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: