Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reading format study

More children now know what it's like to read an e-book, but most prefer print texts.  Nor have e-books markedly altered the collections of school libraries.
Scholastic. (2016). Kids and family reading report (5th ed.). New York: Scholastic.
Education Week. (20160. The changing face of literacy. Bethesda, MD: Education Week.

Parents' literacy activities

Low-income families are engaging in more developmentally stimulating activities with their children, including family reading and education trips. However, other gaps exist.
American Educational Research Association. (2016).
Kalil, A. et al. (2016). Changes in income-based gaps in parent activities with young children from 1988 to 2012. AERA Open, 2(3).

Academic library learning spaces

This paper identifies approaches, challenges, and bet practices related to planning and designing academic library learning spaces.
Head, A. (2016). Planning and designing academic library learning spaces.

Barriers to ed tech integration

A school's structure does matter in its ability to integrate education technology, according to a recent report. Researchers identify 19 building blocks that are key to ed tech and highlight how these elements are working in schools or school districts across the country.
EdSurge Research. (2016). How schools are changing. Burlingame, CA: EdSurge Research.

RTI status

This report on RTI explores how the instructional framework has expanded into new forms and uses in schools across the country. The report explores the challenges facing educators as they adopt RTI for new uses, scale it up to more schools and districts, and use it to improve learning for all students.
Education Week. (2016).  Response to intervention 2.0: Next generation. Bethesda, MD: Education Week.

Talking about LGBT issues

In many school districts, the classroom is still a difficult place for LGBT students and teachers, according to a recent report. The report covers a variety of challenges LGBT students encounter, including restrictions on LGBT student groups, bullying, and discrimination from classmates and school staff members, and exclusion of LGBT topics from curricula—with an overall conclusion that many U.S. public schools are still unwelcoming to LGBT students and teachers. The report offers recommendations to state legislators, state departments of education, and school administrators to make school environments more welcoming to LGBT students and staff, including repealing laws that prohibit discussion of LGBT issues in schools; enacting laws to protect students and staff members from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity; creating school policies and curricula that explicitly include LGBT people; and enforcing protections against bullying.
Human Rights Watch.  (2016). Like Walking Through a Hailstorm. New York, NY: Human Rights Watch.

Perceptions about fake news

According to a new survey by Pew Research Center, most Americans suspect that made-up news is having an impact. About two-in-three U.S. adults (64%) say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current issues and events. When it comes to how to prevent the spread of fake news, many Americans expect social networking sites, politicians and the public itself to do their share.
Barthel, M., Mitchell, A., & Holcomb, J. (2016). Many Americans believe fake news is sowing confusion. Washington, DC; Pew Research Center.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Areas of the brain can be reshaped and reorganized through activities that include touch and movement—the foundation of creative expression. Just as trauma is experienced—through nonverbal sensation—it can be released. Research found that the simple act of art-making, regardless of skill level, reduces cortisol (or stress levels) in the brain. By making art, children learn about themselves and widen their perspective, creating empathy and deeper engagement.
Perry, B. (2016). Creative interventions with traumatized children. New York: Guilford.
Ray, K., & Muniz, J. (2016). Reduction of cortisol levels and participants' responses following art making. Art Therapy, 33(2), 74-80.

Ed tech research

2016 was a big year for high-quality research on the promise and peril of educational technology.

As Maker Education has evolved, researchers have explored related equity issues, design principles for Maker spaces, and the impact of this approach on student learning.
Halverson, E., & Sheridan, K. (2014). The maker movement in education. Harvard Educational Review (Winter).
Martin, L. (2015). The promise of the maker movement for education. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research.
Martinez, S., & Stager, G. (2013). Invent to learn: Making, tinkering, and engineering in the classroom. Constructing Modern Knowledge Press.
Sheridan, K., et al. (2016). Resourceful and inclusive: Towards design principles for makerspaces. Paper presented at AERA.
Stornaiuolo, A., & Nichols, P. (2016). Making publics: The iterative design of high school makerspaces. Paper presented at AERA.

A meta-analysis of 15 years' worth of research found 1-to-1 laptop programs had a positive impact on students' English, math, and science scores.
Zheng, B. (2016).  Learning in One-to-One Laptop Environments: A Meta-Analysis and Research Synthesis, Review of Educational Research.

 Key studies on the comparability of computer- and paper-based assessments.

 Students in online credit recovery fare worse than peers.
Heppen, J. (2016). Comparing the effectiveness of online and face-to-face credit recovery in algebra I. American Institutes for Research.

Among young adults who regularly use smartphones and tablets, reading a story or performing a task on a screen instead of on paper led to greater focus on concrete details, but less ability to infer meaning or quickly get the gist of a problem, found a series of experiments.
Flanagan, M., & Kaufman, G. (2016). Lost in translation: Comparing the impact of an analog and digital version of a public health game on players' perceptions, attitudes, and cognitions. International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations, 5(3), 1-9.

