Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Student Media Literacy Research

A nationwide sampling of high school students were assessed for their ability to evaluate digital sources on the open internet. Nearly all students floundered. Ninety percent received no credit on four of six tasks. Some of the specific findings follow: 
  • Fifty-two percent of students believed a grainy video claiming to show ballot stuffing in the 2016 Democratic primaries (the video was actually shot in Russia) constituted “strong evidence” of voter fraud in the U.S. Among more than 3,000 responses, only three students tracked down the source of the video, even though a quick search turns up a variety of articles exposing the ruse. 
  • Two-thirds of students couldn’t tell the difference between news stories and ads (set off by the words “Sponsored Content”) on Slate’s homepage.
  • Ninety-six percent of students did not consider why ties between a climate change website and the fossil fuel industry might lessen that website’s credibility. Instead of investigating who was behind the site, students focused on superficial markers of credibility: the site’s aesthetics, its top-level domain, or how it portrayed itself on the About page.

Breakstone, J., Smith, M., Wineburg, S., Rapaport, A., Carle, J., Garland, M., & Saavedra, A. (2019). Students’ civic online reasoning: A national portrait. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford History Education Group & Gibson Consulting.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Media Use by Tweens and Teens 2019

This census report is a big-picture look at how young people in the U.S. find entertainment and use devices. Beyond screen time, the report explores other critical challenges for families managing media use, from internet access for homework to unregulated, unrated online videos.
Common Sense Media. (2019). Common Sense census: Media use by tweens and teens 2019. San Francisco, CA: Common Sense Media.  

Monday, November 25, 2019

Teachers and Research Study

A majority of teachers seek education research, but many report struggling to access it or put the information to use in the classroom, according to a survey of teachers. The findings show that educators prefer research that they can act on and that is presented in a way that applies to the context in which they work.An additional unpublished study by Emily Barton (same institute) finds that about 16% of teachers are using education research to inform their teaching practice.
Jefferson Education Exchange. (2019). Educator voices on education research. Author.
Barton, E. (2019). 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Teen stress research

Anxiety and depression are on the rise among America’s youth and, whether they personally suffer from these conditions or not, seven-in-ten teens today see them as major problems among their peers. Concern about mental health cuts across gender, racial and socio-economic lines, with roughly equal shares of teens across demographic groups saying it is a significant issue in their community.
Fewer teens, though still substantial shares, voice concern over bullying, drug addiction and alcohol consumption. More than four-in-ten say these are major problems affecting people their age in the area where they live, according to a survey of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17. When it comes to the pressures teens face, academics tops the list: 61% of teens say they feel a lot of pressure to get good grades. By comparison, about three-in-ten say they feel a lot of pressure to look good (29%) and to fit in socially (28%), while roughly one-in-five feel similarly pressured to be involved in extracurricular activities and to be good at sports (21% each). And while about half of teens see drug addiction and alcohol consumption as major problems among people their age, fewer than one-in-ten say they personally feel a lot of pressure to use drugs (4%) or to drink alcohol (6%).
Horowitz, J., & Graf, N. (2019).  Most U.S. teens see anxiety and depression as a major problem among their peers. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

School Librarian Research Compendium

New York State compiled research studies about school librarians, classified by the prior AASL standards.
Cohen, S., et al. (2019). Roles of the school librarian. Albany, NY: NE Comprehensive Center.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Right to Supportive Learning Environments and High-Quality Resources Report

This report is a research-based position paper about the importance of a supportive learning environment with high quality resources. The report states:"All educators .. have a responsible to ensure responsiveness within instruction, books, assessments, and digital spaces for all students."

