Saturday, December 24, 2011

Twitter and student achievement study

This research found that college students and teachers who used twitter in their course were more engaged in learning and earned higher grades than parallel students without the Twitter inclusion.
R. Junco, G. Heiberger, E. Loken (2011) The effect of Twitter on college student engagement and grades, Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 27(2),119-132.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Public school distance education report

A majority of public school districts in the United States have students who participate in distance education courses at some level, according to data released by the National Center for Education Statistics. But the most of those districts aren't delivering the education themselves.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2011). Distance Education Courses for Public Elementary and Secondary School Students: 2009–10. Washington, DC: Author.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gender and equity report

This international report asserts that closing persistent gender gaps matters because gender equality is a core development objective and is smart economics. Greater gender equality can enhance productivity, improve development outcomes for the next generation, and make institutions more representative. Building on a growing body of knowledge on the economics of gender equality and development, the Report identifies the areas where gender gaps are most significant—both intrinsically and in terms of their potential development payoff—and where growth alone cannot solve the issues. It then sets forth four priorities for public action:
Reducing excess female mortality and closing education gaps where they remain
Improving access to economic opportunities for women
Increasing women’s voice and agency in the household and in society
Limiting the reproduction of gender inequality across generations.
World Bank. (2011). World development report 2012: Gender equity and development.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Perceptions of children's use of digital media study

A recent student found that more parents are concerned about the effect of digital media on children's learning and development. However, many parents also say they do not think their children are spending too much time with computers and other devices. Parents should play video games and watch television with their children, to better understand the time they spend on these activities and to make the experience more enriching, experts say.
Takeuchi, L. (2011). Families matter: Designing media for a digital age. New York, NY: Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Perceptions of libraries

OCLC's newest membership report, a sequel to the 2005 Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources, is now available. The new report provides updated information and new insights into information consumers and their online habits, preferences, and perceptions. Particular attention was paid to how the current economic downturn has affected the information-seeking behaviors and how those changes are reflected in the use and perception of libraries.
OCLC. (2011). Perceptions of Libraries.

California teachers find science lessons lacking

In California, elementary-school teachers say they have less time to teach science because of an increased focus on students' achievement in reading and math, according to a recent survey. About 10% of elementary students routinely engage in hands-on science lessons, and teachers reported they lack resources and training to teach the course. The result, officials say, has been lower scores on standardized science exams.
Center for the Future of Teaching and Learning. (2011). High Hopes – Few Opportunities: The Status of Elementary Science Education in California.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Literacy perceptions

A national survey of literacy coaches found little curriculum integration, and mixed perceptions about integration obstacles and curricular definition of ICT. Finding noted the extent that ICT is being integrated into literacy instruction, and suggest factors to increase that practice and more broadly define literacy.
Hutchison, A., & Reinking, D. (2011). Teachers' perceptions of integrating information and communication technologies in literacy instruction. Reading Research Quarterly, 46(4), 312-333.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Inequities in student performance

Examines disparities in performance between public schools attended by white or Asian students and those attended by African-American, Latino, or Native American students. Analyzes how disadvantaged children are assigned to high-poverty and urban schools.
Logan, John R. (2010). Whose Schools Are Failing? US2010 Project.

School funding report

Examines differences in per-pupil school funding among states, inequities among districts within states, and their implications. Calls for a progressive fiscal equity measure that would encourage state school financing reform.
Epstein, Diana. (2011). Measuring Inequity in School Funding. Center for American Progress.

Adult use of mobile services

More than a quarter (28%) of all American adults use mobile or social location-based services of some kind. This includes anyone who takes part in one or more of the following activities:
28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location—that works out to 23% of all adults.
A much smaller number (5% of cell owners, equaling 4% of all adults) use their phones to check in to locations using geosocial services such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Smartphone owners are especially likely to use these services on their phones.
9% of internet users set up social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn so that their location is automatically included in their posts on those services. That works out to 7% of all adults.
Taken together, 28% of U.S. adults do at least one of these activities either on a computer or using their mobile phones—and many users do several of them.
Pew Internet & American Life Project. (2011). 28% of American adults use mobile and social location-based services. Washington, DC: Author.

Report on information sources used

A new survey finds there is a richer and more nuanced ecosystem of community news and information than researchers have previously identified. Americans turn to a wide range of platforms to get local news and information, and where they turn varies depending on the subject matter and their age. The report includes an interactive graphic that explores which sources Americans use the most for 16 topics of interest.
Pew Research Center. (2011). How People Learn About Their Local Community. Washington, DC: Author.

Writing study

Examines whether classroom-based formative writing assessment — designed to provide students with feedback and modified instruction as needed — improves student writing and how teachers can improve such assessment. Suggests best practices.
Graham, Steve; Karen Harris; Michael Hebert. (2010). Informing Writing: The Benefits of Formative Assessment. Alliance for Excellent Education

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Parents' attitudes about public schools

Americans Value Digital Learning in Schools
The 2011 PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools found that 91 percent of Americans and 95 percent of parents polled indicated that students need access to computer technology and the internet to ensure academic success. At the same time, researchers also found that most Americans believe schools already have the computer technology needed for education as 74 percent said schools should invest in more technology, compared to 82 percent in 2000. The report also found that Americans are open to instruction over the Internet if it offers students a higher quality experience than having an educator present in the classroom.
Bushaw, W., & Lopez, S. (2011). Betting on teachers. Phi Delta Kappa and Gallup.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Students' views and use of technology

Technology skills are essential to a successful future, according to students surveyed in the second annual 21st-Century Classroom Report, a nationwide survey of more than 1,000 high school students, faculty and IT staff. The report seeks to understand how students and faculty want to use technology, measure how classroom technology is evolving and identify opportunities for continued growth.
Key findings:
High school faculty’s vision of a 21st-century classroom is evolving to include wireless Internet, interactive whiteboards and digital content - a year ago, faculty limited must-have technology to an Internet connection, teacher computing device and LCD projector
Most students still use technology more outside of school than in class. While nearly all students - 94% - say they use technology to study or work on class assignments at home, only 46% of faculty say they regularly assign homework that requires use of technology
73% of IT professionals report that their districts are currently using or considering using digital content
Just 39% of students say their high school is meeting their technology expectations

CDW Government LLC (2011). 2011 CDW-G 21st-Century Classroom Report. Vernon Hills, IL: Author.

Reading achievement and teacher librarians

Laying off librarians has a negative effect on fourth grade reading scores (2004 to 2009): "fewer librarians translated to lower performance—or a slower rise in scores—on standardized tests." Most important, Lance and Hofshine present evidence showing that the negative effect was due specifically to laying off librarians, not overall staff changes.
"We found that 19 of the 26 states that gained librarians saw an average 2.2 percent rise in their National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) fourth-grade reading scores. Meanwhile, 9 of the 24 states that lost librarians had a 1 percent rise … the increase in scores of states that gained librarians was two times that of states that lost librarians. Scores remained unchanged for 6 states that gained librarians and 12 that lost librarians. Three states that lost librarians had an average decline of -1 percent, and one state that gained librarians experienced a -0.5 percent decline in scores."
" … the magnitude and significance of the relationship between librarian staffing and test performance was reduced only very slightly when taking into account overall staff changes in schools … Whether a school had a librarian remained an important factor in reading test performance, regardless of what was happening with overall staffing numbers."
Correlation between percent change in school librarians and percent change in reading scores for all students: r = .567. Correlation when controlled for percent change in total school staff: r = .562 (partial correlation).
Lance, K., & Hofshine, L. (2011). Something to Shout About: New research shows that more librarians means higher reading scores. School Library Journal, Sept. 1.