Teachers' confidence in ed tech varies based on the type of school they work in, concluded a research  analysis. As a result, students in low-poverty and suburban schools may be getting more and better exposure to technology than their counterparts. 
Education Week Research Center. (2016). Teachers and Technology Use in the Classroom: Exclusive Survey Result. Education Week.

Researchers investigating "affect-aware" computerized tutoring systems expressed confidence that systems capable of detecting student emotions could help change the direction of personalized learning. 
Education Week Research Center. (2016). Extending the Digital Reach: Schools Push Personalized Learning to New Heights. Education Week.

Role-play helps boots persistence

Young students who pretend to be fictional characters associated with persistence, such as Batman, Dora the Explorer or Bob the Builder, may stay more focused during repetitive tasks than peers who do not pretend, according to a study in child development.
White, R. (2016).  The Batman effect: Improving perseverance in young children.  Child Development (Dec.). DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12695

Peritext literacy

An after-school book club, led by the school librarian, was held to test the efficacy of the peritextual literacy framework (PLF) in teaching skills related to critical thinking, problemsolving, information literacy, and media literacy. The participants enjoyed the club and were able to demonstrate their ability to use peritextual elements to think critically about STEAM
-related nonfiction books. Students were able to discuss how the functions of peritext affected their motivation to read a text
and their ability to retrieve information from a text, and how peritext functions might affect their opinion of the credibility of information presented in a book.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Fake News and K-12 Information Literacy

An 18-month study shows that students all the way to college age are not recognizing the basics of evaluating a source. Especially as students are looking more and more to social media for their daily news, they may mix satire and "hard" news. The new ACRL information literacy framework reflects the importance of ascertaining the nature of news with its lens that "Authority Is Constructed and Contextual."
Stanford History Education Group. (2016).  Evaluating information: The cornerstone of civic online reasoning. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

African-American teenagers and technology

African-American youth see computers as vital for their future, but they may lack opportunities to code, develop apps and innovate. The most important technology for them are smart phones, but for homework they prefer computers over mobile devices. These youth frequently use technology to learn and create content, but only about an eighth code.
Clark, K., Scott, K., & Rideout, V. (2016). The digital lives of African American tweens, teens, and parents: Innovating and learning with technology. Seattle: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Positive school library may shrink achievement gaps

Multiple studies found that a positive school climate can weaken the effects of low family income on achievement. A positive school climate can facilitate greater equality in education opportunities and more social mobility. A negative climate increases the correlation of achievement and socio-economic backgrounds, especially for low-income families.  School climate includes factors such as "positive teacher-student relationships, sense of safety, and student connectedness to and engagement in school" (Berkowitz, et al.)
Berkowitz, R. et al. (2016). A Research Synthesis of the Associations Between Socioeconomic Background, Inequality, School Climate, and Academic Achievement. Review of Educational Research.

PISA 2016 report

The link between socio-economic status and school performance is weakening for U.S. students, a sign of improving equity in American education even as U.S. teens continue to lag behind their international counterparts in  math, reading and science, according to an international study. The report suggests that education outcomes are increasingly the result of students’ abilities and effort rather than their personal circumstances and family background. The report cited Canada, Estonia, Germany and Hong Kong as role-model countries or regions that have succeeded in achieving both high levels of performance and equity in education outcomes.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2016). PISA report. Paris: OECD.

Banerjee, P. (2016). A systematic review of factors linked to poor academic performance of disadvantaged students in science and maths in schools. Cogent Education, 3, 1178441.
Research shows a teacher-diversity gap in schools that may contribute to lower achievement among some student groups. Some school systems, including one in California (Partnerships to Uplift Communities Schools), have expanded teacher-recruiting efforts to high-school graduates.

Quintaro, D. , Putnam, H, Walsh, K., & Hansen, M. (2016). High hopes and harsh realities: The real challenges to building a diverse teacher workforce. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.

Gershenson, S., & Papageorge, N. (2016).   Who believes in me? The effect of student-teacher demographic match on teacher expectations. Economics of Education Review, 52, 209-224.

School counselors' impact

Meeting one-on-one with a school counselor to discuss college admission or financial aid makes a big difference in students' futures, tripling the chance they'll attend college, doubling the chance that they'll attend a four-year college, and increasing by nearly seven times the likelihood that they'll apply for financial aid, according to a recent national study.
Velez, E. (2016). How can high school counseling shape students' postsecondary attendance? 
Arlington, VA: National Association for College Admission Counseling.

