Thursday, January 12, 2017

Research on girl coding

Middle school is a good time for girls to learn how to code because that's when they are more susceptible to its appeal, according to recent research. The coding appeal then dips in high school and spikes again in college when girls become inspired by teachers and other role models. The study offers insight into factors that create either positive and negative associations with computer science for girls at the middle school, high school and college levels, as well as strategies for educators to make computer science more appealing to girls.
Accenture and Girls Who Code. (2016). Cracking the gender code. Lansing, MI: Accenture.

Tech use almot universal for US children under 6: survey

A new national survey of technology use by children under 6 indicates that 85 percent of parents allow their young children to use technology in the home. More than three quarters of parents surveyed said they use tech along with their children on a daily basis for up to two hours, with television, tablets, smartphones and computers the most frequently used. Parents are the most influential media role models for children, and should focus on content quality more than quantity.
Erikson Institute. (2016).  Technology and young children in the digital age. Chicago, IL: Erikson Institute.

Study on narrowing the gender gap in spatial reasoning

Research shows that while young women excel in social perspective-taking, there may be a gender gap in spatial perspective-taking. In a study about closing gender gaps in spatial ability, researchers found that making changes to tasks, such as changing perspective, helped narrow the gap.
Tarampi, M., Heydari, N., & Hegarty, M. (2016).  A tale of two types of perspective taking; Sex differences in spatial ability.   Psychological Science, 27(11). 1507-1516.

Parents' perception about school tech use survey

K-12 public school parents around the United States are not overly impressed on the use of education technology in their students' schools. While 87 percent of parents buy into the possibilities of technology to positively influence student learning, just 35 percent among those respondents whose children use devices in school say their children have learned more because of tech. However, parents see a link between smart implementation of technology and personalized education.
YouGov. (2016). Learning Assembly public school parent poll.

Reading promotion strategies study

A study was conducted to identify the different strategies elementary and middle school librarians in Puerto Rico are currently using to promote reading appreciation. Some of the conclusions indicate that school librarians consider Library Week a key activity for the promotion of reading appreciation, and the Internet as a key resource for the implementation of the different activities they design. The conclusions also acknowledge that school librarians face different challenges, the most difficult being collaboration and support from the students’ parents. The school librarian as motivational agent and strategist for reading appreciation.
Dominguez, N. et al. (2016). The school librarian as motivational agent and strategist for reading appreciation. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 48(3), 236-246.

Where Teachers Get Tech Help Study

By a margin of about five to one, teachers prefer to solve their own tech problems without the help of the IT department.Educators' top choice for solving their tech troubles is online searches, with 37 percent citing that as their preferred source for help with technology. Coming in second was peers, at 23 percent. The help desk/IT department ranked third at 17 percent, followed by the instructional technologist at 11 percent. Students rounded out the top 5 preferred sources of tech help at 4 percent. Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed indicated they have adequate support and training for the use of technology in the classroom. For their part, most teachers said they see themselves as at least competent in their tech abilities. The top hardware used include: desktop computers, laptops, cameras, interactive whiteboard, projectors. Top software include: presentation, word processing, gradebook, online video service, classroom management software.
Nagel, D., & Schaffhauser, D. (2016). Where do teachers turn for tech help? THE Journal.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

MS computer use study

A working paper has suggested that the availability of personal computers at home don't stunt the social development of students in grades 6-10 or displace their engagement in sports or clubs.
Fairlie, R. (2016). The Effects of Computers on Children’s Social Development and School Participation: Evidence from a Randomized Control Experiment. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Librarians' impact briefs

Three briefs from the American Library Association illustrate librarians' impact on communities, especially in terms of entrepreneurship, service to veterans, and broadband adoption and use.
   ALA Office for Information Technology Policy. (2016). One small business at a time. Washington, DC: Author.
   ALA Office for Information Technology Policy. (2016). Libraries help adn hour our veterans. Washington, DC: Author.

   ALA Office for Information Technology Policy. (2016). America's libraries: Powering broadband access, adoption, and use. Washington, DC: Author.

