Sunday, September 23, 2012

NAEP Student Achievement Report

Only about 25% of the eighth- and 12th-graders taking the National Assessment of Educational Progress writing assessment last year scored at the proficient level or higher. Students took the exam, known as the nation's report card, on laptops as part of a new format that requires answering questions and essay writing. Students also were evaluated based on how often they used editing tools, such as spell-check and copy-and-paste functions, so students with experience doing assignments on computers performed better on the test. Proficiency rates were far lower for black and Hispanic students.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2012).  Nation's Report Card. Washington, CE: Institute of Education Sciences.

Teachers' expectations research

Researchers have determined that teachers' expectations for their students affect almost every aspect of instruction and can determine whether students succeed. For teachers who want to alter their behavior toward certain students, this research suggests that teachers observe how students interact, work to understand what motivates students, engage with students about the individual interests and find out more about students' lives outside of school. 
Hamre, B., & Pianta, R. (2012).  Student-teacher relationships. PEAR conference.

School technology needs survey

A new survey commissioned by Dell suggests that schools are not meeting students' technology needs and that China is ahead of the United States and Germany when it comes to using technology in learning.Other key findings of the report include:
  • Although 51 percent of student respondents said that technology could be a distraction, 63 percent said its benefits outweigh that possibility;
  • While six in 10 U.S. respondents said they do not think students should use social media in class to share what they're learning, most Chinese respondents said they do approve of such use;
  • Forty percent of respondents from the U.S. and 26 percent from Germany said their teachers understand technology better than they do;
  • Of student respondents, half said they use technology to interact with school when not there;
  • Students reported using technology at home for school work more than any other activity;
  • Seventy-one percent of students who responded said that they have access to better technology at home than they do at school; and
  • Most student respondents from the U.S. and Germany reported using technology for two hours or less each day at school.
  • Dell. (2012). Innovation in education.

Mobile apps report

Across all mobile platforms, nearly 90 percent of all downloads from app stores will be free apps in 2012. And, according to a new report, 90 percent of the apps for which users are willing to pay will cost less than $3. Total downloads this year are projected to be nearly last year's figure. In 2012, the total number of app downloads is forecast to grow by an enormous 83 percent and continue to grow at a rate of about 50 percent to 79 percent each year through 2016. As that happens, according to Gartner, the percentage of free app downloads will continue to grow as well.
Gartner. (2012).  Market Trends: Mobile App Stores, Worldwide, 2012. Stamford, CT: Gartner.

Publishing for children study

Fully 55% of buyers of works that publishers designate for kids aged 12 to 17 (YA books) are 18 or older, with the largest segment aged 30 to 44. Accounting for 28% of sales, these adults aren’t just purchasing for others—when asked about the intended recipient, they report that 78% of the time they are purchasing books for their own reading. The insights are courtesy of  a biannual study from Bowker Market Research that explores the changing nature of publishing for kids.
Bowker. (2012). Understanding the Children’s Book Consumer in the Digital Age. New York: Bowker.

Higher education students and technology research

The Educause Center for Applied Research has surveyed undergraduate students annually since 2004 about technology in higher education. In 2012, ECAR collaborated with 195 institutions to collect responses from more than 100,000 students. The report  notes that in answer to the question, “When it comes to your success as an undergraduate, what is the one website or online resource you couldn’t live without?” the most frequently cited sources were Google (33%) and Blackboard (16%); both of these significantly outranked students’ citing the college or university library website (5%). See the 2012 report for a full list key messages, findings, and supporting data.

  • Blended-learning environments are the norm; students say that these environments best support how they learn.
  • Students want to access academic progress information and course material via their mobile devices, and institutions deliver.
  • Technology training and skill development for students is more important than new, more, or "better" technology.
  • Students use social networks for interacting with friends more than for academic communication.
  • Educause Center for Applied Research. (2012). ECAR study of undergraduate students and information technology, 2012. Washington, DC: Educause.
  • Librarian diversity report

    ALA has released new data to update “Diversity Counts,” a comprehensive study of gender, race, age, and disability in the library profession. Using 2009–2010 American Community Survey analyses, new data reveals a small gain—from 11% in 2000 to 12% in 2009–2010—in the percentage of racial and ethnic minorities working as credentialed librarians in the nation’s public, academic, and school libraries. While credentialed librarians remain predominantly female and white, this new data provides a fuller picture of diversity within the profession today.
    American Library Association. (2012). Diversity Counts. Chicago: ALA.

    Responsive classes research

    Fifth graders in schools where teachers faithfully used the Responsive Classroom teaching approach performed better on statewide assessments of mathematics and reading skills than their peers at schools that did not use the social-emotional-learning program's strategies as much, according to new research. Responsive Classroom focuses on teacher language and modeling expectations, describing itself as an approach to learning rather than a program.
    Rimm-Kaufman, S., et al. (2012, Sept.). Efficacy of the responsive classroom approach. Presented the the SREE conference, Washington, DC.