Evidence base about school library impact

Have a look at some of these reports, all of which stress the importance of reading for pleasure and educational achievement.  A well run and professional school library can address these difficulties: Heart of the School blog:

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Teacher math and literacy skills: International study

When compared to both their peers internationally and fellow American college graduates, U.S. teachers have middling math and literacy skills, finds a group of international researchers. They conclude that boosting salaries would be one way to attract higher-skilled individuals into teaching. The report asserts "differences in teacher cognitive skills are a significant determinant of international differences in student performance."
Hanushek, E., Piopiunik, M., & Widerhold, S. (2014). The value of smarter teachers: International evidence on teacher cognitive skills and student performance. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Teenage brain research

Brains change a lot during the teenage years, particularly in areas linked to complex thought, according to findings published this year. Researchers scanned the brains of 300 teenagers and young adults, identifying the regions that experience the most change. While the areas associated with the basic functioning of the body such as vision, hearing and movement are fully developed by adolescence, the areas associated with complex thought and decision making are still changing. The new findings also indicate that maltreatment, abuse and neglect may well continue to disrupt the development of the higher brain functions during the crucial teenage years and so contribute to the emergence of mental illness.
Whitaker, K. et al. (2016). Adolescence is associated with genomically patterned consolidation of the hubs of the human brain connectome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Research on Internet access impact on learning

Students without reliable Internet access at home may be at an educational disadvantage, according to a recent study. Researchers found students without reliable at-home Internet access were less likely to take part in informal learning. They also contend that Internet access via a smartphone is not an adequate substitute.
Rideout, V., & Katz, V. (2016). Opportunity for all? Technology and learning in lower-income families. New York: Joan Ganz Cooney Center.

College readiness research

The number of students passing high-school exit exams is at an all-time high, but about 60% of students enrolling in community colleges have to take remedial courses, according to recent research. "There is a disconnect that has existed for a long time in terms of the measures used for high-school graduation and if a student is ready to succeed in a college-level class," said Mary Fulton of the Education Commission of the States.
Community College Research Center. (2016). Community college FAQs. New York: Columbia University.

Research on Common Core standards impact on education

Teaching and learning has changed significantly under the Common Core State Standards, according to a study of five states. Math teachers, for example, are focusing more on real-world applications and conceptual understanding, and English teachers are exposing students to more nonfiction.
Kane, T. et al.  (2016). Teaching higher. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Center for Education Policy Research.

Early predictors of science achievement research

A kindergartner's basic world knowledge may be a strong predictor of third-grade science achievement, according to a recent report. Researchers also found a correlation between early math and reading skills and science achievement. Efforts to address science achievement gaps in the United States likely require intensified early intervention efforts, particularly those delivered before the primary grades.
Morgan, P. et al. (2016). Science achievement gaps begin very early, persist, and are largely explained by modifiable factors. Educational Researcher (Feb. 23).

Research on textbook gender bias

Textbooks may not include enough female characters or too often may portray women in submissive gender roles, according to data released by UNESCO. The data, released to celebrate International Women's Day, revealed that women are underrepresented in textbooks and curricula, researchers noted.
Benavot, A., & Jere, C. (2016). Gender bias is rife in textbooks. World Education Blog (March 8).

Teachers and technology survey

According to a national survey, more teachers said that technology has changed how they approach time management (93 percent) than how they approach instructional delivery (88 percent). It has also transformed how they handle parent communication; a solid 7 in 10 reported that they now use tech to do that. Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they now use open educational resources more than textbooks.
TES Global. (2016).  Teachers & technology survey. San Francisco: TES Global.

Technology and social-emotional learning skills survey

Education technology can help improve students' social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, according to an international report.The survey of 2000 educators and parents revealed three ways technology can aid in SEL development: improved collaboration, communication, and problem-solving.
World Economic Forum. (2016). New vision for education: Fostering social and emotional learning through technology.  Geneva: Author.

Website evaluation study

In responding to a survey about web-based information evaluation, students indicated they already find several criteria to be important when evaluating information. Instruction should address student opinions and misconceptions about Web-based information in the context of their school assignments or other information needs. For example, students may be more motivated to learn about and apply evaluative criteria that are generated through discussion with their peers. Students may also be more receptive to expanding information evaluation criteria when they are researching topics they find interesting or important. Finally, the researchers recommend that instruction should take into account the context or situations in which various evaluation criteria may be most important.
Pickard, A. J., Shenton, A. K., & Johnson, A. (2014). Young people and the evaluation of information on the World Wide Web: Principles, practice and beliefs. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 46(1), 3-20.

