Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Student independent reading report

Students generally do not select challenging nonfiction for independent reading, according to a recent report. While students' selection of nonfiction has increased by 5%, the number still is below recommendations in the Common Core State Standards.  Findings also indicated that reading peaked at 6th grade, and that girls outread boys.
The study is based on Accelerated Reader data.
Renaissance Learning. (2014). What Kids Are Reading. Wisconsin Rapid, WI: Renaissance Learning.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

School libraries and eboo survey

E-book usage is slowly growing among school libraries, with elementary schools showing the largest usage rates of one book for every three students, according to a report from the School Library Journal. Findings from the survey of 835 school libraries indicate that limited access to e-readers was the top reason schools are slow to adopt e-books, and iPads were the top devices used for reading.
School Library Journal. (2014). Ebook Usage in U.S. School (K–12) Libraries.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Personalized education impact research

Students who participate in personalized-learning programs may perform better on computerized reading and math assessments, according to a recent study. However, the researchers caution against attributing the gains solely to such programs. Moreover, there remain practical and systemic barriers to expanding programs that aim to tailor instruction to individual students’ needs and skills.

Rand Corporation. (2014). Early Progress: Interim Report on Personalized Learning. Seattle, WA: Gates Foundation. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Exercise for productivity research

Second- and fourth-grade students in Canada were more attentive and less fidgety in class after spending four minutes engaged in physical activity, according to a recent study by researchers at Queen's University. They found that engaging students in what they called FUNtervals improved students' attention and performance in school.
Gurd BJ, Le Mare L, and Ma JK. Classroom-based high-intensity interval activity improves off-task behaviour in primary school students. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2014.

Digita learning report

This national study examines the state of digital learning today and highlights the need for high-quality, actionable data on the digital learning tools and methods students use. Student choice at the state level, student choice at the course level, and the existence and strength of charter school laws are three predictors of how strong a state’s digital learning opportunities are likely to be. Overall, more students than ever before have access to digital learning opportunities, including online and blended learning, but state policies and other factors often limit digital learning’s availability.
The researchers outlined four main reasons schools are increasingly incorporating digital learning opportunities into teaching and learning:
1. Improving student access to a variety of schooling options
2. Ensuring that students reach their maximum achievement levels
3. Increasing technology skills, which parents, teachers, and stakeholders believe to be essential for college- and career-ready students
4. Reducing costs
Most school districts use digital learning tools and resources, but the extent, type, and goal of that use vary widely.
Different grades use digital content and tools differently, too, according to the report:
  • High schools tend to offer fully online courses and many forms of digital content.
  • Elementary schools tend to offer self-paced interactive activities that are topic-focused and collaborative
  • Middle schools are a hybrid of high schools and elementary schools, in which younger middle school students are more likely to use interactive and skill-based lessons, while older middle school students use other forms of digital content and begin venturing into online learning opportunities

Evergreen Education Group. (2014).  Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Deeper learning research

Deeper Learning Approach Shows Positive Student Gains
      The idea that students need to develop a deeper understanding of content and the ability to apply what they learn in one area to another area are major premises of new learning standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. A new study now shows that schools promoting the practices of what's called "deeper learning" are getting better results from their students. According to the American Institute for Research,
deeper learning consists of three elements: a "deeper understanding of core academic content"; "the ability to apply that understanding to novel problems and situations"; and "development of a range of competencies," such as communication, collaboration, "learning to learn," development of an academic mindset and self-control.
     The organization examined outcomes for students attending schools that participate in a deeper learning network community of practice. Researchers compared 13 "network" schools against non-network schools with similar levels of incoming student achievement rates and comparable levels of federal, state and local funding. All are public high schools with student populations that include students of color, English language learners and students from low-income families.
     The study found that the network schools tackled development of deeper learning competencies in different ways. Most used project-based learning to help students master core academic content areas and critical thinking skills, but the structure of those projects varied across schools. Students at these schools reported "greater opportunities" to engage in deeper learning than the students in non-network schools. The network schools, for example, put a bigger emphasis on internship opportunities, study groups and student participation in decision-making.
 American Institute for Research.  (2014). Study of deeper learning: Opportunities and outcomes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Learning spaces research

Research shows that reshaping physical learning environments to emphasize collaboration and mobility can help boost student performance. Space for students to move around and work together, muted colors and comfortable seating areas are among the ideas educators and others share in this article.

Literacies divide

Three recent studies reveal the impact of poverty on information and digital literacy.

A new study shows that a separate gap has emerged, with lower-income students again lagging more affluent students in their ability to find, evaluate, integrate and communicate the information they find online. Although the study is based on a small sample, it demonstrates a general lack of online literacy among all students, indicating that schools have not yet caught up to teach the skills needed to navigate digital information. Seventh grade students from a school in a community where the median family income was more than $100,000 demonstrated slightly more than one extra school year’s worth of online reading ability compared with students from a community where the median family income was close to $60,000. Despite the higher rates of academic Internet use among the more affluent students in the study, a little more than a quarter of them performed well on tasks where they were required to discern the reliability of facts on a particular web page. Only 16 percent of the lower-income students performed well on those tasks.
The New Literacies of Online Research and Comprehension: Rethinking the Reading Achievement Gap
Donald J. Leu, Elena Forzani, Chris Rhoads, Cheryl Maykel, Clint Kennedy and Nicole Timbrell
14 SEP 2014 | DOI: 10.1002/rrq.85

In  a $20 million project carried out there beginning in 2003, laptops were randomly assigned to public middle school students. The benefit of owning one of these computers, researchers later determined, was significantly greater for those students whose test scores were high to begin with.
Shapley, K. (2009). Evaluation of the Texas Technology Immersion Pilot: Final Outcomes for a Four-Year Study (2004-05 to 2007-08). ERIC.