Information provided by Stephen Krashen

Social media and plagiarism

Social media sites are sources of plagiarism in student work

Social-networking and homework-help sites are becoming increasingly popular sources of plagiarism in student papers, according to a new analysis by, a website that checks a database and the Internet for prior published work. The findings reflect the rising use of online sources by students, as well as highlight a need for students to develop better research skills and learn how to determine which sites are legitimate and how to source them.

Turnitin. (2011). Plagiarism and the web. Oakland, CA: Turnitin.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Student achievement in math and reading

U.S. Students Rank 32 in Math Proficiency, 31 in Reading, Study Says
The US's graduating high school class of 2011 had a 32 percent proficiency rate in math and a 31 percent proficiency rate in reading, leaving many to question whether schools are adequately preparing students for the 21st century global economy, says a new report.
U.S. students fall behind 31 countries in math proficiency and behind 16 countries in reading proficiency.
Harvard's Program on Education Policy and Governance. (2011). Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

High School Students not proficient in technology

Technology has become so integrated with our daily lives that most simply take it for granted. However, a new report says that many high school students may not be as proficient with technology as they should, which could leave them unprepared for their future.
The Epoch Times, Education Development Center (EDC) 2011

NCES geography test scores

The National Center for Education Statistics, which administers the test, released results midmorning Tuesday for the 2010 National Assessment of Educational Progress in geography. It found that 4th graders scored on average 213 out of a possible 500, an “all-time high” since the test started in 1994, but the rising scores have not translated to more students moving from “basic” to “proficient” performance on the test, and the percentage of students achieving at the “advanced” level has gone down in every grade.

National Center for Education Statistics 2010 Report

Report Seeking Synchronicity Virtual Reference

A new membership report titled, Seeking Synchronicity distills more than five years of virtual reference (VR) research into a readable summary that features memorable quotes that vividly illustrate very specific and actionable suggestions. Taken from a multi-phase research project that included focus group interviews, surveys, transcript analysis, and phone interviews, with VR librarians, users, and non-users, these findings are meant to help practitioners develop and sustain VR services and systems. The report asserts that the "R" in "VR" needs to emphasize virtual "Relationships" as well as "Reference".

OCLC Research, in partnership with Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 2011

Project-based Learning Focuses on Internet

The plan is different in each district, but common elements are a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and project-based learning - instruction that introduces projects at the start as a vehicle for instruction, as opposed to a culminating exercise at the end of a lesson. In a project-based learning situation, everything students learn is connected to a group project about a real-world problem or question. They work with classmates, researching online. Teachers stay out of it until they're needed. It's designed to be more engaging and relevant. It's a concept participants say will get students and the communities excited about their local schools. It also aspires to take advantage of technology to bring the best possible instruction to schools that often struggle to hire qualified teachers. If they succeed, the schools will be held up as models for rural schools throughout South Dakota.

Josh Verges, Argus Leader, 2011

Report Cracking the Competency Code

The report sets a policy framework for advancing performance-based learning and builds on recommendations made during the 2011 Competency-Based Learning Summit convened by iNACOL and CCSSO earlier this year. The report recommends that states begin to transform policies from "rigid compliance" to "enabling policies," by offering seat-time waivers or "credit flex" policies that allow for the flexibility to offer competency-based learning in K-12. The policy development is multi-stage -- building towards a "comprehensive policy redesign" that would require school districts to offer competency-based credits; provide proper training and information systems; establish quality-control; support individual growth models for accountability; and align higher education with K-12 competency-based efforts.
Patrick and Sturgis, International Association for K-12 Online Learning, 2011

Online Schools turn to Hybrid Instruction

In just one decade, virtual learning has exploded, with two massive statewide full-time virtual schools in Florida and North Carolina, and more on the way. As online learning is taking off, new research is finding that it may not be the most effective way to teach children, and virtual companies have begun to see that a purely virtual approach has its limits. A key report put out by the U.S. Department of Education in September 2010 demonstrated that a blend of face-to-face instruction and online learning produced the greatest academic gains. Now, not only are traditional schools looking for more online options, but virtual schools in turn are adding bits of brick and mortar to their offerings. Once purely virtual schools—sometimes referred to as 'clicks'—are adding bricks in a variety of ways, Horn says. Some have added check-in centers where students can come by once a week to meet with peers and teachers. Others are moving to a type of hybrid model, with some online instruction with virtual teachers coupled with mentors and in-person teachers who rotate through a building, pulling students out for small group instruction, remediation, or acceleration.
BRIGID SCHULTE, Harvard Education Letter, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

Report Public Library usage

A new report that dispels some myths that have lingered regarding the target service population for public access computers in U.S. public libraries. It also provides a demographic analysis of public access computer users and uses and demonstrates that public libraries are providing much more than basic technology access. The report examines trends in library computer use according to demographic characteristics. Eight major categories of activities were examined: social connections/communications, education, employment, health and wellness, government and legal, community engagement, managing finances, and entrepreneurship.
Institute of Museum and Library Service,

Learning in the 21st Century: 2011 Trends Update

Among its findings, the "Learning in the 21st Century: 2011 Trends Update" reports that two in five students believe online classes are an essential component to education, and that administrators' concerns about funding online courses are (slowly) fading, while concerns about evaluating quality of online courses is rising. But while the proportion of high school students who had taken an online course as of last fall tripled from the fall of 2008, from 10 to 30 percent, only about 26 percent teachers surveyed expressed interest in diving into online teaching if they hadn't already done so. The findings come from a survey of nearly 400,000 students, educators, and parents conducted last fall.
2011, Education Week,

E-readership doubles in six months

The share of adults in the United States who own an e-book reader doubled to 12% in May, 2011 from 6% in November 2010. E-readers, such as a Kindle or Nook, are portable devices designed to allow readers to download and read books and periodicals. This is the first time since the Pew Internet Project began measuring e-reader use in April 2009 that ownership of this device has reached double digits among U.S. adults.

Tablet computers—portable devices similar to e-readers but designed for more interactive web functions—have not seen the same level of growth in recent months. In May 2011, 8% of adults report owning a tablet computer such as an iPad, Samsung Galaxy or Motorola Xoom. This is roughly the same percentage of adults who reported owning this kind of device in January 2011 (7%), and represents just a 3 percentage-point increase in ownership since November 2010. Prior to that, tablet ownership had been climbing relatively quickly.

2011, Pew Internet Project,

Youth media habits report

This report takes a fresh look at data emerging from studies undertaken by Sesame Workshop, independent scholars, foundations, and market researchers on the media habits of young children, who are often overlooked in the public discourse that focuses on tweens and teens. The report reviews seven recent studies about young children and their ownership and use of media. By focusing on very young children and analyzing multiple studies over time, the report arrives at a new, balanced portrait of children’s media habits.
2011, Sesame Workshop and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center,

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Public library funding and tech access survey

New report: Technology demands are up, budgets are down
A pervasive “new normal” of increased demand for library technology resources, paired with decreased funding at state and local levels, is affecting service to millions of Americans, according to a report released June 21 by the Office for Research and Statistics. The 2011 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Study reports that more than 87% of U.S. libraries provide technology training for patrons, but 55% of urban libraries are reporting operating budget decreases during the current fiscal year, followed by suburban (36%) and rural (26%) libraries. The report appears as American Libraries’ Summer 2011 Digital Supplement.