Research on the value of fictoin

Mar and Rain (2015) reported on four different studies in which university students were asked how much fiction and nonfiction they read and also took an author recognition test for fiction and nonfiction reading material.  Results were similar for both measures: The amount of fiction read was a consistent (but modest) predictor of various measures of verbal ability, including a test of synonyms (vocabulary) and reading comprehension.
The amount of nonfiction read was a consistently weaker predictor of verbal ability.
Mar, R. and Rain, M. 2015.  Narrative fiction and expository nonfiction differentially predict verbal ability. Scientific Studies of Reading 19: 419-433
Krashen, S. 2015. The great fiction/nonfiction Debate (with the title Fact or Fiction: The Plot Thickens). Language Magazine, November.

College admissions and social media survey

Admissions officers were more likely to go online and research applicants for the 2014-2015 academic year than they were in the previous year. Nearly half (45 percent) reported that they performed applicant searches during the more recent admissions season compared to 36 percent during 2013-2014. Almost 7 in 10 (67 percent) hunted on Facebook and 4 in 10 searched on Twitter. Those are some of the results from an annual survey performed by an education technology company that sells a service to help students assess and manage their online presence.
Cornerstone Reputation. (2016).  2016 Cornerstone admissions survey report. Cambridge, MA: Author.

Survey on new teachers

More than half of America's newest teachers believe that an infusion of technology in their classrooms could help them be more efficient according to a new survey. They also tend to be "comfortable" with major areas of teaching responsibilities — understanding instructional goals, lesson planning and classroom management. But they also possess "concerns" about preparation in other areas. They're less confident than more experienced teachers, for example, in preparation of instructional goals and standards, project based learning, differentiated learning and developing assessments.
Simba Information, & NCH Strategic Data. (2016). New teachers, getting adjusted, 2015-2016.  Rockville, MD: Simba Information. 

Deepr learning study

High schools in which educators use "deeper learning" methods may post better graduation rates than schools in which educators use more traditional methods, according to a study of 14 schools. Data also showed that the approach may be most effective among students from affluent families.
Zelser, K. et al. (2016). Graduation advantage persists for students in deeper learning network high schools. New York, NY: American Institutes for Research.

iPad studies

Several iPad studies investigate the impact of iPad use. Students overwhelmingly enjoy learning and stay more on task when using iPads. Teachers are often resistant to integrate iPads because of constraints of time and training. While iPads improve classroom learning because teachers who integrate iPads into their lessons tend to do more project-based learning, which has been found to improve students learning across class levels; teachers using iPads to become more innovative, which leads to improve classroom learning. When training mixes with support, a successful learning experience results.
Cheu-Jey, L. (20150. Project-based learning and invitations: A comparison. Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, 1(3), 63-73.
Maich, K., Y Hall, C. (2016). Implementing iPads in the inclusive classroom setting. Intervention in School and Clinic, 51(3), 145-150.
Mango, O. (2015). iPad use and student engagement in the classroom. Turkish Online Journal of Education Technology, 14(1), 53-57.

Digital content integration study

This research studied how digital content is being integrated, how administrators are making the decision to transition from print to digital, and what the future holds for digital materials that support curriculum and instruction goals. Among findings are:
- Teachers are most interested in digital resources for ELA.
-  To help them integrate digital content into curriculum, teachers want hands-on, how-to, differentiated, and in-person professional development.
ASCD, & Overdrive. (2016). Digital content goes to school.  Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Growth mindset study

Students in poverty are less likely that others to have a growth mindset, but those who do can be more resilient to poverty's effects, a new study finds. But poor students studied by researchers were also less likely to have a growth mindset than their higher income peers, researchers found.
Dweck, C., Claro, S., & Paunesku, D. (2016). Growth mindset tempers the effects of poverty on academic achievement. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.

Students who have a growth mindset are more likely to consider poor academic performance as a temporary setback that can be overcome, according to a recent study. The study's lead author looked at students' reactions to transitioning to high school by tracking their levels of the stress hormone cortisol. For most students it drops back down to normal levels a day later, but for some it stays high. These students remain fixated on the setback and have difficulty moving forward. A majority of these students—68 percent—experienced a drop in grades in the first semester and reported feeling stressed as a result. In how they handled that stress, two clear groups emerged. Students who believed that intelligence can be developed—a growth mindset—were more likely to see setbacks as temporary, and not only had lower overall cortisol levels but were able to return to lower levels shortly after a setback. Students who believed that intelligence is fixed, on the other hand, felt threatened by the setback and had trouble thinking about solutions.
Lee, H. et al. (2018).  An entity theory of intelligence predicts high cortisol levels when high school grades are declining. Child Development.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Testing devices research

A recent report summarized research about the impact of devices on students' online standardized testing performance. "Device effects" are a real threat to test-score comparability, the report concludes. From a practical standpoint, researchers say, the key to avoiding potential problems is to ensure that students have plenty of prior experience with whatever device they will ultimately use to take state tests.
Council of Chief State School Officers. (2016). Score Comparability Across Computerized Assessment Delivery Devices. Washington, DC: Council of Chief State School Officers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Video use in education survey