International Literacy Association. (2019). Right to Supportive Learning Environments and High-Quality Resources. Newark, NJ: Author.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Race/Identify Learning Report

Ten percent of parents say they often have conversations with their children -- ages 3 to 12 -- about race and identity, according to a recent report. A parent’s race impacts how often these conversations are happening. Twenty-two percent of black parents discuss race often with their children, compared to 6 percent of white parents. About 35% of parents say they never speak with their children about social class, the report states. Experts say this trend can have serious implications, because when adults don’t talk to kids about these topics, kids learn that identity is a taboo topic. They may also start to believe the stereotypes and biases they’re presented with in everyday life.
Kotler, J., Haider, T., & Levine, M. (2019). Identity matters. New York, NY: Sesame Workshop.


Friday, November 8, 2019

Brain and math study

Brain activity in male and female students ages 3 to 10 years old is largely similar when they are engaged in math tasks, according to a report released today in the journal Science of Learning. Researchers said they have, however, identified gender differences in high-level mathematical thinking. However, brain differences are not the reason. Researchers suspect the answer involves the societal messages girls and young women get, and the difficulty of entering a field that includes very few women. Males, especially if less strong in reading, lean to STEM; girls have more options so do not feel they have to enter STEM careers if they come from wealthier families.
Cantlon, J. (2019). Gender similarities in the brain during mathematics development. Science of Learning, 4, 19.

Kersey, A. J., Wakim, K. M., Li, R., & Cantlon, J. F. (2019). Developing, mature, and unique functions of the child’s brain in reading and mathematics. Developmental cognitive neuroscience, 39, 100684.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Transformative Technology Study

Transformative technology has the edge in teaching over substitutive technology, meaning students learn more when technology is used not to replace pencils and paper to do similar tasks, but rather when tech is used to reshape the projects themselves, a report from Gallup finds. This includes allowing students to choose what they learn, discuss topics without a clear answer and work on multidisciplinary projects.
Gallup. (2019). Creativity in learning. Washington, DC: Gallup.

Computer literacy report

     The average score among students in 12 countries on a computer and information literacy exam was 496, on a scale from 100 to 700, according to a recent study. The US students' average score was 519, but data shows that while students grow up as digital natives they may lack sophisticated digital literacy.  US students are less skilled at creating algorithms or debugging them when problems arise. Seventy percent of students across countries attended schools where digital resources connected to textbooks was available, but 32% of teachers reported using such content. 
     Gender differences were apparent for both computer and information literacy and for computational thinking, but they varied. In the computer and information literacy section, females outscored males on average and in most of the countries. But in computational thinking, males consistently scored higher than females.
     “Confidence, and crucially, competence, in the use of digital devices is of vital importance globally,” Dirk Hastedt, IEA executive director, said in a statement. “It is essential that young people are taught these skills at schools, and that their teachers are well supported in delivering this bedrock of modern education.” The findings confirm other recent studies in the U.S. showing students can be easily misled by digital media messages.
Fraillon, J. (2019). International Computer and Information Literacy Study. Amsterdam: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Digital literacy and computational thinking survey

The United States participated in the 2018 International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS), which assesses 8th-grade students in two domains: computer and information literacy (CIL) and computational thinking (CT). It also compares U.S. students’ skills and experience using technology to that of students in other education systems and provides information on factors such as teachers’ experiences and school resources that may influence students’ CIL and CT skills. This information is especially relevant today, since building strong foundations for STEM literacy, including CT, has been identified as one of the three goals in the White House’s 5-year STEM education strategic plan, “Charting a Course for Success: America’s Strategy for STEM Education.”

As the results show, U.S. 8th-grade students’ average score in CIL was higher than the ICILS 2018 average, while the U.S. average score in CT was not significantly different from the ICILS 2018 average. In the United States, female 8th-grade students outperformed their male peers in CIL, but male 8th-grade students outperformed female students in CT. Also, U.S. 8th-grade students with 2 or more computers at home performed better in both CIL and CT than their U.S. peers with fewer computers. Among U.S. 8th-grade students, 72 percent reported using the Internet to do research every school day or at least once a week, and 65 percent reported teaching themselves how to find information on the Internet.