Number of librarians census

The U.S. Census first collected data on librarians in 1880, four years after ALA’s founding. They only counted 636 librarians nationwide. Indeed, one respondent reported on his census form that he was the “Librarian of Congress.” The U.S. Census, which became organized as a permanent Bureau in 1902, can be used to track the growth of the library profession.
Librarians in the United States, 1880–2009. (2011). Cambridge: Oxford University Press.

Public libraries future report

A strategic vision for 21st-century libraries
This ALA latest policy brief breaks down the formidable challenges in store for libraries during the next few decades. The brief explores how emerging technologies combined with challenges, such as financial constraints, require libraries to evolve rapidly and make strategic decisions today that will influence their future for decades to come.
ALA. Office for Information Technology Policy. (2011). Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library. Chicago: ALA.

Public libraries future report

A strategic vision for 21st-century libraries
This ALA latest policy brief breaks down the formidable challenges in store for libraries during the next few decades. The brief explores how emerging technologies combined with challenges, such as financial constraints, require libraries to evolve rapidly and make strategic decisions today that will influence their future for decades to come.
ALA. Office for Information Technology Policy. (2011). Confronting the Future: Strategic Visions for the 21st Century Public Library. Chicago: ALA.

LA Teacher Study

This report examines how Los Angeles Unified School District and state policies on teacher assignment, evaluations, tenure, compensation, and work schedule facilitate or hinder improvements in quality. Lists recommendations, including removing seniority preference.
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2011). Teacher Quality Roadmap: Improving Policies and Practices in LAUSD. Washington, DC: National Council on Teacher Quality.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Teacher quality report

A US-Asian report outlines discussions and emerging lessons from around the world on how to strengthen the teaching profession. Four overarching themes emerged: Teacher Recruitment and Preparation; Development, Support, and Retention of Teachers; Teacher Evaluation and Compensation; and Teacher Engagement in Education Reform. The summit, which was the basis for the report, marked the first-ever convening of education ministers, teachers, and union leaders from high-performing and rapidly improving countries and regions.
U.S. Department of Education, and Asia Society. (2011). Improving Teacher Quality Around the World: The International Summit on the Teaching Profession.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Study Public Libraries and Technology

This study records the landscape of web technology adoption in public libraries across the country and examines the characteristics of libraries that are leading the way in adopting those technologies.
Library Research Service, Zeth Lietzau & Jamie Helgren (2011). U.S. Public Libraries and the Use of Web Technologies, 2010

Reading at 16 Linked to Better Job Prospects

Reading books is the only out-of-school activity for 16-year-olds that is linked to getting a managerial or professional job in later life, according to study. Researchers asked more than 17,000 people born in 1970 about how they spent their downtime when they were 16 years old and their careers when they turned 33. The findings show that girls who had read books at 16 had a 39 percent probability of a professional or managerial post at 33, but only a 25 percent chance if they had not. For boys who read regularly, the figure went up from 48 percent to 58 percent. None of the other activities surveyed were found to have a significant effect on their careers.
University of Oxford (2011).
Reading at 16 linked to better job prospects

Library Spending Ups Test Scores

A review of studies in 22 U.S. states and one Canadian province found when spending for school libraries rises, better reading scores follow. Researchers examined and summarized the results of 23 U.S. and Canadian studies mostly done in the last decade and concluded that there are positive links between library support and learning. A 2008 California study, for example, established a strong positive relationship between school library budgets and test scores in language arts and history. The findings showed socioeconomic conditions could not explain away the impact of school library programs in the states studied.
Debra E. Kachel, Mansfield University (2011) More library spending ups test scores

Report: School Librarian First for Digital Content

The survey found that the role of the school librarian is increasingly focused on the use of digital content in the classroom. In many schools, the school librarian has the responsibility for identifying, evaluating and recommending digital resources to teachers. Of the 2,125 school librarians surveyed, 78 percent identify websites for classroom use, and 47 percent find specific digital content, podcasts and videos to support classroom lessons. The study also found that librarians are also enabling and empowering teachers’ skills with digital content. Nearly 66 percent of school librarians participate with teachers in professional learning communities, and 33 percent train teachers how to locate and evaluate digital content.
Project Tomorrow (2011). The New 3 E’s of Education: Enabled, Engaged, Empowered
How Today’s Educators are Advancing a New Vision for Teaching and Learning

Young Children Media Habits

Today’s parents, academics, policymakers and practitioners are scrambling to keep up with the rapid expansion of media use by children and youth for ever-larger portions of their waking hours. This report takes a fresh look at data emerging from studies of independent scholars, foundations, and market researchers on the media habits of young children, who are often overlooked in the public discourse that focuses on tweens and teens. The report reviews seven recent studies about young children and their ownership and use of media. By focusing on very young children and analyzing multiple studies over time, the report arrives at a new, balanced portrait of children’s media habits.
Sesame Workshop and the Joan Ganz Cooney Center (2011). Always connected: The new digital media habits of young children

Researchers find higher screen time among minority children

Researchers find higher screen time among minority children
Children from minority groups watched television, listened to music, used computers and played video games for an average of 13 hours per day, logging almost 4.5 hours more screen time than white children, according to data on children ages 6 to 18. Researchers also found that more blacks and Hispanics had TV sets in their rooms and dined in front of the TV. The study noted that 8- to 18-year-olds were most likely to use computers more often for playtime than for homework.
Northwestern University (2011).
Minority kids spend most of their waking hours plugged in

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Public Library Statistics

The Public Library Data Service Statistical Report Digital Database has been updated with 2011 results. Compiled from surveys submitted by U.S. and Canadian public libraries, the 2011 edition includes data from 1,462 public libraries on their finances, resources, annual use figures, and technology. It also features a special, in-depth section on public library finance that details independent taxing authority, cash reserves, services charged for, library foundations, and governmental and alternative sources of income for public libraries.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

European school libraries research

This dissertation studied the evolving role of the European K12 school library and information center. Staffing, facilities and conditions vary greatly, however, thanks to the willingness of teachers, school librarians and (school) library associations to share information and data, it has become possible to identify common problems and present some solutions.
Boelens, H. (2011). The evolving role of the school library and information centre in education in digital Europe. Middlesex University.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Social networking survey

Survey research confirms that interest in harnessing social networking for educational purposes is high. A national survey of 1,200 principals, teachers and librarians found that most agreed that social networking sites can help educators share information and resources, create professional learning communities and improve schoolwide communications with students and staff.
EdWeb. (2010). School Principals and Social Networking in Education: Practices, Policies and Realities in 2010.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Internet survey

A recent survey showed that 91% of teachers, 92% of tech coordinators, and 99% of administrators believed this should be taught. The survey examined administrators, teachers, and technology coordinators at the K-12 level about their thoughts on the cybersafety practices and curriculum in schools.
National Cyber Security Alliance, Microsoft, and Zogby/463. (2011). the state of K-12 cybrethics, cybersafety and cybersecurity curriculum in the United States.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Emerging technologies report

The annual Horizon Report added mobile technology to cloud computing in the technology-to-watch-this-year category after it was listed as a technology to watch during the next 2-3 years in the 2010 report. Game-based learning and open content were named in the 2-3 year category this time, while learning analytics and personalized learning environments were tabbed as technologies that could break through during the next 4-5 years.

New Media Consortium. (2011). NMC horizon report: 2011 K-12 edition. Austin: NMC.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Media for education

High school and college students are using social media to make educational and career connections. In ranking the impact of various media on their education, they rank Internet as most important, printed books second, TV third (24% thought it was significant), and other media (including newspapers) below. Survey students said laptops were the top item used in class for note-taking (followed by phones, cameras, audio records, tablets and camcorders).
Stanford University. (2011). AP-Viacom survey of youth on education. Associated Press and Viacom.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

School library program impact meta-analysis

Link found between spending on libraries and student learning It is an article of faith among many critics of public schools that there is no  correlation between spending and learning outcomes. But it's not so—at least  where library spending is concerned. When support for school libraries rises,  reading scores go up and learning by other measures increases also. That's what  researchers at Mansfield University in Mansfield, PA found when they examined  and summarized the results of 23 studies done around the United States and  Canada. "Quality school library programs impact student achievement," says Debra E.  Kachel, a professor in the School Library and Information Technologies  Department at Mansfield University. "The research shows clearly that schools  that support their library programs give their students a better chance to  succeed." Kachel and a class of graduate students examined school library impact studies,  most done in the last decade, by 22 states and one Canadian province (Ontario).  Most examined student standardized test scores. A few used qualitative  approaches. All found positive links between library support and learning. The  paper, "School Library Research Summarized" was done this spring for the  Pennsylvania School Librarians Association. Among the findings: a California study in 2008 established a strong positive  relationship between school library budgets and test scores in language arts and  history. In Illinois in 2005 a study found that elementary schools which spend  more on their libraries average almost 10 percent higher writing performance.  For middle schoolers the average was 13 percent higher. A Pennsylvania study in 2000 learned that schools that spent more money on their  school library programs had higher student achievement on reading scores. And a  2004 Minnesota study discovered a statistically significant relationship at the  elementary level between higher reading scores and larger school library  budgets. Although poverty remains a primary force in determining student academic  success, the studies in state after state showed that socio-economic conditions  could not explain away the impact of school library programs. A Wisconsin study  in 2006, for example, found that the impact of a robust library media program in  high school was almost seven percentage points greater than the impact of  socio-economic variables. "In fact, quality school library programs may play an even greater role for  students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds," says Kachel. Adequate staffing also correlates with student achievement. In Ontario in 2006,  the presence of a school librarian was the single strongest predictor of reading  enjoyment for students in grades three and six. In 2010, a New York State  research project found that elementary schools with certified school library  media specialists were more likely to have higher English language arts  achievement scores than those in schools without certified library staff. The studies also showed that incremental increases in the following can result  in incremental increases in student learning: increased library hours and group  visits by classes to the library; larger collections with access as school and  from home; up-to-date technology; more student use of school library services.  "School leaders should to recognize this research and foster school library  programs that can make a difference," says Kachel.
Kachel, D. (2011). School library impact study project. Mansfield, PA: Mansfield University.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

California public school study

UCLA's annual report o learning conditions and educational outcomes in California's public schools reiterates K12's state of emergency. Among their findings:
- HSs are providin less time, attention and quality programs so student engagement and achievement suffer.
-Inequality is growing.
UCLA. 2011. Free Fall: Educational Opportunities in 2011.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Student courses study

Study finds students are taking tougher courses
More students nationwide are taking more rigorous courses than they did 20 years ago. The study also shows that students who take more difficult math and science classes likely are to earn higher scores on achievement tests. However, experts say, black and Hispanic students are not participating in tougher courses or achieving at the same level as their white peers.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2009). America's high school graduates. Washington, DC: Author.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The digital information seeker report

In the interest of analysing and synthesising several user behaviour studies conducted in the US and the UK twelve studies were identified. These 12 selected studies were commissioned and/or supported by non- profit organisations and government agencies; therefore, they have little dependence upon the outcomes of the studies. The studies were reviewed by two researchers who analysed the findings, compared their analyses, and identified the overlapping and contradictory findings. This report is not intended to be the definitive work on user behaviour studies, but rather to provide a synthesised document to make it easier for information professionals to better understand the information-seeking behaviours of the libraries’ intended users and to review the issues associated with the development of information services and systems that will best meet these users’ needs.

Lynn Silipigni Connaway and Timothy J. Dickey of OCLC Research, 2010, PDF link here

2010 Speak Up National Report

Many parents are in favor of using students' own mobile devices in the classroom, though many school administrators are still resistant to the idea, a national survey found. The researchers also found increasing support among parents for online learning and digital textbooks, and frustration among students who want more access to Internet sites that are being blocked by schools. The survey revealed that students want more interactivity and collaboration in their studies, and parents are much more accepting of online learning than they were just a few years ago—but there are still many gaps in how students and their parents view educational technology and how educators view ed tech.

Speak Up National Report, 2010, PDF Link here

Early Grade Retention and Student Success Study

Early Grade Retention and Student Success: Evidence From Los Angeles

Analyzes risk factors of retention through third grade in the L.A. Unified School District, including age, gender, race/ethnicity, family income, and English learner status; retention's effectiveness in improving grade-level skills; and educators' views.

Public Policy Institute of California, Cannon, Jill S.; Stephen Lipscomb, March 2011, PDF link here

Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

Education and the Economy: Boosting the Nation’s Economy by Improving High School Graduation Rates

A new study reveals the economic benefit of cutting the high school dropout rates in half. Economic benefits projected in the study’s state-by-state profiles include higher individual earnings, increased home and auto sales, job and economic growth, higher levels of spending and investment, and larger state tax revenues.

Alliance for Excellent Education, March 2011,

Report Offers Lessons Learned from Education Systems Abroad

A new report from the outlines five highly effective lessons learned from education systems that develop and support teachers and leaders in Finland, Ontario, and Singapore. These jurisdictions, comparable in population to mid-sized U.S. states, have attained among the highest and most equitable performance in the world on international assessments. The lessons feature a systemic approach; strong teacher recruitment and preparation; attractive teaching conditions; continuous support for teacher learning; and proactive leadership development. The examples also show how these policies can be implemented in different contexts.

Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, 2011, PDF link here

Eight characteristics of effective school boards: At a glance

Eight characteristics of effective school boards: At a glance

1. Effective school boards commit to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction and define clear goals toward that vision.
2. Effective school boards have strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
3. Effective school boards are accountability driven, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.

4. Effective school boards have a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.

5. Effective school boards are data savvy: they embrace and monitor data, even when the information is negative, and use it to drive continuous improvement.

6. Effective school boards align and sustain resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals. According to researchers effective boards saw a responsibility to maintain high standards even in the midst of budget challenges.
7. Effective school boards lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
8. Effective school boards take part in team development and training, sometimes with their superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for their improvement efforts.

Center for Public Education, 2011,

Study Finds Cheaters Overestimate Academic Abilities

In four experiments detailed in the March Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that cheaters pay for the short-term benefits of higher scores with inflated expectations. Researchers found that a majority of students cheat at some point during high school, and the likelihood of cheating increases, even though most students consider it wrong. Fifty-nine percent of public and private high school students admitted to having cheated on a test, including 55 percent of honors students, the study found. Researchers suggest that students who cheat often deceive themselves into thinking they can perform well in the future without cheating. Researchers said thinking is used to justify or distance students from the act of cheating, but will often cause long-term damage to their professional and academic habits.

Harvard Business School and Duke University, 2011,

Study Reveals Fewer Dropout Rates in Schools

The number of U.S. schools with such poor graduation rates fell by 6.4 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a report. In 2008, the nation had 1,746 schools with graduation rates no higher than 60 percent. That number fell by 112, to 1,634, the following year. From 2008 to 2009, there were 183,701 fewer students attending these low-performing schools, an 8 percent drop. These numbers are presented in an update to the November 2010 report, "Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic."