A national survey found that 87% of K12 schools use video in the classroom, and 71% of classroom use video as part of student assignment. 43% of K12 schools integrate video into their learning management system. The optimum length for educational videos is 10 minutes or less.
Kaltura. (2016). The state of video in education. New York, NY: Kaltura.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Teenager characteristics research

This study's fact sheets present information about the percentages of high school students who engage in certain risk behaviors, along with the status of school health policies and programs designed to address those behaviors. The study debunks some long-held beliefs about teenagers. For example, researchers have found that teens feel vulnerable -- rather than invincible -- and that youths today are overall better behaved than teenagers have been in the past.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Adolescence and school health: Youth risk behavior surveillance system. Atlanta, GA: CDC.

Teenager characteristics research

This study's fact sheets present information about the percentages of high school students who engage in certain risk behaviors, along with the status of school health policies and programs designed to address those behaviors. The study debunks some long-held beliefs about teenagers. For example, researchers have found that teens feel vulnerable -- rather than invincible -- and that youths today are overall better behaved than teenagers have been in the past.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Adolescence and school health: Youth risk behavior surveillance system. Atlanta, GA: CDC.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Improving school climate in four areas (leadership and professional leadership, high academic expectations for students, teacher relationships and collaboration, and school safety and order. could help schools boost student achievement and reduce teacher turnover, according to a study of New York City schools. Data show improvements can lead to the equivalent of an extra month and a half of math instruction and reduce teacher turnover by 25%.
Krafct, M., & Marinell, W. (2016). School organizational contexts, teacher turnover, and student achievement.  New York, NY: Research Alliance for New York City Schools.

School use of digital technology survey

Sixty-two percent of school districts have digital content and curriculum in place -- up from 49% last year -- according to the Digital School Districts Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Education and National School Boards Association. Data also show more progress in implementing one-to-one initiatives and in the use of technology among local school boards.
Schaffhauser, D. (2016). Survey shows schools hitting digital hard. THE Journal (March 31). 

Fiction/nonfiction debate

There is strong pressure for American schools to de-emphasize fiction and focus more on nonfiction, because of the belief that nonfiction provides more "academic" language. But studies suggest that fiction may be the bridge between everyday conversational language and academic language. Self-selected reading, which is largely fiction, provides us with the literacy development and background knowledge that makes demanding texts more comprehensible.  Studies also show that fiction exposes readers to other views of the world and increases the ability to deal with uncertainty, which is crucial for problem-solving. 
Krashen, S. 2015. The Great Fiction/Nonfiction Debate. (Published as: Fact or fiction? The plot thickens.) Language Magazine, 15(3): 22-27.  Available at: and

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Audiobook research

This paper reviews the literature on audio delivery of content to three participant groups: adolescents with visual impairments or learning disabilities, adolescent second language learners, and typically developing adolescents. Findings from the studies of audio delivery of content are mixed, and great variability in outcomes have been reported, depending on the characteristics of the groups studied. Numerous gaps exist in the research surrounding adolescents’ use of audiobooks, including examinations of the effectiveness of commercially produced audiobooks and explorations of adolescents’ listening preferences.
Moore, J., & Cahill, M.  (2016). Audiobooks: Legitimate ‘reading’ material for adolescents? School Library Research, 19.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

STEM OERs study

This study outlines the significance of studying pressing issues related to use of digital resources in the K–12 environment, and uses the Quadratic Usage Framework of K–12 technology adoption to contextualize the results of a qualitative synthesis of published research. Many traditional issues relating to educators’ access, skill, policy, and motivation to use digital learning resources emerged clearly from the body of literature.

Luetkemeyer, Jennifer, and Marcia Mardis. “Applying the Quadratic Usage Framework to Research on K–12 STEM Digital Learning Resources.” School Libraries Research, 19.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Teacher stress study

Teacher burnout is linked to higher levels of stress hormones in their students. When teachers are stressed, so are their student, according to a new study. “Teachers who experience higher levels of burnout report to be more stressed, less effective in teaching and classroom management, less connected to their students, and less satisfied with their work,” the study authors write. Burned out teachers may also have fewer resources and support, which could also contribute to student stress.
Oberle, E., &U Schonert-Reichl, K. (2016). Stress contagion in the classroom? The link between classroom teacher burnout and mornig cortisol in elementary school students.  Social Science & Medicine, 159(June), 30-37.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

School library advocacy research

This case study investigated the effectiveness of one advocacy effort in response to a call for support
of a national petition in support of school libraries (i.e., ESEA reauthorization). The study has import for the design and development of successful advocacy efforts.
 Burns, Elizabeth, Sue Kimmel, and Gail Dickinson. “Anatomy of Advocacy: A Case Study of the White House Petition.”  School Library Research Vol. 19 (2016).

