Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pennsylvania school library research

Having access to a full-time, certified school librarian means better outcomes for Pennsylvania’s public school students, according to a new study. The researchers examined the 2010-11 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in Reading and Writing for students in grades three through 11, and tracked outcomes for students based on five school library factors: staffing, collections, digital resources and technology infrastructure, library access, and funding. Overall, the greatest impact on student test scores was seen from having a full-time, certified librarian. 
RSL Research Group. (2012). Supporting the Infrastructure Needs of 21st Century School Library Programs. Louisville, CO: Author.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Youths' reading habits report

More than eight in ten Americans between the ages of 16 and 29 read a book in the past year, and six in ten used their local public library. At the youngest end of the spectrum, high schoolers in their late teens (ages 16-17) and college-aged young adults (ages 18-24) are especially likely to have read a book or used the library in the past 12 months. And although their library usage patterns may often be influenced by the requirements of school assignments, their interest in the possibilities of mobile technology may also point the way toward opportunities of further engagement with libraries later in life. A couple of salient findings include:
- Among Americans who read e-books, those under age 30 are more likely to read their e-books on a cell phone (41%) or computer (55%) than on an e-book reader such as a Kindle (23%) or tablet (16%).
- Many of these young readers do not know they can borrow an e-book from a library, and a majority of them express the wish they could do so on pre-loaded e-readers.
- High schoolers (ages 16-17) are especially reliant on the library for their reading and research needs. They are more likely than other age groups to have used the library in the past year, especially to have checked out print books or received research assistance.
Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie, Kristen Purcell, Mary Madden and Joanna Brenner. (2012). Younger Americans’ Reading and Library Habits. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Handheld devices use report

Report: More students are using smartphones, tablets
The percentage of middle- and high-school students using smartphones and tablet computers on a regular basis has increased since 2007, according to a 2012 report.  50% of high-school students and 40% of middle-schoolers use these tools. The key findings from this report include:
  • Mobile devices when combined with social media and wireless connectivity is enabling more personalized learning opportunities for both students and educators.
  • Driven by several factors, the incorporation of student owned devices within classroom instruction is quickly becoming a viable solution for many schools and districts.
  • Increasingly parental support for mobile learning is changing the district conversation.
  • Changing teacher practice is the critical challenge today to expanding mobile learning.
  • The future of mobile learning depends upon a shared vision for how to personalize learning.

Blackboard and Project Tomorrow. (2012). Learning in the 21st Century: Mobile + Social Media = Personalized Learning. 

Library help with ereaders survey

According to a recent survey done by the Pew Research Center, public library staff are spending a lot of time showing library patrons how to use their new e-book readers. According to one librarian, “It takes a long time to explain and walk patrons through the downloading process—about half an hour from start to finish most times—and we often feel rushed at the public assistance desk because there are  often  other  demands  on our time.”
Not to worry. By the time we master the latest technology, it will be obsolete.
Source: Libraries, Patrons, and E-Books, Pew Research Center
(this entry thanks to Stephen Krashen)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Reading rewards study

This study investigates the impact of rewards on reading behavior in the short run: After children did a short reading activity, providing no reward or providing a book as a reward resulted in much more actual reading during a short “free choice” period than providing a non-book award (e.g. Nerf balls, Pez dispensers, key chains). According to Krashen's calculations, there was a slight tendency for no-award to stimulate more reading than the book award, but both were much more effective than providing a non-book award.
Marinak, B. and Gambrell, L. 2008. Intrinsic motivation and rewards: What sustains young children's engagement with text? Literacy Research and Instruction, 47 (1): 9–26.

Reported by S.  Krashen 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Report on leadership on 1:1 device programs

The implementation of 1:1 device programs is more effective when principals and school leaders show confidence and commitment to the initiative, according to a report by Project Red. The report shows that principals must be committed over the life of the project -- not just during implementation -- and ensure that faculty members have enough time to learn the technology. This research reviewed implementations in nearly 1000 schools in 49 states.  For my broader discussion of the findings of including the 11 “education success measures” used (high stakes testing being one, but just one, of these 11), the key implementation factors for success, and the evidence of improved learning in 1:1 programs, click here.
Project Red Principals. (2012). Revolutionizing Education through Technology: The Project RED Roadmap for Transformation. Eugene, OR: ISTE.
 click here for the pdf

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Parent and school influence on student achievement research

Parents who want their children to succeed academically in school have more influence over that outcome than the schools themselves, according to a study by researchers from three universities.To arrive at their findings, researchers used the National Education Longitudinal Study data to evaluate social capital at home and at school. Parcel said her group evaluated results from 10,000 12th graders, taking into account their composite test scores in math, reading, science, and history to measure achievement levels. Researchers compared measures of "family social capital" and "school social capital," discovering that even in schools that had low social capital, students were more likely to excel if their family social capital scores were high.
Dufur, M., & Troutman, K. (2012). Does Capital at Home Matter More than Capital at School?: Social Capital Effects on Academic Achievement. Research in Social Stratification and Mobility.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Libraries and Black Males report

In 2010 the Council of the Great City Schools released a report entitled A Call 
for Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of 
Black Males in Urban Schools which calls the achievement gap for 
African-American males a "national catastrophe." In response to this, the School 
of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel 
Hill and the School of Library and Information Science at North Carolina Central 
University hosted the summit, Building a Bridge to Literacy for African-American 
Male Youth: A Call to Action for the Library Community in June, 2012. The 
summit, funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, brought members 
of the library community together with stakeholders from other-liked minded 
organizations to consider the role libraries can play in improving educational 
opportunities for African American male youth.  

A  report that summarizes the key summit outcomes can be found at: The report offers recommendations 
for how the library community can actively address the literacy needs of 
African-American male youth and encourages collaboration among the library 
community, the education community, and other local, state, and national 
agencies to address the achievement gap that exists.  

The report is intended to be a call to action for the library community-to 
provide the impetus for libraries to join this important conversation and to 
become an integral part of a nationwide network working to address the 
educational needs of African American male youth.  It is also intended to 
encourage educators, researchers, educational policy-makers, and community 
organizations to consider libraries as viable and critical partners in their 
efforts to improve the educational opportunities for African American male 
students. Constructive ideas and recommendations are welcome and will be added to the project website:  Please forward suggestions to