     Researchers are also documenting a digital Matthew Effect, in which the already advantaged gain more from technology than do the less fortunate. As with books and reading, the most knowledgeable, most experienced, and most supported students are those best positioned to use computers to leap further ahead.
     This may stem in part from the influence of adults on children’s computer activities. At the more affluent neighborhood library,  young visitors to the computer area were almost always accompanied by a parent or grandparent. Adults positioned themselves close to the children and close to the screen, offering a stream of questions and suggestions. Kids were steered away from games and toward educational programs emphasizing letters, numbers and shapes. When the children became confused or frustrated, the grownups guided them to a solution.
     At the less affluent library, children manipulated the computers on their own, while accompanying adults watched silently or remained in other areas of the library altogether. Lacking the “scaffolding” provided by the richer parents, the poorer kids clicked around frenetically, rarely staying with one program for long. Older children figured out how to use the programs as games; younger children became discouraged and banged on the keyboard or wandered away.
These different patterns of use had quantifiable effects on the children’s learning. More affluent preschoolers encountered twice as many written words on computer screens as did the poorer children; the more affluent toddlers received 17 times as much adult attention while using the library’s computers as did their less privileged counterparts. The researchers documented differences among older kids as wellNeuman, S., & Celano, D. (2012). Worlds apart. American Educator (fall), 13-23.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Millennial view of libraries

A new report synthesized the library habits of Americans 16-20 years old. The survey questioned how they see libraries’ roles in their lives and communities. The good news is that young people are reading as much as older adults, and are even more likely to have read a book in the past 12 months. Also, their library use is holding steady. Nonetheless, the report warns, their levels of engagement vary in a number of ways.
Millennials read about as much as older adults, with 43 percent saying that they read a book in some format (print, audiobook, or ebook) every day. As a group, they are also as likely as older adults to have used a library in the past 12 months, and more likely to have used a public library website.
One of the survey’s most interesting findings is that, despite the major presence of technology in their lives, 62 percent of the group as a whole agrees there is “a lot of useful, important information that is not available on the Internet,” as opposed to 53 percent of older Americans. Still, 98 percent of all Millennials believe that “the Internet makes it much easier to find information today than it was in the past,” and 79 percent of those surveyed hold that “people who are without internet access are at a real disadvantage.” A full 98 percent of Millennials use the Internet, as opposed to 82 percent of those over 30.
At the same time, only 57 percent of those surveyed believed that “it’s easy to separate the good information from the bad information online.” Some 61 percent of all Americans—those over 30 as well as the Millennials—have a library card, and roughly half of the younger Americans have visited a library in the past year.
However, the report notes that Millennials do not seem to be engaging with libraries to the fullest extent possible.Zickuhr, K., & Rainie, L. (2014). Younger Americans and Public Libraries. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Survey of mobile technologies in schools

Mobile technology is becoming more popular in today's classrooms, according to a recent survey. A majority of educators -- 86% -- who responded to the survey said mobile technology bolsters student engagement, and 67% said it helps support personalized learning. Nevertheless, the digital divide persists.
  • Eighty percent of students in grades 9-12, 65 percent of those in grades 6-8, 45 percent of grades 3-5 students, and 18 percent of K-2 students have access to a smartphone.
  • When it comes to tablets, 45 percent of 9-12, 52 percent of 6-8, 48 percent of 3-5, and 26 percent of K-2 students have access.
  • Sixty-three percent of children from high-income homes have access to a tablet, compared to 20 percent of those from low-income homes. Seventy-five percent of high-income parents and 35 percent of low-income parents have downloaded educational apps for their children.

Grunwald and Associates. (2013). Learning and living with mobile devices study. Bethesda, MD: Grunwald and Associates.

Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study
Living and Learning with Mobile Devices Study

Digital inclusion survey

This 2014 survey reveals the newest library technology trends: uneven tech growth (slower in rural areas), STEM maker spaces, 3D printing, coding/programming, wifi printing, social media training. Libraries' greatest identified need was more bandwidth, and the chief barrier was cost/money.
ALA. (2014). Digital inclusion survey.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

School stats survey

The National Center for Education Statistics has added the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS) data to PowerStats. This update includes the following datasets from the 2011-12 Schools and Staffing Survey: Public Schools, Private Schools, Public and Private Schools combined, Public Principals, Private Principals, Public and Private Principals combined, Public Teachers, Private Teachers, Public and Private Teachers combined, Public School Districts, and Public School Library Media Centers.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Social class changes research

The 2014 book The Long Shadow draws insights plucked from three decades spent diligently tracking nearly 800 Baltimore inner-city kids, from first grade to age 28 or 29. The  researchers found that the resources and strength of a child’s family tended to exert a powerful influence over a child’s future. Poor kids tended to become poor adults, with surprisingly few kids jumping up or down the socioeconomic ladder in Baltimore. Mostly, kids grew up only to arrive where they started.
The finding has major implications for health, too, since ample research has long shown that income and education levels – one’s socioeconomic status – are strongly linked to all sorts of health measures, including disease susceptibility and lifespan. The entrenched poverty and lack of social mobility that researchers found in Baltimore raises questions about the prospects for success of the battle to reduce class- and race-based health disparities.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Social media and social skills research

The social skills of students using digital media may be declining, according to a new study. The researchers "found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who continued to spend hours each day looking at their electronic devices," according to a news release about the study.
"Many people are looking at the benefits of digital media in education, and not many are looking at the costs," said a senior author of the study.. "Decreased sensitivity to emotional cues — losing the ability to understand the emotions of other people — is one of the costs. The displacement of in-person social interaction by screen interaction seems to be reducing social skills."
Uhls, Y., et al. (2014).Five days at outdoor education camp without screens improves preten skills with nonverbal emotion cues. Computers in Human Behavior, 39(Oct.), 387–392.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pole: public's attitudes about schools

This poll captures the public’s perceptions of public schools, including the Common Core State Standards. Some of the findings deal with testing, local control, and government role.

Gallup. (2014). PDK/Gallup poll of the public's attitudes toward the public schools.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Technology and libraries report

The report describes findings from an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. Six key trends, six significant challenges, and six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, giving library leaders and staff a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The format of the report was designed to provide these leaders with more in-depth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of technology, along with their implications for policy, leadership, and practice.
New Media Consortium. (2014). Horizon report: Library edition. Austin, TX: NMC.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Research about gestures and learning

Making gestures with words helps children with and without hearing impairments improve their language, learning and cognitive skills, according to a recent study. Researchers suggest that gestures provide imagery to help children make categorical distinctions that comprise both spoken and signed language.
S. Goldin-Meadow. Widening the lens: what the manual modality reveals about language, learning and cognition. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2014; 369 (1651): 20130295 DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0295

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Video gaming and behavior research

Teens who play mature-rated, risk-glorifying video games with antisocial, protagonistic characters were more likely to engage in deviant behaviors, including smoking and alcohol use, according to a study of 500 teenargers. Researchers said that changes in personality, values and attitudes may explain these games' impact on the players' behavior.
Hull, Jay G.; Brunelle, Timothy J.; Prescott, Anna T.; Sargent, James D. (2014). A longitudinal study of risk-glorifying video games and behavioral deviance.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(2),300-325.

On the other hand, when youth place video games for an hour or less, they tend to be better adjusted than those who never play video games. Low levels (<1 as="" daily="" high="" hour="" levels="" well="">3 hours daily) of game engagement was linked to key indicators of psychosocial adjustment. Low engagement was associated with higher life satisfaction and prosocial behavior and lower externalizing and internalizing problems, whereas the opposite was found for high levels of play.
Przybylski, A. (2014).Electronic gaming and psychosocial adjustment. Pediatrics, 134(3).


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Elending background paper

The publishing industry has firmly embraced making the vast majority of their titles available for elending to libraries in the United States. The Big Five have either initiated a major pilot project or have committed themselves to a broad rollout. With all of the news primarily focused on the US, what does the landscape look like for the rest of the world? A new research report addresses some of these queries.
IFLA. (2014). Elending background paper.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Reading studies

Few Parents See Reading as a Priority over the Summer
Despite research that indicates the importance of summer reading in preventing children from losing literacy skills, only 17% of parents say reading is a top summer priority, according to a new surveys. Conducted by Harris Poll, the survey also finds that children spend nearly three times as many hours weekly watching TV or playing video games as they do reading in the summer.
RIF & Macy's. (2014). Summer reading.

Reading Skills Still Developing in 4th Grade
Brain scans of 96 students in third through fifth grades and college students suggest students are still learning to decode words in fourth grade, a time when many educators believe the process has become more automated, according to a published study. The lead researcher said the data indicate that the ability to automatically process words likely takes place in an unstudied area somewhere between fifth grade and college.
Coch, D. (2014). The N400 and the fourth grade shift. Developmental Science. DOI: 10.1111/desc.12212

Strong Early Reading Skills in Children Yields Higher Intelligence Later
New research shows improved reading in child years will lead to development of higher IQ later on in life. "Early remediation of reading problems might aid not only the growth of literacy, but also more general cognitive abilities that are of critical importance across the lifespan," Stuart J. Ritchie, lead author of the study, said in a press release. .
Ritchie, S., Bates, T., & Plomin, R. (2014). Does Learning to Read Improve Intelligence? A Longitudinal Multivariate Analysis in Identical Twins From Age 7 to 16. Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12272

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Survey of superintendents

This research study of K-12 superintendents in the United States was developed to track and understand their opinions on important topics and issues facing education: Common Core, barriers students face in pursuing higher education, selecting and evaluating teachers, classroom technology, budget cuts, and superintendent time management.
Gallup. (2014). Understanding perspectives on American public education.


Evaluating online information survey

A recent survey of 770 seventh-grade students revealed more than 70% value content relevance over a website's credibility. The researcher suggests four strategies for educators teaching students how to recognize high-quality online content: discuss dimensions such as relevance, accuracy, perspective and reliability of the resources; modeling and practice; prompting; have a healthy skepticism.
Coiro, J. (2014). Teaching adolescents to critically evaluate online information.

Erate digital divide survey

Applications for federal E-rate money show broad gaps between wealthy and poor school systems' access to high-quality technologies, and varying abilities among districts to purchase connectivity at affordable rates, a new analysis reveals. By the measures of the survey, the country's schools—particularly its most impoverished ones—have a long way to go. One of the biggest takeaways from the analysis is that schools with higher levels of technology buy at cheaper prices and spend more money on Internet services.
Education Superhighway. (2014). Connecting America's students: Opportunities for action.

