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.