Johns Hopkins University Everyone Graduates Center, America's Promise Alliance, and Civic Enterprises, 2010-2011 Update, PDF link here

National Survey of College Preparedness

A majority of teachers in the U.S. believe that schools are not doing enough to prepare students with diverse learning needs for success after high school, according to a nationwide survey. Ninety-one percent of the public school teachers interviewed for annual survey said that strengthening programs and resources to help “diverse learners” (students with low-income status, limited fluency in English, or learning disabilities) become college- and career-ready should be a priority in education. More than half of the teachers (59 percent) indicated it should be one of schools’ highest priorities. None of the other education reform strategies presented in the survey received as great a consensus.

The findings are being released in two reports:

  • Part 1: Clearing the Path examines the importance of being college- and career-ready, what this level of preparation includes, and what it may take to get there.

  • Part 2: Teaching Diverse Learners looks at differences in student needs, how teachers address them and how well students feel their needs are being met.

MetLife, 2011,

KIPP Charter Schools Receive More Tax Dollars

A new nationwide study researchers found that the KIPP network, one of the fastest-growing and most academically successful charter groups, has received more taxpayer dollars per student than regular public schools. By analyzing Department of Education databases for the 2007-8 school year, researchers determined that the KIPP network received $12,731 in taxpayer money per student, compared with $11,960 at the average traditional public school and $9,579, on average, at charter schools nationwide. The study said that KIPP also generated $5,760 per student from private donors, based on a review of KIPP’s nonprofit filings with the Internal Revenue Service. KIPP officials dispute the report, saying it significantly overstates the amount per student that the network receives from both public and private sources.

Western Michigan University, March 2011, PDF link here

Library Use of eBooks, 2011 Edition

The report presents 145 pages of data and commentary on a broad range of eBook issues, including: spending on eBooks in 2010 and anticipated spending for 2011; use levels of various kinds of eBooks; market penetration by various specific eBook publishers; extent of use of aggregators vs offering by specific publishers; purchasing of individual titles; use of various channels of distribution such as traditional book jobbers and leading retail/internet based booksellers; use of eBooks in course reserves and interlibrary loan; impact of eBooks on print book spending; use of eBooks in integrated search; price increases for eBooks; contract renewal rates for eBooks; use of special eBook platforms for smartphones and tablet computers; spending plans and current use of eBook reader such as Nook, Reader and Kindle; the role played by library consortia in eBooks;

Just a few of the study's many findings are that: impact of iPad and mobile computing on eBooks; spending on eDirectories and more.

Primary Research Group, Nov 2010,

Web 2.0 Usage Increasing in K-12 Schools report

The use of Web 2.0 is increasing in K-12 schools. But, according to a new report, more widespread adoption is being hampered at least in part by teachers' lack of knowledge of how to use the technologies.

For the report, researchers surveyed 388 K-12 technology directors, leaders, and staffers across the country in an effort to gauge attitudes toward and adoption of social and collaborative Web 2.0 technologies, including student-generated content, teacher-generated content, social networking in an educational context, gaming, virtual learning environments, digital media, and communications technologies.

What the researchers found was that acceptance of Web 2.0 has increased since 2009--the first year of the survey--but that there are still some barriers to adoption, including some lingering perceptions of student "safety" risks, lack of technical support (including technical personnel), and lack of knowledge on the part of teachers of the effective use of Web 2.0 technologies. This last was, according to the researchers, "the most frequently cited human-related barrier to adoption."

On the positive side, more schools are reporting that significant portions of their teaching staff are creating their own content online. For the latest survey, 76 percent of districts reported that at least a quarter of all teachers create content online. This compared with 64 percent from the 2009 survey. Also up was the use of student-generated content by teachers, with 45 percent reporting that at least 25 percent of teachers use student-generated online work, compared with 32 percent in 2009.

Interactive Educational Systems Design on behalf of ed tech developers Atomic Learning, Lightspeed Systems, and netTrekker, 2011,

How Third Grade Reading Skills Influence Graduation study

Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation

This study finds that students who don’t read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave without a diploma than proficient readers. It is notable in breaking down for the first time the likelihood of graduation by different reading skill levels and poverty experiences.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Center for Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, State of New York; Foundation for Child Development, 2011, PDF link

Student Media Addiction Worldwide

It doesn't matter if a college student lives in the United States, Chile, China, Slovakia, Mexico or Lebanon -- many are addicted to media, researchers say. Researchers found whether in developing countries or developed countries the findings are strikingly similar in how teens and young adults use media and how "addicted" they are to their cellphone, laptop or mp3 player. The researchers asked about 1,000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all media for 24 hours and record their experiences.

Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change and International Center for Media & the Public Affairs (ICMPA), 2011,

2011 State Of America's Libraries Report

2011 State of America's Libraries Now Available!

The Great Recession may have come to an end, but there's no end to libraries' key role in helping hard-pressed Americans find employment or launch a bootstraps venture. These and other key trends in the library community are detailed in this report on the State of America's Libraries, 2011. This report is provided free of charge from the American Library Association's Public Information Office in the easy-to-use Zmag web browser format or as a PDF for offline reading.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Reading skills report

This study finds that students who don't read proficiently by third grade are four times more likely to leave without a diploma than proficient readers. It is notable in breaking down for the first time the likelihood of graduation by different reading skill levels and poverty experiences.

Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation by Donald J. Hernandez
The Annie E. Casey Foundation; Center for Demographic Analysis, University at Albany, State of New York; Foundation for Child Development, 2011.

Teacher tenure report

This report examines government and college tenure systems and how they affect organizational goals. Outlines options for reforming design elements of K-12 teacher tenure, including time-to-tenure, criteria, and process, or replacing tenure with other incentives.
Public Impact. (2011). Teacher Tenure Reform: Applying Lessons From the Civil Service and Higher Education. Chapel Hill, NC: Public Impact.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Teacher perceptions of collaboration study

This study examined elementary teachers' perceptions of teacher and school librarian collaboration. Although teachers think collaboration is important for student learning, teacher perceive their interaction with school librarians in traditional ways. This perception could shift if school librarians made more effort to demonstrate to teacher that they could be called upon to teach and evaluate students. Furthermore, teachers need to learn how such collaboration can be done.
Montiel-Overall, P., & Jones, L. (2011). Teacher and school library collaboration. The Canadian Journal of Information and Library Sciences, 35(1).

School libraries spending survey report

The biennial School Library Journal national survey of school library spending and services reveals the impact of the economy. Middle schools and the West were hardest hit. The report includes information about acquisitions, collections, staffing, use of technology, and collaboration.
Farmer, L. (2011, March). Spending survey. School Library Journal, p. 42-49.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Mobile use report

Youth are big proponents of using cell phones for education, according to a recent report. Some statistics follow:
60% of students in 6-12 grades think using their own phones would improve tech at their school
31% of students in HS own a smart phone (78% of them think using those devised would improve tech at school)
67% of HS students can access an Internet-enabled phone
62% of parents would buy a mobile device for their child's educational use.
Blackboard and Project Tomorrow. 2010. Learning in the 21st century: Taking it mobile.

Monday, March 14, 2011

School libraries impact studies

Mansfield University LIS students gathered studies showing school library media program impact on student learning. Their site includes links to the studies, and a booklet synthesis.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Classroom and mental health study

Classroom affects children's mental health, study finds
First-grade children whose teachers lack peer support and whose classrooms have inadequate resources had an increased risk of mental health problems, such as anxiety, attentiveness and sadness, according to a recent study. Researchers said the study doesn't prove causation, but it did speculate that similar findings might be true in other age groups.
Milkie, M., & Warner, C. (2010).
Classroom Learning Environments and the Mental Health of First Grade Children. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 52(March), 4-22

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Arts education analysis

Fewer children are getting access to arts education, whether at school or elsewhere, according to a new analysis of federal data. Especially alarming is that the overall decline in recent decades is coupled with a big drop for African-American and Hispanic youths.The research, part of broader look at arts participation by U.S. adults, finds that fewer 18-year-olds surveyed in 2008 reported having received any arts education in childhood than did those surveyed in 1982, dropping from about 65 percent to 50 percent.