Technology use and gender survey

     The gender gap in technology has decreased, as found by a survey of students, teachers, administrators and parents. The number of students who maintain a profile on a social networking site has decreased by nearly 40% in the last five years according to a new report from Project  This year only 30% of middle school students  and 39% of  students in grades 9-10 told researchers they were actively using such a site.
     Girls report using social tools for schoolwork more than boys. Among girls who self-identify as advanced technology users, 75% say they text with classmates as compared to only 66% of boys who identify as advanced users. Even girls who say they are average or beginner technology users say they text with classmates at a rate of 73%. Girls who identify as advanced users are also 8%  more likely to report find that they find videos to help with schoolwork than similarly tech-savvy boys, 10% more likely to use Facebook to collaborate on schoolwork and 3% more likely to use Skype or iChat with classmates.
     About 42% of girls in 3-5 grades, and 37% in middle school, stated that they regularly played games on tables, compared with 38% of boys in the same grades.
Speak Up. (2014).  The new digital learning playbook. Irvine, CA: Project Tomorrow.
The New Digital Learning Playbook: Understanding the Spectrum of Students’ Activities and Aspirations - See more at:

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Digital learning survey

Some states nationwide are showing improvement in digital learning, according to a recent report. The report card, which assesses states' kindergarten through grade 12 digital-education policies awarded highest marks to Utah and Florida. Nevada, which improved to a B from a D, has worked to remove access restrictions for distance education.
Ten elements of high-quality digital learning were identified: all students are digital learners, all students have access to high-quality digital content and online courses, personal learning,  mastery learning, quality content, quality instruction, quality choices, student learning assessment, incentives, supportive infrastructure.
Foundation for Excellence in Education. (2014). Report card 2013. 

Teacher librarian-teacher collaboration survey

Teacher librarians and teachers have experienced more collaboration as school libraries become centers for research and technology-based learning. Librarians' evolving roles include 55% of librarians saying they teach students skills needed for the Common Core State Standards, and 60% of librarians reporting they recommend and/or obtain common-core-aligned instructional and resource materials. "Their role has really evolved, based on the inclusion of technology and the focus of the curriculum and the Common Core," said Kathleen Brantley, director of EdNET Insight. Shelton, CT: Market Data Retrieval.
EdNet Insight. (2014). School libraries in the digital age.  

School tech use survey

A new survey of K-12 teachers found that 88 percent of respondents said they and their students use technology in class but only 24 percent said they believe it has a strong positive effect on student achievement and a mere 13 percent said it has a strong positive effect on standardized test scores.
Digedu. (2014). Technology Use in the Classroom: Benefits and Barriers.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Library digital readiness study

Nearly 100 percent of America’s libraries offer digital readiness programs, such as workforce development programs, homework assistance, WiFi, and technology skills training, including maker spaces, website coding and social media classes. The study is the first to examine national digital trends in libraries.
American Library Association. (2014). Digital inclusion survey. Chicago: ALA.
 ALA Digital Inclusion

Sunday, July 27, 2014

This article describes a study conducted by a research team at Syracuse University’s Center for
Digital Literacy, in collaboration with the Connecticut Invention Convention, investigating the
attitudes toward innovation activities, motivational supports, and information needs of young
innovators in grade 4–8 as they progressed through the innovation process. Implications of this
initial research are that school librarians have an opportunity to (1) provide “innovation
spaces” that foster curiosity and exploration within their libraries and (2) become role models
or “innovation mentors” to all students, supporting their motivational and information needs
throughout the innovation process.Small, Ruth V. (2014).  The Motivational and Information Needs of Young Innovators: Stimulating Student Creativity and Inventive Thinking.School Library Research.

Evidence-based library practice study

Evidence-based library and information practice (EBLIP) provides school librarians a systematic means of building, assessing, and revising a library program, thus demonstrating a school library program’s worth to the larger school community. Through survey research collecting both qualitative and quantitative data, 111 public school librarians in Texas shared the extent to which they applied components of EBLIP to practice, the extent to which they shared EBLIP data and with whom, and the extent to which formal LIS education has supported their applications of EBLIP.
Findings indicate the large majority of respondents engaged in some form of EBLIP, typically
referencing professional journals, standards, and guidelines; informally collecting evidence
from stakeholders; and writing mission statements. Few respondents, however, engaged in the
complete process. With the intent of gaining, increasing, or securing something, respondents
were most likely to share goals and data with administrators and teachers than with other
stakeholders. Despite so few respondents’ engaging in the complete process, approximately half
expressed the belief that their LIS programs contributed to their understanding of EBLIP.
Richey, Jennifer, and Maria Cahill. (2014). School Librarians’ Experiences with Evidence-Based Library and Information Practice. School Library Research.

Library systems report

A leading expert on library technology. Marshall's annual report is a comprehensive guide to the latest library systems trends and news, from company consolidations and sales numbers to technical advances and industry commentary. 
Breeding, M. (2014, May). 2014 Library Systems Report. American Libraries.

Gender and academic achievement meta-analysis

On average, girls outperform boys across all subjects in school, including math and science, according to a recent meta-analysis. The largest performance gap was in language, and the smallest occurred in math, the analysis found. "This contrast in findings makes it clear that the generalized nature of the female advantage in school marks contradicts the popular stereotypes that females excel in language whereas males excel in math and science," the researchers wrote.
Voyer, D., & S. (2014). Gender differences in scholastic achievement: A meta-analysis. American Psychological Bulletin, 140(4), 1174-1204. 

State of libraries report

This annual report details library trends of the past year. Included in the report are trends associated with academic, public, and school libraries; ebooks and copyright issues; social networking; library construction; legislative issues; and intellectual freedom.
American Library Association. (2014). 2014 state of America's libraries. Chicago: ALA.