Quality Counts report

This annual looks at the steps states are taking to turn ESSA's blueprint into a finished structure—and the challenges of doing it by the 2017-18 school year. The report also features comprehensive, summative grades for the nation and the states on a range of custom indicators developed over the years by the Education Week Research Center: the Chance-for-Success Index, the K-12 Achievement Index, and the school finance analysis.
Education Week. (2017). Quality counts 2017.  Bethesda, MD: Education Week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Generation Z view of ed tech survey

Generation Z students -- those born in or after 2001 -- view technology overall as beneficial to learning, according to a recent survey. The findings show a difference of opinion on educational apps, however, with 80% of teachers saying apps make learning more fun, compared with 51% of students.The one thing students and teachers of all ages agreed on? Interaction between students and teachers is the #1 most important part of a classroom learning environment.
Quizlet. (2016).Quizlet insights. San Francisco, CA: Quizlet.

Parents and student-data privacy survey

About 1 in 5 parents participating in a survey said they realize there are federal laws regarding student-data privacy. 94% said they should be informed when their child's information is shared.
Future of Privacy Forum. (2016). Beyond one classroom: Parental support for technology and data use in schools. Washington, DC: Future of Privacy Forum.

Teaching and technology report

Educators should not view technology as a threat, but instead use it to solve three key challenges (lack of expert teachers, when teachers must tackle an array of student needs, when teachers need to teach more than academic content), according to a recent report. The paper details how technology can help automate some tasks and improve teaching and learning.
Arnett, T. (2016). Teaching in the machine age. Lexington, MA: Christensen Institute.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Gendered perceptions about math performance

Teachers' perceptions about boys' and girls' math skills may affect girls' confidence in math, according to a study. Researchers found that teachers as early as kindergarten perceive boys as having higher math abilities than girls.
Cimpian, J. et al. (2016). Have gender gaps in math closed? AERA Open, 2(4).

Digital multitasking research

Some research finds that digital multitasking distracts from learning, but other research shows that some distractions can boost learning.
Song, J., & Bedard, P. (2014). Paradoxical benefits of dual-task contexts of visuomotor memory. Psychological Science, 26(2), 148-158.
Pea, R. et al. (2012). Media use, face-to-face communication, media multitasking, and social well-being among 8-to 12-year-old girls. Developmental Psychology, 48(2), 327.

School-College dual enrollment study

A new study finds that colleges and universities are using dual-enrollment programs as recruiting tools, as well as to serve students who seek a challenge. The study also discusses barriers to such dual programs.
Kilgore, W., & Taylor, A. (20160. Dual enrollment in the context of strategic enrollment management. Washington, DC: AACRAO.

LGBT challenges

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths in middle and high school encounter more difficulties and are less likely to graduate than their peers, according to a recent report. Data also show that many teachers and staff in schools feel unprepared to address the challenges faced by the students.
Greytak, E. et al. (2016). From teasing to torment: School climate revisited. New York, NY: Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

Technology influence on children survey

A majority of parents participating in a survey by children's television network Sprout said technology has a positive influence on their children, but many also said they could use resources to help guide their children's daily tech use.
Barr, R., & Linebarger, D. N. (Eds.). (2016). Media Exposure During Infancy and Early Childhood: The Effects of Content and Context on Learning and Development. New York, NY: Springer.

Use of data for research

According to a recent report K-12 schools in the United States have failed to harness data to improve student performance and close achievement gaps. The report offers suggestions to help policy makers overcome these challenges, such as:
  • Encourage smarter data collection and management;
  • Encourage interoperability;
  • Empower students and parents by providing access to their data;
  • Promote data-driven decision making;
  • Push back against baseless fears;
  • Develop a data-driven school district to serve as a model; and
  • Use data to promote education equity.
New, J. (2016). Building a data-driven education system in the United States.  Washington, DC: Center for Data Innovation.

US school ebook usage survey

This survey notes the increasing foothold of ebooks in K12 schools and their libraries, largely due to etextbooks and 1:1 laptop programs. The report also mentions the advantages of ebooks.
Collette, M. (2015). Getting to E. School Library Journal, 61(9), 28-31.

