Saturday, June 30, 2012

Personalizing the classroom report

This report focuses on how today’s educators are personalizing the learning process for students. The ways that educators are personalizing learning centers around their own experiences with online learning, socially-based media and digital content. The key questions being addressed in this report include:
  • What are educators’ experiences with online learning?
  • How does it inform their perspectives on student learning?
  • What policies and practices are administrators considering around the “Bring Your Own Technology” movement?
  • How do we transform the classroom from a “one size fits all” model to a truly individualized learning experience for students?
Some key findings include:More than half of the teachers and principals (52 percent) said they have taken an online class for training purposes and almost two-thirds of district level administrators as well.
40% of teachers, and 50% of Principals use online professional learning communities.
Administrators see technology as a solution to decreased district budgets.
Educators increasingly recognize the value of incorporating digital content into their schools and classrooms.
Speak Up. (2012). Personalizing the Classroom Experience – Teachers, Librarians and Administrators Connects the Dots with Digital Learning. Irvine, CA: Project Tomorrow.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cyberbullying vs. bullying report

University of British Columbia research comparing traditional bullying with cyberbullying finds that the dynamics of online bullying are different, suggesting that anti-bullying programs need specific interventions to target online aggression.
Results of the studies show that about 25-30 per cent of youth report that they have experienced or taken part in cyberbullying, compared to 12 per cent of youth who say they’ve experienced or taken part in schoolyard bullying. However, “Youth say that 95 per cent of what happens online was intended as a joke and only 5 per cent was intended to harm,” says Shapka. “It is clear that youth are underestimating the level of harm associated with cyberbullying.”
According to Shapka, the findings suggest that in cyberbullying adolescents play multiple roles – as bullies, victims, and witnesses – and “downplay the impact of it, which means that existing education and prevention programs are not going to get through to them.”
Law, D., Shapka, J., Olson, B., & Hymel, S. (2012, April). Deconstructing Bullying: An Empirical Comparison Between the Constructs of Traditional and Electronic Aggression. Presented at the American Educational Research Association conference, Vancouver.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

School funding impact study

In most PISA-participating countries and economies, the average socio-economic background of students who attend privately managed schools is more advantaged than that of those who attend public schools. Yet in some countries, there is little difference in the socio-economic profiles between public and private schools. Why? An analysis of PISA results finds that while the prevalence of privately managed schools in a country is not related to socio-economic stratification within a school system, the level of public funding to privately managed schools is: the higher the proportion of public funding allocated to privately managed schools, the smaller the socio-economic divide between publicly and privately managed schools. This report also shows that those countries with narrow socio-economic stratification in their education systems not only maximize equity and social cohesion, but also perform well in the PISA survey.
OECD. (2012). Public and private schools: How management and funding relate to their socio-economic profile. Paris: OECD.

Monday, June 11, 2012

State of education report

Last month the National Center for Education Statistics released the annual  congressionally mandated report summarizing the progress of education in the United States. This year’s report presents 49 indicators of developments and trends in education. The indicators focus on participation in education, elementary and secondary education and outcomes, and postsecondary education and outcomes. The report also uses a group of the indicators to take a closer look at high school in the United States over the last 20 years.The report is available on the NCES website.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). Condition of education. Washington, DC: Author.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Study skills research

Students are least likely to choose to test themselves while studying, although it has been shown to be the most effective study strategy. 120 college students were asked to read science texts and use one of four study strategies to prepare for a test in a week: reading the text once, reading it repeatedly, drawing a map of the relationships between concepts, or actively trying to remember the information via quizzes. The more times students read the material, the more they thought they'd remember in the long term, estimating they would get 80 percent or more correct answers on a test given a week later. "This finding happens all the time in research, and I think it's because when you repeatedly read material, it becomes very familiar," thus making students feel more confident that they will remember it, Mr. Karpicke said. "In the long term, it's the exact opposite."Students had the least confidence in retrieval practice, or quizzing, which actually proved to be the most successful study practice."

Karpicke, J.< & Smith, M.(2012). Separate mnemonic effects of retrieval practice and elaborative encoding. Journal of Memory and Language.

Digital access report

A new report examined critical issues underlying equitable access to digital content through the nation’s libraries. In the report, authors explore an unprecedented and splintered landscape in which several major publishers refuse to sell e-books to libraries; proprietary platforms fragment our cultural record; and reader privacy is endangered.
ALA. (2012).  E-content: The Digital Dialogue. American Libraries, May/June supplement.

Research speed surveys

Educators need faster ways to find the resources they are looking for and resource providers want better discoverability on the Internet, according to results from recent surveys.
Of the educators surveyed, more than 7 in 10 (72.6%) said they search for instructional resources on the Internet at least several times a week, with 25.8% stating they search daily. Sixty-six percent of educators said they get many “irrelevant results” and 9 in 10 said they would be more satisfied with Internet searches if search engines offered the ability to filter results by standard instructional criteria such as grade level, subject area, and media type.
Nearly half (46.4%) of educational publishers and resource providers responding to the survey said they are either “dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the current online visibility of their products and more than half (57.1%) stated that their customers find it “difficult” or “somewhat difficult” to find their content and products when conducting online searches. Nearly 2 in 3 publishers (65%) agreed that they would either definitely implement or be “highly likely” to implement a new standard for tagging online educational resources if discoverability would improve.
Learning Resource Metadata Initiative. (2012). Improving online search for education.