Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Mobile device affect on students

A national survey of educators and interviews with school principals reveal big concerns about how the proliferation of digital devices is affecting K-12 education. Two-thirds of students use smartphones in schools, 90% of high schoolers use them on campus. While such devices facilitate communication and remediation through relevant apps, it also facilitates distractions, misbehavior, and cheating, Nevertheless, usage will probably increase. 
Smartphones and other devices in schools. (2020). Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/media/tc2020%20survey%20report%206.5.20.pdf

Friday, June 12, 2020

Libraries Respond: COVID-19 Survey

As a follow up to PLA’s March 2020 Public Libraries Respond to COVID-19 Survey, a new American Library Association (ALA) survey of U.S. libraries documents a shift in services to support students, faculty, and communities at large during the crisis and phased preparations for the months ahead. More than 3,800 K-12 school, college and university, public, and other libraries from all 50 states responded to the survey between May 12–18, 2020.
While virtually all libraries (99%) report limited access to the physical building, survey respondents shared leaps in the use of digital content, online learning, and virtual programs. Several themes emerged from the survey results, including that libraries are: involved in community crisis response, cautiously planning for re-opening facilities, committed to meeting the educational needs of students and researchers, and experiencing ongoing or increased demand for library programs and services.
COVID-19 crisis response: of respondents involved in community crisis response, the majority reported new partnerships, distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE), addressing food insecurity, and sharing accurate community information and resources.
Caution with facility re-opening: Virtually all libraries have expanded virtual and phone services during the crisis, continuing a trend of library activities beyond physical walls. The survey finds that most libraries have limited access to their buildings while they work to establish health and safety protocols for staff, social distancing requirements for patrons, and processes for sanitizing materials. Curbside pickup, delivery, and by-appointment services are the most common next steps as national and state/local guidance evolve. Over one-third (37%) of respondents expect phased re-opening in June and July, and almost half (47%) are unsure when buildings will begin to re-open to the public.
American Library Association. (2020).  Libraries respond: COVID-10 survey. Chicago, IL: Author.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

COVID-19 and the State of K–12 Schools

COVID-19 and the State of K–12 Schools

Results and Technical Documentation from the Spring 2020 American Educator Panels COVID-19 Surveys

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Student social skills and screen time study


A new study suggests that, despite the large amount of time spent on smartphones and social media, young people today are just as socially skilled as those from the previous generation. Researchers compared teacher and parent evaluations of children who started kindergarten in 1998, six years before Facebook launched, with those who began school in 2010, when the first iPad debuted. The findings show that both groups of kids received similar ratings on their interpersonal skills, including the ability to form and maintain friendships and get along with those who are different. The two groups were also rated similarly on self-control, such as the ability to regulate their temper. There was one exception, however: Social skills were slightly lower for children who accessed online gaming and social networking sites several times a day.
Downey, D. B., & Gibbs, B. G. (2020). Kids These Days: Are Face-to-Face Social Skills among American Children Declining?. American Journal of Sociology125(4), 1030-1083.

Survey of digital material use by teachers

This researh adds new insights from English language arts (ELA), math, and science teachers on their use of digital materials. Drawing on data from the spring 2019 American Instructional Resources Survey, researchers share the digital materials that ELA, math, and science teachers across the United States reported using regularly for instruction during the 2018–2019 school year. Researchers then examine how teachers' use of these materials compares with their use of comprehensive curriculum materials, as well as teacher-reported barriers to digital material use. Researchers also explore several hypotheses regarding factors that might influence digital material use.

Key Findings

  • Most teachers use digital materials both for planning and classroom instruction. However, they use these materials to supplement other curriculum materials rather than as main materials.
  • For all subjects, the top digital materials used during instructional time include a mix of general resources, such as YouTube, and content-specific resources, such as ReadWorks and Khan Academy.
  • Teachers who used standards-aligned curricula, who had more low-income students, or who attended certain teacher preparation programs were more likely to use digital materials.
  • Expense was the most commonly cited barrier to digital material use, even more so among teachers with more low-income students.

Tosh, K., et al. (2020). Digital instructional materials: What are teachers using and what barriers exist? Santa Monica, CA: Rand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

How schools should respond to pandemics.