Surveillance report

A report from the  examines privacy protections for school surveillance. The report identifies the benefits and potential problems posed by school surveillance. It also suggests six principles to guide state policymakers toward effective, balanced policies.
National Association of State Boards of Education. (2016). School Surveillance: The Consequences for Equity and Privacy. Alexandria, VA: National Association of State Boards of Education.

STEM interest and readiness

Many 2016 high school graduates are interested in STEM majors and careers, but few are well prepared to succeed in first-year college STEM courses. The report found that 48% of the nearly 2.1 million 2016 U.S. high school graduates who took the ACT test had an interest in STEM majors or careers; however, only 26 percent of those graduates met or surpassed the ACT College Readiness Benchmark in STEM.
ACT. (2016). The conditions of STEM 2016. Iowa City, IA: ACT.

Online harassment report

A new report gives a comprehensive picture of Americans' experiences with online harassment and abuse, finding that most US Internet users have witnessed online harassment, and almost half have personally experienced it.
Lanhart, A., & Zickuhr, K. (2016). Olnline harassment, digital abuse, and cyberstalking in America.  New York, NY: Data & Society Research Institute.

Student dropout report

Some students -- almost 7% -- who leave school for four weeks or more return to school, according to data. This trend means schools have new opportunities to re-engage at-risk students. The federal study found that students in the poorest 20 percent of families nationwide were generally more likely than those from other income groups to both stop out or drop out. The researchers found that the later students “stopped out” of school, the less likely they were to graduate and the more likely they were to become dropouts.
Dalton, B., Ingels, S., & Fritch, L. (2016). High School Longitudinal Study. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.

Literacies instruction trends

There is no consensus on exactly how digital skills should be incorporated into literacy instruction. Practitioners have few guidelines, and many are simply adapting their lessons as they see fit. But many literacy experts do agree on at least one thing: that all students should be learning with a mix of print and digital texts—even the very youngest. Data show that schools vary in their approach to reading and literacy because of a lack of consistent standards.
Hawley, K. (2016). The changing face of literacy.  Bethesda, MD: Education Week.

School readiness report

Based on a comprehensive review of cognitive and developmental psychology studies, this paper finds that school readiness is multifaceted and not limited to early reading and mathematics skills, but rather includes a wide range of components including executive function skills, curiosity, language, socio-emotional well-being, motor skills, and health.  This position paper aims to highlight these skills and the conditions that best support children’s future success in school and life, and to guide educators and others (including families) in designing learning experiences and  environments to support this development.
Center for Childhood Creativity. (2016). Reimagining school readiness: A position paper with key findings.  San Francisco, CA: Center for Childhood Creativity. 

Connected learning white paper

This white paper synthesizes currently dispersed research, worked examples, and best practices associated with promoting connected learning and 21st century skills in libraries. The white paper provides examples of connected learning in libraries, discusses opportunities and challenges associated with introducing connected learning in diverse library settings, and reviews existing resources for public librarians who wish to implement connected learning principles in their youth programming. The white paper also describes how the ConnectedLib Project is addressing gaps in the existing connected learning research and resources for libraries.
Hoffman, K. et al. (2016). Connected libraries: Surveying the current landscape and charting a path to the future. Seattle, WA: ConnectedLib Project. 

BYOD Policies Report

A new study examined seven benefits and three categories of constraints (technical, personal and social) of instituting bring your own device (BYOD) policies in schools.
Song, Y., & Kong, S. (2016). Affordances and constraints of BYOD for learning and teaching in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education, 32(Jan.), 39-46.

Equity priority

A new research project finds that the overwhelming majority of educators agree that equity in education for all children should be a national priority. Teachers and principals also agree (87%) that “many of their students face barriers to learning that come from outside the school environment.” While a greater percentage of educators in high-poverty schools (98%) report having students with barriers, two-thirds say the same in low-poverty schools.
Scholastic. (2016).  Equity in education. New York: Scholastic.

ELL language learning and achievement

The earlier that English-language-learner students are reclassified as English-proficient, the more likely they are to graduate high school. The researchers found that the graduation rate gap between students who were reclassified as English-proficient in elementary school and students who are still ELLs in high school was striking, the latter less likely to graduate.
Huang, M. et al. (2016). English learner students' readiness for academic success. San Francisco, CA: WestEd.