National Endowment for the Arts.(2011). Arts education in America.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Case Study: Development of Shared Common Bibliographic Database and ILS Countywide

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) offers competitive grants to library systems, academic, public, and other libraries. One recipient is the Parker County Library Association, a consortium of four public libraries in a largely rural county in north Texas. Funding from TSLAC allowed the PCLA to develop a shared common bibliographic database and integrated library system countywide.
Texas State Library & Archives Commission, 2009, Best Practice: Parker County Library Association

survey economic value of public libraries

The promise of a fresh start is part and parcel of the beginning of a new year, particularly when hardship has darkened your door in the year just past. Although no one in the library community realistically expected their institution’s fiscal standing to magically move from strapped to solvent, a new study adds bottom-line evidence that the return on investment in library service more than justifies the costs.

The first-ever economic impact study about the Philadelphia’s public libraries concludes that the library created more than $30 million worth of economic value to the city in FY2010. Particularly noteworthy is the library’s impact on business development and employment, which has rightfully become an ongoing national concern. Survey respondents reported that they couldn’t have started, sustained, or grown an estimated 8,600 businesses without the resources they accessed at the Free Library of Philadelphia. Direct economic impact: Almost $4 million.

University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, 2011, American Libraries, The Economic Value of The Free Library In Philadelphia (pdf link)

School District educational productivity report

A study sought to determine the "educational productivity" of school districts -- how well a district did academically compared with how much money it spent. The study found that the most productive districts saved money through community collaboration, spent on teachers over administration and had school boards unafraid to make choices such as closing schools with low enrollment. "There was an enormous productivity gap among districts," the center's president said.
Center for American Progress, 2011, Return on Educational Investment:
A district-by-district evaluation of U.S. educational productivity

e-learning growth in preK-12 schools

Electronic learning in the country's preK-12 schools is growing at a faster rate than e-learning in other sectors, according to a report that shows schools will spend $4.9 billion on "self-paced" learning tools by 2015. The growth is largely the result of an increase in virtual schools and tight school budgets that left many searching for more affordable learning options. The percentage of preK-12 students attending physical classrooms is expected to drop by 4.2% by 2015 as more students begin learning online.
Ambient Insight, 2011, T.H.E. Journal, PreK-12 Dominates Growth in E-Learning

Librarians and copyright practices survey

Summarizes findings from a survey of librarians on the application of fair use in copyright practice to fulfill libraries' missions of teaching and learning support, scholarship support preservation, exhibition, and public outreach.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2011, Fair Use Challenges in Academic and
Research Libraries

Survey schools need faster broadband

More than half of school and library respondents in a recent Federal Communications Commission (FCC) e-Rate survey say they provide some form of wireless internet access for school employees and students, but almost 80 percent of those same respondents said their broadband connections are inadequate. Fifty-five percent of those who said their broadband connections are inadequate said that slow connection speed was the deciding factor in that decision. Ten percent of survey respondents have broadband speeds of 100 Mbps or faster, and more than half (55 percent) have broadband speeds greater than 3 Mbps. More than half of school districts surveyed (60 percent) use a fiber optic connection, and 66 percent of respondents offer wireless internet access for staff, students, or library patrons.

Federal Communications Commission, 2011, Survey: Schools need faster broadband speeds

Library Resource Guide Spending Report

In late 2010, the Library Resource Guide (LRG) conducted a comprehensive survey on library spending. The forty-page final report, prepared by Information Today's Unisphere Research group is now available for complimentary download. Please take a moment to register to receive the report. We believe you will find it surprising in some ways, challenging in others, but highly informative and an excellent reference tool providing information on library spending trends overall, as well as reported by library type (public, academic, government and special libraries). Our intention is to provide a larger context for evaluating and considering your own budget priorities. Future reports to be released over the next several months will look more deeply at library spending trends within each sector by size of budget and by the size of the community served (population, enrollment, or size of organization). We will be in touch as those reports become available.
Library Resource Guide, 2011, LRG Spending Reports

Merit Pay in NY schools study

A new study found that merit pay for all teachers had little effect, positive or negative, on student achievement in most schools. The study was based on a School-Wide Performance Bonus Program implemented in a randomly selected subset of New York City’s most disadvantaged schools in 2007. Researchers examined data from the first two years of the bonus program, in which teachers received bonuses based on overall performance of all tested students in their school, rather than just in their own classrooms.
Education Next, 2011, Does Whole-School Performance Pay Improve Student Learning?

Study peer pressure changes brain behavior

A new study to be published indicates that peer pressure is hard for students to fight because it changes the brain itself. Researchers asked young men to rate the attractiveness of people in two cycles. Once on their own and again after seeing peer ratings. The study found that participants uniformly changed their ratings to match those of their peers. MRI scans of the participants' brains also showed significantly different patterns of activity in two areas associated with determining subjective value and reward. The study suggests that being in a class with people who are interested in a subject can make a student more engaged, and overall school culture can have a greater impact on student achievement than isolated programs.
Psychological Science, 2010, Social influence modulates the neural computation of value

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Online use and civic participation study

The Internet Makes for More Engaged Citizens, According to New Research

The Internet makes for more engaged citizens, according to the first-of-its-kind study of high-school students' online habits and civic participation. The research will continue to study the impact of the Internet and digital media on democratic and political engagement.

The first-of-its-kind longitudinal study by civic learning scholars of high school students' Internet use and civic engagement found that:

  • For many youth, their interest in the Internet translates into engagement with civic and political issues.
  • Contrary to popular belief, it is rare for individuals on the Internet to only be exposed to political perspectives with which they agree, but many youth are not exposed to political perspectives at all.
  • Teaching new media literacies such as credibility assessment is essential for 21st century citizenship.
Kahne, J. (2011). Digital media literacy education and online civic and political participation. MacArthur Foundation.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

evaluting online tutorials in universities study

The effective integration of current technologies in teaching and research is a high priority for today’s universities. To support the technology skills of university faculty, staff, and students, the subject university’s office for faculty training and support, provides free, 24/7 access to a collection of online technology tutorials leased from a professional vendor, PBJ (pseudonym). Despite significant financial investment, the effectiveness of these tutorials has never been evaluated. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of PBJ online technology training tutorials in supporting the technology skills development of faculty, staff, and students at a large university. A customized Web-based survey was used to collect quantitative and qualitative data from PBJ users. Findings revealed that PBJ users are largely satisfied with this online learning resource. However, users also recommended improvements: providing alternative formats/media for flexibility in learning; offering more practice opportunities to skill-build; providing content that is current, comprehensive, and targets high-need areas; and resolving usability issues such as cumbersome navigation. In sum, findings resulted in practical recommendations for improvement to this facet of the university’s technology support strategy as well as insights for other universities engaged in similar efforts. Implications for effective e-learning evaluation are offered.
International Journal on E-Learning, 2011, Evaluating Online Tutorials for University Faculty, Staff, and Students: The Contribution of Just-in-Time Online Resources to Learning and Performance

study: Testing for Self-Censorship

The purpose of this study was to determine the potential of measuring the holdings of a school library young adult book collections and indications of self-censorship that might be practiced by the school library media specialist. The method employed, analysis of title ownership through examination of the school's OPAC, was an attempt to move away from questionnaires and interviews which might not allow for an objective description of selection decisions and acquisition practices.

