers and technology study

Teachers need more technology training
Educators worldwide need more technological skills to be able to effectively integrate technology into classroom lessons, according to a United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization report. The group recommends countries devise professional development programs to help educators acquire such skills.
UNESCO. (2008). ICT Competency Standards for Teachers. Paris: UNESCO.

Reducing student expelsion study

Support teachers, reduce class sizes to lessen preschool expulsion
To help reduce the number of children expelled from early-childhood programs, their teachers need more support and fewer students, Yale University researcher Walter S. Gilliam says in a new study. Reducing student-teacher ratios to 10 or fewer, offering preschool teachers more frequent breaks and giving them access to tips from mental-health experts will help improve student behavior and keep more in class.
Gilliam, W. (2007). Implementing Policies to Reduce the Likelihood of Preschool Expulsion. New York: Foundation for Child Development.

Substitute teachers study

Growing use of substitutes may hurt scores
Across the country, twice as many schools reported using substitutes in 2004 to fill long-term teaching vacancies versus a decade earlier, according to U.S. Education Department data. New research suggests that teacher absences lead to lower student test scores, even when substitutes are brought in.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2007). Education Department Schools and Staffing Survey. Washington, DC: NCES.

computer vs information literacy study

Computer Literacy Doesn't Mean Information Literacy
The next generation of college students, more wired than any other, might not be as good at Internet research as you may think. A new report says the *Google Generation* (those born after 1993, who can*t remember a time when the Internet wasn*t widely available) may be computer literate. But that doesn't make them information literate.
Some of the key problems the study found include:
*Young people don*t develop good search strategies to find quality
*They might find information on the Internet quickly, but they
don*t know how to evaluate the quality of what they find.
*They don*t understand what the Internet really is: a vast network
with many different content providers.
The report details the implications of these problems for library
professionals. It says library resources should be more unified with
Internet tools like Google, and adapt to the changing ways younger
generations gather information.
Joint Information Systems Committee. (2007). Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future. Bristol: Author.

School funding report

Many disadvantaged districts receive the least funding
Many states provide the fewest funds to districts with the most poor and minority students, according to a new Education Trust report. On average, U.S. school districts in 2005 spent $938 less per pupil at schools where incomes were low versus more affluent districts, while districts with a large proportion of minority students received $877 less per pupil compared with predominately white districts.
Arroyo, C.(2007). The funding gap. Washington, DC: Education Trust.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Tech writing program study

Web Technology Boosts Writing Performance at Alhambra USD
Vantage Learning's online writing program MY Access was integrated into the school district in the 2005/2006 school year. Seventh-grade test scores on the California Standards Test writing assessment rose 50 percentage points, from 22 percent of students scoring proficient or above in 2005/2006 to 70 percent in 2006/2007.