Thursday, April 19, 2018

Education Leaders Have Concerns About Technology

According to a survey by Education Week Research Center, principals and other leaders in the field of education are concerned about technology’s potentially harmful effects.

Key findings include:

• Most leaders say that students spend the right amount of screen time in school. However, most are also concerned that students get too much screen time at home.
• A majority of leaders report that digital technologies are an important supplemental resource used to personalize the learning experience based on each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.   
• More than half of school leaders are extremely concerned about student social media use outside of school.
• Just under half of leaders are extremely concerned about cyber-bullying, and are also very concerned about students’ inability to gauge the reliability of online news.
• Compared to their elementary and high school peers, middle school leaders are most concerned about student sexting.

Overall, findings suggest that school-based leaders face multiple challenges as they educate children in an increasingly technology-focused world.

Education Week Research Center (2018). School leaders and technology: Results from a national survey. Bethesda, MD: Education Week Research Center.

Teacher Collaboration Experiences

This report explores the prevalence of teacher collaboration in schools across the United States and assesses the extent to which teacher collaboration varies in schools with different levels of students in poverty. The researchers’ analysis focuses on teachers’ reports of three particular aspects of teacher collaboration: the prevalence of opportunities, the frequency of collaboration activities, and the usefulness of collaboration experiences.   

Key Findings:
·       Only a third of teachers reported that they have sufficient time to collaborate with other teachers.
·       Teachers who reported having greater opportunities and time for collaboration consistently reported higher levels of collaboration activity, regardless of the type of collaboration in question.
·       Peer observation was the least common form of peer collaboration, with nearly half of teachers reporting that they never observed another teacher's classroom to get ideas for instruction or to offer feedback in a typical month.
·       School poverty did not have a statistically significant relationship with teachers' reports of collaboration opportunities or the frequency of activities.
The findings show that the association between frequency of collaborative feedback and its perceived helpfulness is most salient for teachers in low-poverty schools; there is no apparent link between frequency and perceived helpfulness among teachers in high-poverty schools.

Tsai, T. & Johnston, W. R. (2018). The prevalence of collaboration among American teachers: National findings from the American Teacher Panel. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Mobile Phone Multitasking and Academic Performance

This paper reviews the emerging literature on mobile phone multitasking by focusing on three questions concerning the influence of mobile phone multitasking on academic performance:

(a) How does mobile phone multitasking impair learning?

(b) Why does mobile phone use impair learning?

(c) How to prevent from mobile phone distraction?

Findings show that mobile phone multitasking is prevalent among learners, multitasking with mobile phone distracts learning via different ways and mechanisms, and that the effect of multitasking varies on different mobile phone uses, learning tasks, and learners.

Chen, Q. & Yan, Z. (2015). Who multi-tasks and why? Multi-tasking ability, perceived multi-tasking ability, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. Computers in Human Behavior, 54, 34-42.