A pool of recent, potentially controversial young adult books that had also received supporting reviews, awards, or recommendations for inclusion on reading lists was established. A small, random sample of high schools in Texas that are part of the state's online union catalog system was determined. Specific titles were searched in each school's OPAC to determine ownership. Based on one factor, not owning at least 50 percent of the controversial titles in the pool tested, the researcher concludes that over 80 percent of the schools in the study show signs that self-censorship has occurred during the collection development process.

The researcher acknowledges the limitations of the study and suggests other factors that should be taken into account before conclusive judgment can be made that deliberate self-censorship is widely practiced. An agenda for further research and study on censorship issues is outlined.
School of Library and Information Science, Texas Women's University, 2002, Moving Toward a Method to Test for Self-Censorship by School Library Media Specialists

Report: eBook issues

The report presents 145 pages of data and commentary on a broad range of eBook issues, including: spending on eBooks in 2010 and anticipated spending for 2011; use levels of various kinds of eBooks; market penetration by various specific eBook publishers; extent of use of aggregators vs offering by specific publishers; purchasing of individual titles; use of various channels of distribution such as traditional book jobbers and leading retail/internet based booksellers; use of eBooks in course reserves and interlibrary loan; impact of eBooks on print book spending; use of eBooks in integrated search; price increases for eBooks; contract renewal rates for eBooks; use of special eBook platforms for smartphones and tablet computers; spending plans and current use of eBook reader such as Nook, Reader and Kindle; the role played by library consortia in eBooks.
Research and Markets, 2010,
Library Use of eBooks, 2011 Edition

report: digital repositories

The 225-page report looks closely at how 60+ academic and special libraries and other select institutions in the United States, the UK, continental Europe, Canada, China, India, Australia and other countries or regions are funding, managing, cataloging, marketing and developing their institutional digital repositories.

The report provides detailed data on budget and spending, sources of revenue and support, man hours deployed, range of materials maintained, number and source of visitors and downloads, and other key facts about institutional digital repositories.

The report also looks closely at the degree of faculty cooperation, methods of procuring and measuring this cooperation, plans to develop repositories as publishers in their own right, impact on the online presence of the college and on citation rates in journals, among other issues. Data is broken out by size, geographic region, Carnegie class, years in operation and type of library or other institution (such as scientific institutes).

Primary Research, 2011, The Survey of Institutional Digital Repositories, isbn 157440-161-0

study: nonheterosexual youth punished more frequently

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students are punished up to three times more than their heterosexual peers, says a new study. "The key finding of the study is that gay and bisexual youth are being punished more than straight peers," says Kathryn E. W. Himmelstein, who coauthored the study. "And that's not because they're misbehaving more." The study is yet another example of why libraries are so crucial in the lives of LGBT kids who are looking for safe havens to find the materials and resources they need.
Pediatrics, 2011, Criminal-Justice and School Sanctions Against Nonheterosexual Youth: A National Longitudinal Study

Study: Digitization of special collections

The nearly 200 page report looks closely at how academic, public and special libraries and museums are digitizing special and other collections. The study is based on detailed data on costs, equipment use, staffing, cataloging, marketing, licensing revenue and other facets of digitization projects from nearly 100 libraries and museums in the United States, the UK, continental Europe, Canada, and Australia. The study covers and presents data separately for digitizers of photographs, film and video, music and audio, text and re-digitization of existing digital mediums. Data is also broken out by budget size, region of the world, type of institution and other factors. Data presented separately for academic libraries, public and government libraries, special libraries and museums.

Research and Markets ltd, 2010,
The Survey of Library & Museum Digitization Projects 2011 Edition

smartphone phone users in ethnic minorities

As of December 2010, nearly a third (31%) of all mobile consumers in the United States owned smartphones, cellphones with app-based, web-enabled operating systems. But smartphone penetration is even higher among mobile users who are part of ethnic and racial minorities in the U.S. – namely Asian/Pacific Islanders (45%), Hispanics (45%) and African-Americans (33%), populations that also tend to skew younger. Meanwhile, only 27 percent of White mobile users reported owning a smartphone.
Nielsen Wire, 2010, Among Mobile Phone Users, Hispanics, Asians are Most-Likely Smartphone Owners in the U.S.

Report: Generations and techology

Many devices have become popular across generations, with a majority now owning cell phones, laptops and desktop computers. Younger adults are leading the way in increased mobility, preferring laptops to desktops and using their cell phones for a variety of functions, including internet, email, music, games, and video. In terms of generations, Millennials are by far the most likely group not only to own most of the devices we asked about, but also to take advantage of a wider range of functions. For instance, while cell phones have become ubiquitous in American households, most cell phone owners only use two of the main non-voice functions on their phones: taking pictures and text messaging. Among Millennials, meanwhile, a majority use their phones also for going online, sending email, playing games, listening to music, and recording videos.

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 2011, Generations & Gadgets

report: elearning products continue to rise

A new report released has found that the U.S. market for self-paced e-learning products and services in preK-12 education has increased 16.8 percent over the past five years. The total e-learning industry—which includes health care, higher education, preK-12, nonprofits, and the government—totaled $18.2 billion in 2010 and is expected to rise to $24.2 billion in 2015, according to the report.
Ambient Insight, 2011, The US Market for Self-paced eLearning Products and Services: 2010-2015 Forecast and Analysis

report: students not proficient in science

Results issued for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress show that most American students are not performing at a level deemed “proficient” in science. Only one in five high school seniors scored at least proficient on the exam, with 12th graders posting the weakest scores. Only 34 percent of 4th graders and 30 percent of 8th graders were deemed proficient or better in science.
The Nation's Report Card, 2011, Trial Urban District Assessment

report: national history day improves test scores

A national evaluation of National History Day suggests that students who participate in the yearlong academic program and competition perform better on standardized tests, are better writers, and are more confident and capable researchers. The independent evaluation compared groups of student participants in National History Day programs to similar sets of students who did not participate. The study examined outcomes for students in four districts, located in Colorado, New Jersey, South Carolina, and Texas.

Rockman et al, 2011, History Day Works: Findings from the National Program Evaluation

report: community organizing for school reform

A new report shows that community organizing for school reform has the potential to create equitable changes in schools and districts, develop innovative education solutions that reflect the knowledge of underserved communities, and build the long-term social capital of underserved communities both to support schools and districts, and to hold them accountable for improving achievement.
Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR), 2011, The Strengths and
Challenges of Community Organizing as an Education Reform Strategy: What the Research Says

report evaluates district productivity

A new report evaluates the productivity of nearly every major school district in the United States. The report, which defines “productivity” as achievement produced relative to a district’s educational spending, found that low productivity costs the national system as much as $175 billion a year. The study found that many school districts could boost student achievement without increasing spending if they used their money more productively. Low productivity costs the nation’s school system as much as $175 billion a year. Without controls on how additional school dollars are spent, more education spending will not automatically improve student outcomes, the study said.
Center for American Progress, 2011, Return on Educational Investment: a district-by-district of U.S. educational productivity

school libraries impact study

The Spring 2011 class of LSC 5530, School Library Advocacy, Mansfield University, Mansfield, PA, developed background information for the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association to summarize findings from the landmark body of research known as the "school library impact studies." Begun in the early 1990's these reports primarily correlated standardized language arts test scores of students to components of school library programs. To date, 22 states and one Canadian province have provided data for such research.
School Library & Information Technologies Graduate Program at Mansfield University, 2011, School Library Impact Studies Project

Bullies in middle and high schools study

In the movie “Mean Girls,” head plastic Regina George tortures her North Shore High classmates of all stripes, including her supposed best friends. At Springfield Elementary, where Bart Simpson goes to school, Nelson Muntz, the oversized dimwit with the distinctive laugh, is the cartoon series’ bully. A new study suggests that, in reality, neither of those students would be the aggressors on campus. Robert W. Faris, an assistant sociology professor at the University of California, Davis, spent several years surveying students at middle and high schools in rural and suburban North Carolina.