About half of U.S. 8th-grade teachers reported using information and communications technologies (ICT) in teaching. Eighty-six percent of U.S. 8th-grade teachers strongly agreed or agreed that ICT was considered a priority for use in teaching at their schools. Compared with the ICILS 2018 averages, higher percentages of U.S. 8th-grade teachers reported participating in eight out of nine professional learning activities related to ICT.

Click on the questions below for more details. The technical notes for the 2018 ICILS, additional informationthe questionnaires, FAQs and the full international report, International Computer and Information Literacy Study, are also available.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Recently a study considered strategies that can help close achievement gaps and get students learning at grade level. The study -- which included an examination of personalized learning versus rigorous curricula -- found that struggling students can improve if they have caring relationships with their teachers, an environment that nurtures agency and access to quality and coherent content, among other factors.
Bellwether Education Partners. (2018). The opportunity myth. New York, NY: TNTP.

Growth Mindset Studies

A survey on growth mindset was sent to a national sample of more than 600 K-12 teachers. The study was designed to examine teachers’ perspectives, professional development and training, and classroom practices.Educators believe growth mindset has great potential for teaching and learning. Nearly all survey respondents (98%) agree that using growth mindset in the classroom will lead to improved student learning. Nearly as many report that it will improve the quality of their instruction.
However, putting growth mindset into practice poses significant challenges. Only 20 percent of teachers strongly believe they are good at fostering a growth mindset in their own students. They have even less confidence in their fellow teachers and school administrators. And just one in five say they have deeply integrated growth mindset into their teaching practice.
Mindset in the classroom. (2016). Bethesda, MD:  Editorial Projects in Education. 

Any student's self-confidence can take a hit at the start of high school. Yet giving students even a brief opportunity to understand and reflect on their mindsets for learning can make them likelier to challenge themselves and improve, finds a new national study. It found that two sessions of a 25-minute online task at the start of freshman year could boost students’ grades and willingness to take advanced classes. Specifically, researchers found low-performing students who participated in the exercise developed a stronger “growth mindset”—the belief that skills are developed over time and through effort, rather than being innate and “fixed.” By the end of freshman year, low-performing students who had participated had higher grade point averages, both in core academic classes and specifically in math and science courses, which prior research has suggested may be more likely to trigger a fixed mindset.
Yeager, D.S., Hanselman, P., Walton, G.M. et al. (2019). A national experiment reveals where a growth mindset improves achievement. Nature, 573, 364–369.

Academic Progress Report

The latest results of the tests known as the Nation's Report Card offer a mostly grim view of academic progress in U.S. schools."Over the past decade, there has been no progress in either mathematics or reading performance, and the lowest-performing students are doing worse," said Peggy Carr, the associate commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, which administers the NAEP. "In fact, over the long term in reading, the lowest-performing students—those readers who struggle the most—have made no progress from the first NAEP administration almost 30 years ago." Since 2017, reading performance has dropped significantly across grades 4 and 8, with math performance mixed. Some racial achievement gaps closed—in part because of falling scores among white students—and gaps between struggling and high-achieving students continued to widen.
National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2019). the nation's report card. Washington, DC: Author.

Middle School Tech Access Report

Only one in five middle-school students have access to technology such as animations, simulations and virtual labs, according to a new report. The data show that while Chromebooks are the most popular tool used by students in the classroom, 61% are still using their own devices to complete assignments.
Evans, J. (2019).  Digital learning: Peril or promise for our K-12 students. Irvine, CA: Project Tomorrow.

Student Engagement Survey

Student engagement and hope have a positive effect on students' academic achievement, according to a Gallup survey. A separate Gallup study also found that better engagement can improve students' behavior.
Gallup. (2019). Engagement and hope positively influence student outcomes. Washington, DC: Gallup.

High-Quality School Librarians Research

New research examines the question, "how do we define a high-quality school librarian?" The researchers explores research about high-quality teachers and how it can inform studies investigating school librarians' impact on student outcomes.
Kimmel, S. et al. (2019).  The Preparation and Certification of School Librarians: Using Causal Educational Research about Teacher Characteristics to Probe Facets of Effectiveness.
School Library Research