Student engagement report

Students were 30 times more likely to say they were engaged during the school day when their individual interests were a priority and educators made them feel excited about the future, according to a recent report. School leaders should not neglect the social and emotional factors that help students thrive and should empower teachers so that they are more engaged and effective in the classroom, according to the  report.
Gallup Education.  (2014). State of America’s Schools.

PISA report

Results from the PISA report find that American 15-year-olds are just above the average of 44 countries and economies in problem-solving skills and far behind teens in Asia. On average U.S. teens earned a score of 508 on the Programme for International Student Assessment Creative Problem Solving test, between top-ranked Singapore’s 562 and bottom-ranked Colombia’s 399. The PISA results put U.S. students in the middle of the pack.
OECD. (2014).  Programme for International Student Assessment.

Gaming and speech development study

Young children who play noneducational games on touch-screen devices may present lower scores in speech development benchmarks, according to a recent study. The study from Cohen Children's Medical Center in New York found that playing games, such as "Angry Birds" or "Fruit Ninja," resulted in lower scores in speech tests for both understanding of language and speaking. "Technology can never replace a parent's interaction with his or her child," said the study's chief investigator. "Just talking to your child is the best way to encourage learning."
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System. (2014, May 3). Lower verbal test score for toddlers who play non-educational games on touch screens.ScienceDaily.

Teachers's digital tools study

Standards gaps exist where digital resources are unavailable or do not meet the needs of teachers, according to a report. Regarding what they are looking for, the 3,100 educators surveyed reported a desire for digital tools that deliver instruction, diagnose student learning, increase engagement, support collaboration and foster independent practice.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. (2014). Teachers know best: What educators want from digital instructional tools. 

Big data and privacy report

The White House released a long-awaited report on how the technology industry’s collection of big data affects the online privacy of millions of Americans. The report recommends that Congress pass national data breach legislation, extend privacy protections to non-US citizens, and update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which controls how the government can access email.
Podesta, J. (2014). Big data: A technological perspective. Washington, DC: Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Khan Academy and laptops study

Schools with one-to-one laptop programs had more freedom in how they used Khan Academy's online instructional videos, according to a two-year study of 70 teachers in 20 California schools during 2011-13. The report also found that, in many cases, the online math videos and quizzes did not cause teachers to drastically alter their instruction. Among the top complaints from teachers about Khan Academy was a lack of alignment with state-mandated curriculum, the report found.
SRI International. (2014). Reserach on the use of Khan Academy in schools.

Horizon 2014 report

Ths annual report identifies key trends accelerating and impeding K12 ed tech adoption. Some ed tech developments that are likely to be adopted include: BYOD and cloud computing within the year, games/gamification and learning analytics in 2-3 years, and wearable tech in 4-5 years.
NMC. (2014). Horizon report.

Parent involvement and student outcomes research

Using national data from the 2007–08 School and Staffing Survey, researchers compared the relationships between parental involvement and school outcomes related to adequate yearly progress (AYP) in urban, suburban, and rural schools. Parent-initiated parental involvement demonstrated significantly positive relationships with both making AYP and staying off the category of schools in need of mandatory improvement across urban, suburban, and rural schools, whereas school-initiated parental involvement demonstrated significantly negative relationships with both outcomes across urban and suburban schools. Researchers tested school website as a way of communication with parents. Frequency of updates of school website was significantly positive across both outcomes but for urban schools only. They also tested school support for involvement of parents with limited English proficiency (LEP). Provision of translators to parents with LEP was not statistically significant. Provision of translated materials to parents with LEP was significantly positive only on making AYP only for urban schools.
Ma, X. et al. (2013). The relationship between parental involvement and adequate yearly progress among urban, suburban and rural schools. School Effectiveness and School Improvement. DOI: 10.1080/09243453.2013.862281

Poverty and cyberbullying

Poverty is a predictor of online bullying among students
An influx of social media has led to an increase in cyberbullying that extends beyond middle- and upper-class schools, according to a recent study of middle- and high-school students by Michigan State University. Instead, despite the perception of a "digital divide," researchers found that living in a disadvantaged neighborhood was a significant predictor of online bullying, in addition to the physical and verbal types.
Holt, T. et al. (2014).  The Impact of Self Control and Neighborhood Disorder on Bullying Victimization. Journal of Criminal Justice, 2014; 42 (4): 347 DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2014.04.004

1:1 technolog report

Eighty-two percent of districts are "highly interested" in launching or expanding a 1:1 technology initiative within the next two years, according to a new report. The number of districts reporting that at least one-quarter of their schools had deployed mobile devices had risen to 71 percent, up from 60 percent in 2013. Forty-four percent of districts surveyed said that approximately 75 percent of their schools had deployed mobile technology."The most commonly expected and sought after benefits from adopting mobile technology for student instruction," wrote the report's author, "included their potential to increase student achievement, be engaging for students, and support personalization of instruction to meet the needs of different students."
Other key findings of the report include:
  • Very few districts, only 12 percent, reported that they didn't have mobile devices in any of their schools. That's down from 21 percent in the previous year;
  • Districts reporting current adoptions were more likely to say that they were somewhat or very likely to adopt mobile tech beyond a few schools, at 72.4 percent, than schools with no current deployments, at 66.7 percent;
  • The most common mobile device deployments reported by survey participants were carts shared among classrooms at a rate of approximately 42 percent. Twenty-three percent said some or all classrooms had mobile devices for students to share, nearly 20 percent said classrooms had 1:1 deployments and 15.7 percent of respondents said some classes had a full set of mobile devices and others had none;
  • Twenty percent of districts surveyed said they had a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy currently in development and 8.7 percent said they had no BYOD policy;
  • Slightly more than a quarter, 28.9 percent, of survey participants said their policy encourages BYOD and 18.4 percent said their policy is to not permit students to bring their own devices;
  • Eleven percent of respondents said that BYOD policies were determined at the school level and 12.7 percent said they were determined at the classroom level;
  • About 71 percent of those surveyed said their district had a "High level of interest" in purchasing Chromebooks or tablets; and
  • Digital textbooks were most often cited as an app beneficial to students, at a rate of 68.9 percent. Creation tools, at 54.5 percent followed, and collaboration tools, such as Google Drive, were a close third place, at 52.1 percent. Productivity tools, such as those for storing files, taking notes and scheduling, came in fourth at 43.1 percent.
 Amplify and IESD. (2014). 2014 national survey on mobile technology for K2-12 education.