Education Week, 2011, Study Disputes Myth of School Bullies' Social Status, American Sociological Review

technology needs of teachers and students report

Few people will be surprised to learn of research that shows K-12 institutions throughout the United States have become heavily dependent on technology, and that this dependency continues to increase with each passing year. What may surprise even the most jaded among us, however, is that, given that many view this a "good" dependency with a wealth of immediate and long-term benefits for teachers, students, and staff, we're doing an inadequate job of feeding the habit.

At the FETC 2011 show a national research report on digital media usage among educators entitled "Deepening Commitment: Teachers Increasingly Rely on Media and Technology." The report is based on a survey conducted in August 2010 of 1,401 preK-12 teachers from various regions and demographics throughout the United States. Its primary conclusions are: Teachers are, owing to both interest and circumstance, increasing their use and knowledge of technology in the classroom; and U.S. schools provide an insufficient capacity of computing devices and technology infrastructure to support teachers' Internet-based instruction needs.

PBS and Grunwald Assoociates, 2011,Transforming Education through Technology, Report Shows U.S. Schools Can't Meet Technology Demands of Teachers, Students

Library technology survey

In this time of tight budgets where libraries face difficult decisions regarding how to invest their technology resources, it’s helpful to have data regarding how libraries perceive the quality of their automation systems and the companies that support them. This report, based on survey responses from over two thousands libraries, aims to give some measure of how libraries perceive their current environment and probes at their inclinations for the future.

Library Technology Guides, 2011, Perceptions 2010: An International Survey of Library Automation

Study: preschool helps literacy skills

A study says prekindergarten teachers are doing a good job overall in teaching early literacy skills, but should focus more on vocabulary instruction and exercises that build self-control as part of a broader curriculum. This finding is based on assessment of a cohort Michigan 3- and 4-year-olds attending preschool. Michigan State researcher Lori Skibbe and colleagues are among the first to directly assess self-regulation in this age group. Researchers found children who spent two years in preschool did better in literacy skills: learning the alphabet and understanding how letters come together to form words.
Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 2011, Vocabulary, Self-Control Crucial in Early Literacy Skills, Study Says

Study: Exercise improves math skills

Regular exercise in an after-school program helped sedentary, overweight children perform better on goal-oriented tasks, according to a study. The exercise also seemed to improve math skills, an area of great concern for U.S. educators. In the study, published online in the journal Health Psychology, children ages 7 to 11 in Augusta, Ga., were assigned to a group that got 20 minutes of aerobic exercise in an after-school program at the institute, one that got 40 minutes of exercise in a similar program, or a group that had no exercise program. The study used assessment tests to gauge cognitive and academic achievement.
Georgia Prevention Institute at Georgia Health Sciences University, 2011, EdWeek Exercise Improves Math Skills, Brain Study Suggests

Report: College Student Preparation and Training

Report examines the urgent need to prepare students for post-secondary degrees and professional training, lessons from Northern and Central Europe, and models of school reform to provide career and technical education, including expanded roles for employers.
Harvard Graduate School of Education, 2011,
Pathways to Prosperity: Meeting the Challenge of Preparing Young Americans for the 21st Century

Study: Blended Learning

Blended learning, in which students are taught partially online and partially in a brick-and-mortar setting, could serve to transform education but may face some potential pitfalls, a new report shows. The report found that blended learning -- which has increased exponentially in recent years -- has the potential to meet individual student needs, provided that policymakers and administrators are open to its innovative models. The report also calls for better content and more integrated systems to provide the online learning portion.
Innosight Institute, 2011, Report: Blended learning could hit or miss

2011 Horizons Report

The 2011 Horizons Report is out. Each year, the Horizon Report introduces six emerging technologies or practices that are likely to enter mainstream use within the next five years. It focuses on technology trends in higher education, but is valuable reading for librarians in all types of institutions. Technology trends to watch: Electronic books, mobiles: Time-to-Adoption: <1>Time-to-Adoption: 4-5 years

New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE, 2011, Horizons Report

Study: Should 8th Graders take Algebra?

The number of eighth-graders in California taking algebra has increased 80% since 2003, but many were unprepared for the class, according to a recent study. The study urged schools to better prepare students for algebra and to make sure students are placed in appropriate classes. "Giving more students the opportunity to complete Algebra I in eighth grade should not be achieved at the expense of a large proportion of students who would be better served by having more time to master key algebra concepts," said one of the study's authors.
EdSource, 2011, New study finds many San Mateo County students in eighth-grade algebra are not prepared for it

Study: Language-Based Intervention assists with Math Skills

Students who struggle with basic math may benefit from language-based interventions, according to a series of recent studies. "The way we conceive of numbers evolves from language," said a co-author of the study. "Children learn this stuff before they learn to read, before word problems become a problem. If you can't understand what [five] means, you can't add, you can't do basic math."
EdWeek, 2011, Studies Find Language Key is Key to Learning Math

Report: States have unused student learning data

Overall, states have made unprecedented progress in collecting longitudinal student data. But they don't actually use it to improve student learning. The analysis also found that the majority of states don't link data across education systems or make it available to stakeholders. Because they don't make it available to stakeholders, they can't make decisions based on the data to help improve student outcomes.

Data for Action, 2010, Do States Use Data to Improve Student Learning?

Survey: College Students Underprepared

A survey concluded that students are entering college with too few essential skills and too many external demands on their time to optimize their higher education experience but that the use of digital tools can help take some of the edge off.
Cengage Learning and Eduventures, 2011, Survey Shows College Students Overwhelmed, Underprepared

Study: Using Technology in Classroom Raises Student Achievement

Many schools that use technology in the classroom are not maximizing its potential to improve student achievement or cut costs, according to a new report. The report advocates that schools use more technology in intervention classes, encourage students and teachers to use technology for collaboration and integrate technology into the core curriculum on a weekly basis. The report also makes the case that technology, when properly used, can lower operational costs for schools.
Project RED and the One-to-One Institute, 2011

Gaming Violence Study

Young adults who played video games were just as likely as nongamers to recall and be physically aroused by violent or disturbing pictures, suggesting that gaming may not desensitize young people to violence, a study found. However, researchers noted some study limitations, such as the reliance on self-reports, and cited a need for more investigation.
Applied Cognitive Psychology, 2011, Violent Video Games May Not Desensitize Kids: Study HealthyDay

Facebook boost civic engagement

High-school students involved in digital communities based on common interests were more likely to participate in civic-minded activities, research indicates. Students who received education in digital literacy in high school or college were more likely to participate in politically driven online activities, researchers also found. "We have to find a way to bridge -- to meet the digital literacy with traditional literacies," said Samuel Reed, a Philadelphia educator. "We need to see that there's a wealth of creativity and opportunities in it, instead of ... demonizing social media."

The Christian Science Monitor, 2011,
Does Facebook boost civic engagement among American youths, too?