School library advocacy research

This case study investigated the effectiveness of one advocacy effort in response to a call for support
of a national petition in support of school libraries (i.e., ESEA reauthorization). The study has import for the design and development of successful advocacy efforts.
 Burns, Elizabeth, Sue Kimmel, and Gail Dickinson. “Anatomy of Advocacy: A Case Study of the White House Petition.”  School Library Research Vol. 19 (2016).

Teachers and technology survey

Seventy-three percent of teachers participating in a recent survey said they use open educational resources more often than traditional textbooks. The survey also showed that technology has changed how a majority of the teachers manage their time and approach to instruction; most teachers apply tech to classroom lecture time (84%) and differentiated instruction (74%).
TES Global. (2016).  Teachers and technology survey. San Francisco, CA: Author.

Common Core impact study

Test scores vary little between states using Common Core State Standards and those not using the standards, according to a recent report Data show Common Core is changing instruction, with 45% of teachers emphasizing nonfiction in 2015, up from 38% in 2011. Principals are most likely to influence instruction by developing and setting educational goals for their schools.
Brown Center on Education Policy. (2016). Brown Center report on American education. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.

IT leadership survey

Student data privacy and security are among many IT leaders' to-do lists, according to an annual survey. Data show top concerns also include broadband and network capacity issues. Districts are turning to digital learning materials, and 99% intend to incorporate OERs. Furthermore, nearly 80% of IT leaders use online productivity tools.
CoSN. (2016). K-12 IT leadership survey report.  Washington, DC: OcSN.

Schools' use of digital content study

The use of digital content is on the rise in American schools. Eight in 10 K-12 schools and districts are using some form of it, primarily as classroom curriculum but also to round out e-book collections in a library or media center. The most desired content is English/language arts, requested by 74%  of teachers. Science follows at 62%, math at 61% and social studies at 56%. Within the category of ELA, the primary preference for digital content is informational texts and literary non-fiction aligned to units of study, sought by 74% of teachers. The content is being used primarily on laptops (75%), according to 2,033 school and district administrators who responded to a survey run by two education organizations. Tablets come in second with 62%, and PCs follow with 4 %. Smartphones are used to consume digital content at 17% of respondent schools.
ASCD. (2016). Digital content goes to school. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Libraries' values report

A new report finds that 76% of respondents believe libraries serve the educational needs of their communities “very well” or “pretty well.” Library users tend to think of themselves as “lifelong learners”—97% of users say the term applies “very well” or “pretty well”; 98% of library website users feel the same way. Additionally, these views arise in a context where strong majorities of adults consider themselves “lifelong learners” and libraries around the country are working to fit their programs and services into local educational ecosystems. As a rule, libraries’ performance in learning arenas gets better marks from women, blacks, Hispanics, those in lower-income households, and those ages 30 and older. The report also found out that many do not know about key education services that libraries provide.
Libraries and learning. (2016). Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

The State of America's Libraries 2016

ALA's report shows that libraries of all types add value in five key areas: education, employment, entrepreneurship, empowerment, and engagement. Local and national studies cited within the report show that libraries are advancing multiple literacies and fostering a digitally inclusive society. The value of certified school librarians continues to grow as administrators and teachers seek education resources to better serve tech-savvy students. For example, in 2010 only 35% of school librarians indicated they were acquiring digital content. By 2015, that number had increased to 69%. This trend is reflected across a variety of formats, particularly databases, ebooks, periodicals, videos, and games.
American Library Association. (2016). The state of America's libraries 2016. Chicago, IL: ALA.

Friday, June 24, 2016

State standards implementation study

New K–12 standards for mathematics and English language arts and literacy adopted recently in most states are more rigorous and far-reaching than most previous state standards. Some evidence suggests that teachers are not prepared to help students meet those standards. However, we have very little concrete information about how state standards are connected to what teachers think and do in their classrooms. This report examines teachers’ implementation of the standards, including use of instructional materials, perceptions about standards-aligned content and approaches, and student engagement. Results are intended to help states or districts reflect upon areas where teachers may benefit from guidance about how to address their state standards.
Opter, V., Kaufman, J., & Thompson, L. (2016). Implementation of K-12 state standards for mathematics and English language arts and literacy. RAND Corporation.

Access to technology-based learning experiences study

A coalition that includes the US Department of Education has collaborated with education leaders nationwide to release a report that offers a blueprint on providing equitable access to technology-based learning experiences. The report highlights key considerations, such as privacy and security, and recommends ways of improving access and instruction.
U.S. Dept. of Education. (2016). National Education Technology Plan: Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education.