    Gender-linked vision research

    Guys' eyes are more sensitive to small details and moving objects, while women are more perceptive to color changes, according to a new vision study that suggests men and women actually do see things differently.  Research has shown women have more sensitive ears and sniffers than men. Previous research found that men and women also focus differently. In experiments at the University of Southern California, researchers found that men are likely to fixate on the mouth of a person in conversation and also are more likely to be distracted by movement behind that person. Meanwhile, women tend to shift their gaze between a speaker's eyes and body, and they are more likely to be distracted by other people, the researchers found. This study could impact visual literacy education.
    Abramov, I. (2012). Sex and vision. Biology of Six Differences, 3(20/21).

    Thursday, September 20, 2012

    Library priorities report

    OCLC Snapshots of Issues and Priorities in US, UK, Dutch and German Libraries
    OCLC conducted a member survey to understand librarians’ top priorities, current key initiatives, thoughts on service and top methods for keeping current on happenings in the library field.
    Libraries in the U.S.: A Snapshot of Priorities & Perspectives
    These reports detail findings from a study OCLC conducted  with libraries in mid-2011 to learn about their priorities, initiatives,  thoughts on the future of their service points and the sources they use to keep  up with developments in the library field.
    See other reports in the Priorities & Perspectives  series for libraries in Germany | Netherlands | UK.
    Select Key Findings for US Academic Libraries
    • Most academic library staff:
      • Consider licensed e-collections to be a top  priority
      • Are focusing on e-books, other e-resources and discovery tools as top current initiatives
      • Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years
      • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media
    Nearly 2,000 academic library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.
    Select Key Findings for US Community College Libraries
    • Most community college library staff:
      • Consider licensed e-collections and e-books to be their top priority and current initiative
      • Believe their current library location structure will be the same in five years
      • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—a few use social media.
    • Community college library staff are less likely than other academic library and public library staff to expect that a national digital library will exist in the next five years.
    • Community college libraries are distinctively putting more focus on outreach and library instruction and their back-end office technology compared to other academic libraries.
    Nearly 200 community college library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.
    Select Key Findings for US Public Libraries
    • Most public library staff:
      • Are focusing their priorities on Internet access, demonstrating value to funders and delivering e-content
      • Are concentrating on e-books as their top current initiative
      • Rely mostly on listservs and email to stay current—while just a few use social media
    • Opinions are split on the make-up of service points in the future
    • The top priority for public library directors is demonstrating the library’s value to funders
    Nearly 1300 public library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.
    A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in US Public Libraries (4 Page PDF)
    A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in US Academic Libraries (4 page PDF)
    A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in US Community College Libraries (4 page PDF)
    Select Key Findings for UK Academic Libraries
    Most UK academic library staff:
    • Consider delivering e-books and other e-resources to be their top priority
    • Anticipate the top reason faculty and students are using their library will shift in five years
    • Rely on listservs to keep informed about library trends.
    Nearly 120 UK academic library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.
    Select Key Findings for UK Public Libraries
    Most UK public library staff:
    • Consider demonstrating the value of their library to funders to be their top priority
    • Anticipate the top reason users are using their library will change in five years
    • Rely on discussions with their colleagues to keep informed about library trends.
    120 UK public library staff including directors, managers and librarians participated in the study.
    A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in UK Public Libraries (4 page PDF)
    A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in UK Academic Libraries (4 page PDF)
    A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in Libraries in Germany (4 page PDF)
    A Snapshot of Priorities and Perspectives in Libraries in The Netherlands (4 page PDF)

    Sunday, September 16, 2012

    Pleasure reading benefits study

    This study found that young teenagers derive numerous benefits from pleasure reading. From an educational perspective, pleasure reading helps improve literacy and thinking skills, and helps young teenagers clarify and explore career goals. From a social perspective, pleasure reading helps young teenagers understand historical and current events, helps them develop compassion and empathy, empowers them to develop and act on their beliefs, and helps them to understand the consequences of risky behaviors. From a personal perspective, pleasure reading provides young teenagers with entertainment, relaxation, reassurance, a creative outlet, and a means of escape.
    Medaille, A. (2012).Pleasure Reading Offers Educational, Social, and Personal Benefits for Young Teenagers. Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, 7(2), 77-79.

    College student Information literacy study

    The study presents findings from 560 interviews with undergraduates on 10 campuses
    distributed across the US, as part of Project Information Literacy (PIL). Overall, the findings suggest that students use a “less is more” approach to manage and control all of the IT devices and information systems available to them while they are in the library during the final weeks of the term. Over half the sample considered their laptop their most essential IT device and most had a Web browser and, to a lesser extent, a word processing application running at the time of the interviews. Most students were using one or two Web sites at the time of the interviews, but there was little overlap among the Web sites they were using. Recommendations are made for how campus-wide stakeholders—faculty, librarians, higher education administrators, and commercial publishers—can work together to improve education for 21st century undergraduates.
    Head, A., & Eisenberg, M. (2011). Project Information Literacy Research Report. Seattle, WA: University of Washington.