Whole child snapshot report

This report highlights how well each state is meeting the comprehensive needs of its children. The snapshots are data reports featuring indicators to measure success in each of the Whole Child tenet areas -- healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged -- and provide action steps for communities to help students become college, career, and citizenship ready. The snapshots also introduce national data highlights, including bullying and cyberbullying data and the national student-to-counselor ratio.
ASCD. (2014). Whole Child Snapshots.

Drop-out report

A report gives voice to the 20 percent of American students who do not graduate from high school on time. It finds that participants across the sixteen cities frequently mentioned 25 different factors or events that influenced their decisions about school. Survey respondents confirm the prevalence of traumatic and stressful life events among young people who disengage from school. Most participants had returned to school or re-engagement programs to complete their education. Four themes emerged: a cluster of factors, toxic environments, yearning for connectness, resilience in need of support.
America's Promise. (2014).  Don't call them dropouts.

Teaching effectiveness report

A report from the University of Pennsylvania explores how teachers’ instructional alignment is associated with student learning and teacher effectiveness as measured by composite evaluation measures including the value-added model (VAM). It finds weak associations between content alignment and student achievement and no associations with the composite measure of effective teaching.
Instructional alignment as a measure of teaching quality. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (2014, May). 0162373714531851

Leisure reading study

A new study finds that 45 percent of 17-year-olds say they read by choice only once or twice a year. In 1984, 8 percent of 13-year-olds and 9 percent of 17-year-olds said they “never” or “hardly ever” read for pleasure. In 2014, that number had almost tripled to 22 percent and 27 percent. Parents are also reading to their kids less than ever. In 1999, children ages 2 to 7 were read to for an average of 45 minutes per day. In 2013, that number had dropped to an average of just over 30 minutes per day. The decline in reading for fun is most easily explained by technological advances (i.e., kids would rather text than read), but education could have something to do with it as well. It’s no surprise that 53% of 9-year-olds read for fun every day, but only 19% of 17-year-olds do. Yes, the teenagers have more Instagrams to post, but they also have more homework to do.
Common Sense Media. (2014).  Children, teens, and reading. San Francisco: Common Sense Media.

Student achievement report

The latest scores on the  indicate that American high school seniors showed no improvement in reading and math in four years, and achievement gaps between demographic groups have not decreased. While 12th-grade math scores are slightly higher than in 2005, reading scores are lower than in 1992. In reading, 25 percent of 12th-graders in 2013 scored below basic, and just 37 percent scored at or above proficient. In 2013, 26 percent of America’s 12th-graders scored at or above “proficient” in math; just 3 percent scored “advanced." Only 39 percent of 12th graders are ready for entry-level college courses in math and 38 percent in reading.
U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Statistics, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). (2014). 2013 Mathematics and Reading Assessments. Washington, DC: IES.

STEM research

Present federal education policies promote learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and the participation of minority students in these fields. Using longitudinal data on students in Florida and North Carolina, value-added estimates in mathematics and science are generated to categorize schools into performance levels and identify differences in school STEM measures by performance levels. Several STEM-relevant variables show a significant association with effectiveness in mathematics and science, including STEM teacher turnover, calculus and early algebra participation, and mathematics and science instructional indices created from survey items in the data. Surprisingly, a negative association between students’ STEM course participation and success in STEM is consistently documented across both states, in addition to low participation of underrepresented minority students in successful schools in STEM.
Hansen, M. (2014). Characteristics of schools successful in STEM: Evidence fomr two states' longitudnal data. The Journal of Educational Research. DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2013.823364

Cloud tech decisions report

Decisions about cloud-based education technology should be made at the district level, at least at this point in time, advise three researchers from the Student Privacy Initiative at  Harvard University. That was one of three recommendations from a report called "," released by the initiative.
Solow-Niederman, A. (2014). Framing the Law and Policy Picture: A Snapshot of K-12 Cloud-Based Ed Tech and Student Privacy in Early 2014. Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Student discipline report

Suspending students should be a last resort, according to a recent report. In what is being billed as a first-of-its-kind road map to help schools improve discipline policies and practices, the organization's 460-page report suggests helping individual students with behavioral issues and training on-campus police officers.
Council of State Governments Justice Center. (2014). The school discipline consensus report. 

Immigrants' barriers in early childhood education research

Immigrant parents face significant barriers as they try to engage with their children's early educational experiences, including greatly restricted access for many due to limited English proficiency and functional literacy. Parental engagement is critical for young children's early cognitive and socioemotional development, and for their participation in programs that are designed to support early learning. Reducing the barriers to parent engagement in early childhood education and care (ECEC) programs would encourage school success, and help many young children of immigrants close the gaps in kindergarten readiness with their native peers.
McHugh, M., & Park, M. (2014). Immigrant parents and early childhood programs. Migration Policy Institute.