Principal knowledge about teacher librarians study

An older study found that 65% of principals indicated that their primary source of knowledge of the instructional role of the school librarian was derived from interactions with the school librarians during their career.
Alexander, L. B., R. C. Smith, and J. O. Carey. 2003. “Education reform and the school library media specialist.” Knowledge Quest 32(2):10–13.

News evaluation study

A new study shows that trust and reliability in news can be broken down into specific factors, such as accuracy, timeliness and clarity. The study also finds that in the digital age, several new factors largely unexamined before—such as the intrusiveness of ads, navigability, load times and having the latest details—also are critical in determining whether consumers consider a publisher competent and worthy of trust.
Media Insight Project. (2016). What makes people trust news? Arlington, VA: American Press Institute.

Teacher empathy impact study

A new study suggests that even a minor attitude adjustment among teachers can have a dramatic effect on those rates: Middle school math  teachers encouraged to be more empathetic saw student suspensions drop by half. How teachers view their students’ needs can have a direct impact on student performance. The study also highlighted the importance of teacher expectations. The study suggests that “by changing the mindset of just one of their teachers, students had better behavior across all of their classes.”
Okonofua, J., et al. (2016). Brief intervention to encourage empathic discipline cuts suspension rates in half among adolescents. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA,10; 113:5221.

Blended/hybrid/online instruction report

A new national report found that participation in online and blended learning schools is increasing, despite evidence that students are struggling in them and performance and school outcomes are consistently below traditional public schools. Students enrolled in virtual and blended schools are performing poorer in key subject areas — such as English Language Arts and math — than their counterparts at brick-and-mortar schools. Also, students at blended (or hybrid) schools, which combine face-to-face instruction in classrooms with virtual instruction, scored the same as or worse than those at virtual schools full-time on performance measures, according to the report.
Miron, G., & Gulosino, C. (2016). Virtual schools report 2016. Boulder, CO: National Education Center.

Parent read aloud behavior study

Despite evidence that early reading experiences help shape a child's brain, a new survey shows that parents and caregivers aren’t reading to children early or often enough. Fewer than half of parents report reading aloud every day with their children, while 4 in 10 parents say their children spend too much time watching TV.
Read aloud survey report. (2016). Alden, MI: Read Aloud.

College-career readiness report

A recent report shows 31% of high-school students follow a college-ready curriculum, and 13% engage in career-preparation courses. Students from low-income families have less access to college- and career-readiness curricula, compared with students from families in top income brackets, data show. The report spells out the sequence and types of courses that would be considered as a college-prep curriculum, a career-prep curriculum, a combination of both and a curriculum that is neither. "A college-prep curriculum, for instance, would include three credits in math, including Algebra II. A career-prep curriculum, on the other hand, would include three or more credits in a “broad career field such as health science or business.”
Meandering Toward Graduation: Transcript Outcomes of High School Graduates(2016). Washington, DC: Education Trust.

Notetaking by handwriting vs. keyboard study

Handwriting appears to focus classroom attention and boost learning in a way that typing notes on a keyboard does not, new studies suggest. Students who took handwritten notes generally outperformed students who typed their notes via computer, researchers found. Compared with those who type their notes, people who write them out in longhand appear to learn better, retain information longer, and more readily grasp new ideas.
Mueller, L., & Oppenheimer, D. (2014). The pen is mightier than the keyboard. Psychological Science (April 23).

Parent perception of offspring achievement research

Most parents want their children grades K-8 to go to college, and most also believe their child is performing at or above grade level, but their beliefs about their children's academic achievement doesn't reflect national assessment data, according to a new report. It found that while most parents have high expectations of their children's academic achievement and deep engagement with their development, they don't have a realistic understanding of how well their children are doing, and they need tools to help them help their children.
Hart Research. (2016). Parents 2016: Hearts and Minds of Public School Parents in an Uncertain World.

Information seeking behaviors study

This research paper compared Colorado Springs and Kampala (Uganda) upper elementary students' dispositions in seeking information. Dispositions of effective learners -- independence, creativity, self-motivation, and resilience -- were correlated with AASL learning standards. Both groups had an affinity for play and tendancy for creative. US students had more noncompetitive dispositions.
Crow, Sherry, and Lisa Kastello. (2016). The Dispositions of Elementary School Children of Individualistic and Collectivist Cultures Who Are Intrinsically Motivated to Seek Information. School Library Research.

Children's tech consuption report

More than half of kids aged 3–16 — including a quarter of those aged 3 and 4 — access the Internet at least daily, according to the latest Kids Tech report. Some findings include:
·                   For all kids, watching free videos is the most popular online activity, but for teenagers social media and instant messaging or e-mailing rank higher;
·                   70 percent of parents with children aged 3–12 said they had parental controls in place to restrict internet access for their children, and the same portion said they use time limits;
·                   Television is still king among video platforms, being cited as the most frequently watched;
·                   More than a third of all kids interviewed said they consume video on a mobile device at least once a day;
·                   The most common way to find new videos and apps is through recommendations from friends.
Kids tech. (2016). Herefordshire, UK: FutureSource Consulting.

