Wednesday, November 21, 2012

School libraries survey

According to trend data collected by the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), library staffing , expenditures and physical usage remains consistent with 2011 results. The data also indicates connectivity to the school library continues to rise through increased networked computers in the school as well as remote access to school library databases. Data was collected as part of AASL’s national longitudinal survey, School Libraries Count! (SLC), conducted yearly since 2007.
AASL. (2012). School Libraries Count! Chicago, IL: AASL.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Student research study

The teachers who instruct the most advanced American secondary school students render mixed verdicts about students’ research habits and the impact of technology on their studies.
Some 77% of advanced placement (AP) and National Writing Project (NWP) teachers surveyed say that the internet and digital search tools have had a “mostly positive” impact on their students’ research work. But 87% say these technologies are creating an “easily distracted generation with short attention spans” and 64% say today’s digital technologies “do more to distract students than to help them academically.” Some key findings include:
  • Virtually all (99%) AP and NWP teachers in this study agree with the notion that “the internet enables students to access a wider range of resources than would otherwise be available,” and 65% agree that “the internet makes today’s students more self-sufficient researchers.”
  • At the same time, 76% of teachers surveyed “strongly agree” with the assertion that internet search engines have conditioned students to expect to be able to find information quickly and easily.
  • Large majorities also agree with the notion that the amount of information available online today is overwhelming to most students (83%) and that today’s digital technologies discourage students from using a wide range of sources when conducting research (71%).
  • Fewer teachers, but still a majority of this sample (60%), agree with the assertion that today’s technologies make it harder for students to find credible sources of information.
  • Given these concerns, it is not surprising that 47% of these teachers strongly agree and another 44% somewhat believe that courses and content focusing on digital literacy should be incorporated into every school’s curriculum.
Purcell, K., et al. (2012). How teens do research in the digital age. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

School librarians and technology survey

School Library Journal's annual technology survey indicates that teacher librarians often vanguard technology at their sites.So far, the results have been pretty impressive: 87 percent of school librarians report that they’re in charge of their library’s technology, with 60 percent adding that they’ve also introduced it into the classroom. Furthermore, 44 percent now serve on their school’s tech team, and in these budget-troubled times, when many library positions are on the line, that role may mean increased job security. In fact, 55 percent of the elementary, middle, and high school librarians that responded to our survey say that their tech skills have increased their value in administrators’ eyes.
Barack, L. (2012, Nov.). The league of extraordinary librarians. School Library Journal.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Los Angeles special education services report

L.A. schools receive mixed progress report on special education
Los Angeles schools are making some progress in the way they serve students with disabilities, but more work is needed, according to a recent report. The report, by an independent monitor, found the schools largely are meeting a target of providing services for students with disabilities but are falling short on providing them with the frequency and duration outlined in their individual education plans. The district also has made progress in hiring adequate numbers of special educators and reducing the number of African-American students identified as having emotional disturbances, the report found.
Los Angeles USD. (2012). Report.