Reflective learning study

When we take the time to think about what we've learned, we learn much more effectively, according to a new report. Researchers found that reflecting directly after a lesson increases individuals' performance the next time they return to the material. While most research on learning focuses on doing, the authors say, this is the first study to test the effects of reflecting on learning.
Stefano, G., et al.  (2014). Learning by thinking: How reflection aids performance. Social Science Research Network.

Online courses report

Only 17 percent of high schools do not currently offer any online classes and more than 40 percent are offering online courses in English language arts, history, math or science, according to a recent  report. Teachers who teach online classes, in particular, see a strong correlation between the use of technology and students’ college and career ready skill development. Around 60 percent of all parents said they would like their children to be in a class where using one’s own mobile device was allowed.
Speak Up. (2014).The New Digital Learning Playbook: Advancing College and Career Skill Development in K-12 Schools. Project Tomorrow.

Video gaming benefits studies

The researchers identified four types of positive impact that video games have on the kids who play them: cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social. Gameplay has cognitive benefit because games have been shown to improve attention, focus, and reaction time. Games have motivational benefit because they encourage an incremental, rather than an entity theory of intelligence. Games have emotional benefit because they induce positive mood states; in addition, there is speculative evidence that games may help kids develop adaptive emotion regulation. Games have social benefit because gamers are able to translate the prosocial skills that they learn from co-playing or multiplayer gameplay to “peer and family relations outside the gaming environment.”
Thinking about cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social skills reminds us that educators are not just responsible for the transmission of content and facts. Of course, this is one of the reasons that there is so much controversy over testing. Standardized tests measure only quantifiable outcomes. Educators, however, are also responsible for the non-quantifiable well-being of our students. Some of these skills are taken into account in some schools when folks talk about “character education.” But mostly, there is little curricular systematization in these areas. Still, teachers are accountable for conflict resolution and other interpersonal skills. Video games can help.

Granic, I. et al. (2014). The benefits of playing video games. American Psychologist, 69(1), 66-78.

Kids who play multi-player games online are more likely to have a positive attitude toward people from another country: 62 percent of online gamers hold a favorable view of people from different cultures compared to 50 percent of non-gamers. Unlike school, where the diversity of the institution is rarely reflected by individuals’ peer groups, interactive online gaming correlates with a more diverse group of friends.
Forde, K., & Kenny, C. (2014). Online gaming and youth cultural perceptions. Integration Centre.

Sexting survey

Sexting among youth is more prevalent than previously thought, according to a new study from Drexel University that was based on a survey of undergraduate students at a large northeastern university. More than 50 percent of those surveyed reported that they had exchanged sexually explicit text messages, with or without photographic images, as minors. The study also found that the majority of young people are not aware of the legal ramifications of underage sexting. In fact, most respondents were unaware that many jurisdictions consider sexting among minors -- particularly when it involves harassment or other aggravating factors -- to be child pornography, a prosecutable offense.
DeMatteo, J. (2014). Youth Sexting: Prevalence Rates, Driving Motivations, and the Deterrent Effect of Legal Consequences. Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

Classtime Internet use research

Even top students can be distracted by Internet browsing during class, according to a  study that finds that students who spent the most time surfing the Internet during class had the lowest exam scores. That includes visiting social media sites, such as Facebook, online shopping, playing games and more.
Ragan, E. et al. (2014). Unregulated use of laptops over time in large lecture classes.  Computers & Education, 87, 78-86.

Social media use research

A recent survey of high-school students finds that they text more often than they use other forms of social media, such as Facebook and YouTube. Data from 7,000 graduating high-school seniors show that 87% report texting daily, while 61% say they use Facebook daily. Results show that LinkedIn is getting the fewest visits by teens.

A 2013 survey of 325,279 K-12 students across the U.S., which found that just 30% of middle school students and 39% of high school students said they are maintaining a profile on a social networking site. That’s a decrease of approximately 40% since 2009. The drop in social network use has been accompanied by a rise in social apps like Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine, which are now used by 44% of students in grades 6-12. 
Speak Up. (2013).  From chalkboards to tablets. Project Tomorrow.

The results of a poll of 7,500 teenagers, which found that 30% of teens ranked Instagram their most important social platform, ahead of Twitter at 27% and Facebook at 23%. Those were big changes from the results of a survey conducted a year before, when 33% of teen respondents chose Facebook as their most important social network, compared to 30% for Twitter and just 17% for Instagram.
Jaffrey, P. (2014). Taking stock with teens.

Drawing on data from Facebook’s social advertising platform, a study found that the number of Americans ages 13-17 using Facebook declined 25.3% from 13.1 million in January 2011 to 9.8 million in January 2014, while the number of users ages 18-24 declined 7.5% from 45.4 million to 42 million over the same period.
iStrategyLabs. (2014).  Facebook demographic report.

Another recent survey found that roughly one in three (30%) Facebook users believe they will be using the service less within the next five years. Within this group, 40% say they use Twitter, while Instagram is also growing fast, especially among millennials.
USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz, Inc. (2014).

Mobile devices benefit report

A new report finds educators, students and parents generally agree that mobile devices are useful tools in preparing students for college and careers. The findings show that the favorable consensus exists despite challenges such as connectivity and budget constraints.
(2014). The New Digital Learning Playbook: Advancing College- and Career-Ready Skill Development in K-12 Schools. Project Tomorrow.

Technology impact on education research.

This ongoing research initiative is "designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in education." According to the report, "rethinking the role of teachers" and a "shift to deeper learning approaches" are fast-moving trends that will accelerate K-12 Technology adoption in the next one to two years. Mid-range trends likely to accelerate classroom technology used in the next three to five years identified by the report were "increasing focus on open educational resources" and "increasing use of hybrid learning designs." Defined as those more than five years away, long-range trends identified by the report were "rapid acceleration of intuitive technology" and "rethinking how schools work."
Consortium for School Networking and the New Media Consortium. (2014).  MNC Horizon Project.

Technology impact on education report

A new report suggests that the cumulative weight of changing consumer habits, enabling technologies like MOOCs and mobile, and the high cost of postsecondary education are resetting expectations and bringing permanent changes to education and lifelong learning. .
OCLC. (2014). At a Tipping Point: Education, Learning, and Libraries 

Teachers' working conditions international survey

Teachers in the U.S. work more hours each week than their international peers -- 45 hours, compared with 38 hours, according to a recent survey. Data from 100,000 teachers in 34 countries also show that women comprise 68% of professionals in the field.
OECD. (2014).  Teaching and Learning International Survey.

Social media use research

The phenomenal growth in the use of social media in the past 10 years has dramatically and irreversibly changed the way individuals communicate and interact with one another. While there are undoubtedly many positives arising out of the use of social media, irresponsible or inappropriate use can have significant negative consequences. In the university setting, comments posted on widely accessible forums such as Facebook, and seen by other students or staff, can damage reputations, create personal distress and compromise academic integrity. So how should universities deal with this problem? This article describes the findings of a research project undertaken in 2011 to address this question. Given that many students would regard their Facebook pages and Facebook groups as their own private space, one of the key goals of the project was to establish appropriate limits for university interference in these matters. Another was to develop a categorisation model for dealing with inappropriate or irresponsible comments that have been detected or reported.

Rowe, J. (2014). Student use of social media: When should the university intervene? Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 36(3).

Media research

A 2013 encyclopedia entry provides an overview of research on media, which is both comprehensive and thorough. The essay reviews research on media literacy programs (usually called "interventions") on a wide variety of topics including sexual objectification in advertising, media violence, tobacco and alcohol prevention, body image and advertising awareness.
Banerjee, S., Kubey, T. (2013). Boom or Boomerang: A Critical Review of Evidence Documenting Media Literacy Efficacy.The International Encyclopedia of Media Studies (pp. 1-24). New York: Wiley.

Library perceptions studies

The Pew Research Center’s studies about libraries and where they fit in the lives of their communities and patrons have uncovered some surprising facts about what Americans think of libraries and the way they use them.
- Those ages 65 and older are less likely to have visited a library in the past 12 months than those under that age.
- Although 10% of Americans have never used a library, they think libraries are good for their communities.
- E-book reading is rising but just 4% of Americans are “e-book only” readers.
- Those who read both e-books and printed books prefer reading in the different formats under different circumstances.
-  Those who use libraries are more likely than others to be book buyers and actually prefer to buy books, rather than borrow them.
- Many patrons are comfortable with the idea of getting recommendations from librarians based on their previous book-reading habits.
Rainie, L. (2014). 7 surprises about libraries in our surveys. Pew Research Center.

Graduation rates and spending study

Increased Spending Reaps Benefits in Graduation Levels
In districts that substantially increased education spending as the result of court orders, low-income children were significantly more likely to graduate from high school, earn livable wages, and avoid poverty in adulthood. Between 1971 and 2010, supreme courts in 28 states responded to large gaps between richer and poorer districts by reforming school-finance systems. Although the changes had limited consequences for higher-income children, for low-income students who spent all 12 years of school in districts that increased spending by 20 percent, graduation rates rose 23 percentage points.
Jackson, C., et al. (2014). The effect of school finance reforms on the distribution of spending, academic achievement, and adult outcomes. National Bureau of Economic Research.

School board study

Schools are more likely to excel if school boards are focused on academics, according to a recent study. Among other things, the study focused on the effect of school board members’ political leanings, education, background and stance on key education topics. “The boost associated with academic focus is the highest of any school board characteristic that we tested,” the researchers said.
Shober, A., & Hartney, M.  (2014). Does school board leadership matter?  Thomas B. Fordham Institute.

Graduation rate report

U.S. Graduation Rate Reaches 80% for the First Time
According to a recent report, the high school graduation rate for the class of 2011 was 79 percent, while the graduation rate for the class of 2012 was 80 percent. The public high school event dropout rate for the United States remained constant at 3.3 percent for both school year 2010–11 and school year 2011–12. Students with limited English proficiency had a significantly lower average adjusted cohort graduation rate at 59%.
National Center for Education Statistics. (2014). Public high school four-year on-time graduation rates and event dropout rates. Washington, DC: Author.

Classroom digital games report

78% of Teachers Use Digital Games in the Classroom
Digital and traditional games play a significant role motivating, rewarding and engaging students in the classroom, according to a survey of 694 K-8 teachers. It reports that 78% of educators use digital games in class, up from 50% two years ago. Many use them more often for motivation than instruction, and 47% say low-performing students benefit the most from digital game-play. In addition, 26% use nondigital games for classroom connections and interactions.
Takeuchi, L, & Vaala, S. (2014). Teachers surveyed on using digital games in class.  Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

Immigrants and reading study

Immigrant Families Read Together Less
In a poll of nearly 15,000 parents in California, researchers found that Hispanic and Asian immigrant parents were less likely than non-Hispanic white parents to read or look at picture books with their children. Low levels of parental education and household income were associated with reduced rates of daily book sharing.
Festa, N. et al. (2014). Disparities in early exposure to book sharing within immigrant families. Pediatrics. (doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-3710)