1-1 laptops and student achievement research

In 1-to-1 classrooms – where each student has his/her own computing device – an increase in student achievement has been “undeniably and reliably” observed. “The most common changes noted in the reviewed studies [of 1-to-1 classrooms versus no computer classrooms] include significantly increased academic achievement in science, writing, math and English; increased technology use for varied learning purposes; more student-centered, individualized and project-based instruction; enhanced engagement and enthusiasm among students; and improved teacher-student and home-school relationships.”
Zheng, B., et al. (2016).Learning in one-to-one laptop environments: A meta-analysis and research synthesis. Review of Educational Research. 

English learner instruction research

Research on teaching English learners found that the most common types of instructon include: pullout/push-in tutoring, sheltered English instruction, and bilingual instruction.  English-learners in bilingual programs had language arts and math scores that grew as fast or faster than those of ELLs in sheltered English immersion, but students in developmental bilingual programs showed slower growth in math than those in other types of bilingual and sheltered-English instruction.Effective strategies for teaching academic content to ELs include:
  Teach a set of academic vocabulary words intensively, over several days and a variety of activities.
  Integrate instruction in spoken and written English into content-area teaching, such as using science laboratory reports to teach writing in English.
  Provide ongoing, structured chances to develop writing skills.
  Provide small-group interventions for students struggling with specific problems in literacy or language development.

Sparks, S. (2016). Teaching English-Learners: What Does the Research Tell Us? Education Week (May 11).

Information behaviors research book

The  4th edition of the book Looking for Inforrmation presents a comprehensive review of more than a century of research on information behavior (IB) and related topics, with over 1,500 citations to relevant works, together with complete reference list, glossary of key terms, and subject and author indexes.  In addition to now being co-authored, this new text includes significant structural and content changes from earlier editions.
Case, D., & Given, L. (2016). Looking for information: A survey of research on information seeking, needs, and behaviors (4th ed.). West Yorks, UK: Emerald.

Print vs digital reading study

There's new reason to believe so-called "digital natives" really do think differently in response to technology: It may be "priming" them to think more concretely and remember details rather than the big picture when they work on a screen. Among young adults who regularly use smartphones and tablets, just reading a story or performing a task on a screen instead of on paper led to greater focus on concrete details, but less ability to infer meaning or quickly get the gist of a problem, found a series of experiments. Using a digital format can develop a "mental 'habit' of triggering a more detail-focused mindset, one that prioritizes processing local, immediate information rather than considering more abstract, decontextualized interpretations of information. 
Flanagan, M., & Kaufman, G. (2016). High-Low Split: Divergent Cognitive Construal Levels Triggered by Digital and Non-digital PlatformsCHI '16: Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.

Laptop use and student achievement study

Laptop use in the classroom may be a distraction for some students, according to a study from economists at West Point. Data show students with the highest ACT scores and grade point averages who used laptops in class scored lower than peers who did not have access to the technology. In contrast, there wasn’t much of a difference between students with low ACT scores — those who were allowed to use laptops did just as well as those who couldn’t. 
Carter, S., Greenberg, K., & Walker, M. (2016).  The impact of computer usage on academic performance. Cambridge, MA: MIT.

Display size study

More than half of students (58%) in a recent study couldn't read content displayed on a 70-inch flat panel in an average-sized classroom. The findings are consistent with the 4/6/8 Rule for display size recommendations, a "long-standing guideline commonly used by AV integrators and installers for determining the appropriate sized displays for different environments," as well as the InfoComm DISCAS draft standard, according to a press release. "Using the DISCAS draft standard to calculate the Farthest Viewing Distance for Basic Decision Making, a 70-inch display would not be recommended for viewing text-based educational content at distances of approximately 18 feet and beyond."
(2016). Choosing the right classroom display.  EPSON.

Rural schools and transformatoin study

A study of rural schools implementing one of four turnaround model under the federal School Improvement Grant program found that few rural schools fully implemented all the "transformation" model, and that implementation challenges were more common for strategies related to staff and community engagement than they were for curriculum- and data-related approaches. Findings include:
- More schools reported facing implementation challenges related to ensuring high-quality staff and engaging families and communities than challenges related to improving instruction.
- The more strategies for which principals reported receiving technical assistance, the more strategies they reported that their school had fully implemented.
Scott, C., & Costler, N. (2016). Reshaping rural schools in the Northwest region. Institute of Education Sciences.