Saturday, September 14, 2013

Pleasure reading study

Children who read for pleasure are likely to do significantly better at school than their peers, according to new research. The study found that children who read for pleasure made more progress in maths, vocabulary and spelling between the ages of 10 and 16 than those who rarely read.
The research  analysed the reading behaviour of approximately 6,000 young people  in Britain, looking at how often the teenagers read during childhood and their test results in maths, vocabulary and spelling at ages 5, 10 and 16.
The researchers compared children from the same social backgrounds who had achieved the same test scores as each other both at ages 5 and 10. They discovered that those who read books often at age 10 and more than once a week at age 16 gained higher results in all three tests at age 16 than those who read less regularly.Reading for pleasure was found to be more important for children’s cognitive development between ages 10 and 16 than their parents’ level of education. The combined effect on children’s progress of reading books often, going to the library regularly and reading newspapers at 16 was four times greater than the advantage children gained from having a parent with a degree. Children who were read to regularly by their parents at age 5 performed better in all three tests at age 16 than those who were not helped in this way. The study noted that reading for pleasure had the strongest effect on children’s vocabulary development, but the impact on spelling and maths was still significant.
Alice Sullivan and Matt Brown. (2013). Social inequalities in cognitive scores at age 16: The role of reading. London: Center for Longitudinal Studies.,+study+finds&sitesectionid=27&sitesectiontitle=News

Friday, September 13, 2013

Reading study

'Sullivan and Brown studied the performance of several thousand children in the UK on a variety of tests given when they were 16, and analyzed the effect of a number of predictors on their test scores using multivariate techniques.'...Their main finding was that 'more reported pleasure reading of books at ages 10 and at age 16 was significantly related to scores on vocabulary, spelling and math tests given at age 16. The vocabulary and spelling results are consistent with those of  many studies.' ... 'Access to books and libraries can counter the negative effects of poverty on literacy development." ... 'Sullivan and Brown point out that their analysis found that the students' own reading was a significant predictor even when reading proficiency measured at ages 5 and 10 was controlled .... This suggests "that the positive link between leisure reading and cognitive outcomes is not purely due to more able children being more likely to read a lot, but that reading is actually linked to increased cognitive progress over time." We first don't learn our skils and then use them for reading. Rather, our literacy development is the result of reading." (excerpted from S. Krashen's review at

Sullivan, Alice and Brown, Matt. 2013. Social inequalities in cognitive scores at age 16: The role of reading. London: Centre for Longitudinal Studies,
Institute of Education, University of London

Online privacy report

A new survey finds that most internet users would like to be anonymous online, but many think it is not possible to be completely anonymous online. Some of the key findings:
  • 86% of internet users have taken steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints—ranging from clearing cookies to encrypting their email.
  • 55% of internet users have taken steps to avoid observation by specific people, organizations, or the government.
The representative survey of 792 internet users also finds that notable numbers of internet users say they have experienced problems because others stole their personal information or otherwise took advantage of their visibility online. Specifically:
  • 21% of internet users have had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over by someone else without permission.
  • 12% have been stalked or harassed online.
  • 11% have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information.
  • 6% have been the victim of an online scam and lost money.
  • 6% have had their reputation damaged because of something that happened online.
  • 4% have been led into physical danger because of something that happened online.
 Lee Rainie, et. al. (2013). Anonymity, privacy, and security online. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Technology and School Libraries Impact

Technology is playing a greater role in the school library, with digital collections replacing encyclopedias and books and a growing focus on libraries as collaboration centers. Studies have shown that this shift can be effective in improving teaching and learning, especially if teachers and school librarians work together. A 2012 Institute of Museum and Library Services study that spanned 10 years analyzed library conditions and their impact on learning and literacy development in two Philadelphia neighborhoods. The researchers found that, when comparing a poor community with an affluent community, “children with early access to print and technology continue to build and gain knowledge. Children who don’t have early access enter school far behind and are taught the ‘basics.’”  
Schwarz, B., & Lance, K. (2013). Pennsylvania School Libraries Pay Off: Investments in Student Achievement and Academic Standards. PA School Library Project.