“This resource provides the text of state statutes and regulations—as well as noncodified guidance from state health and education agencies—that relates to pandemic planning for schools. This tool is designed as a resource for educators, policymakers, and general audiences to learn more about pandemic planning for schools within their states; it is not designed to provide a comprehensive analysis of these policies.”
Nunez, B. (2020, Mar. 11).  As COVID-19 Spreads, Most States Have Laws That Address How Schools Should Respond to Pandemics.  ChildTrends. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

How to bridge homework gap with tech study

Enhancing connections between schools and communities could help close digital divides and curb the "homework gap," according to a study of schools in Alabama and Arizona. The study finds that bridging this divide relies on robust in-school technology programs and relevant community connections.
Lee, N. (2020). Bridging digital divides between schools and communities. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute.
https://www.brookings.edu/research/bridging-digital-divides-between-schools-and-communities/
 

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Social-emotional learning


Schools that prioritize emotional and social development and other soft skills over test scores enable students to perform better in school and later in life, according to a Northwestern University study of more than 150,000 Chicago high-school students. "What we're showing is that schools that actually cause kids to become more gritty, those kids tend to be likely to persist more in college," says economist and study author Kirabo Jackson. Jackson has calculated that schools that build social-emotional qualities such as the ability to resolve conflicts and the motivation to work hard  are getting even better short-term and long-term results for students than schools that only boost test scores. The schools that develop soft skills produced students with higher grades, fewer absences and fewer disciplinary problems and arrests in high school. Later, the students who attended these high schools graduated and went to college in higher rates. 


This is still a working paper, which means it has not yet been peer-reviewed and may still undergo revisions. In February 2020, Jackson presented these early findings at conference of the National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.




https://caldercenter.org/publications/school-effects-socio-emotional-development-school-based-arrests-and-educational

Pre-Service School Librarians’ Perceptions



New research explores graduate-level instruction on research designs and methods for pre-service school librarians. For their study, the research team f, examined the question, “How should a school library program prepare pre-service school librarians to integrate research into their future practice?” Using a focus group of pre-service school librarians, the team critically examined instruction through an existing two-course sequence of research methods in education with an emphasis on school libraries.
DiScala, Jeffrey, Elizabeth A. Burns, and Sue C. Kimmel. 2020. “Pre-Service School Librarians’ Perceptions of Research Pedagogy: An Exploratory Study.” School Library Research, 23.
http://www.ala.org/aasl/sites/ala.org.aasl/files/content/pubs/slr/vol23/SLR_PreserviceSchoolLibPerceptions_V23.pdf

Skills for coding


The ability to learn languages is a better predictor of success in computer programming and coding than math skills, researchers  found. The study points to stereotypes and math prerequisite courses as barriers to attracting more diversity to coding and connects coding more to the cognitive skills needed to learn languages and the working memory of students.


Prat, C.S., Madhyastha, T.M., Mottarella, M.J. et al. Relating Natural Language Aptitude to Individual Differences in Learning Programming Languages. Sci Rep 10, 3817 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60661-8

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Study on Rise of ELLs

English-language-learner enrollment in K-12 schools has increased by more than 1 million students since 2000, according to a new report. There are now an estimated 4.9 million children in U.S. public schools learning the English language. These students are in classrooms in most school systemsand enrollment is surging in states across the South and Midwest that had almost no English-learners at the turn of the century. California has the greatest number and percentage: 20.2%.
Office of English Language Acquisition. (2020). English learners: Demographic trends. Washington, DC: US Department of Education.
https://ncela.ed.gov/files/fast_facts/19-0193_Del4.4_ELDemographicTrends_021220_508.pdf 
and
U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Common Core of Data (CCD), "Local Education Agency Universe Survey," 2000–01 through 2016–17. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d18/tables/dt18_204.20.asp?current=yes

Friday, February 14, 2020

Predicting Student Achievement Study

Students' third-grade reading and math tests have an 80% likelihood of predicting outcomes in 10th grade, according to a recent study. Data from students across six states also link students' academic mobility to socioeconomic factors.
A student's ranking in his state's 3rd grade reading and math tests was 80 percent predictive of his 10th grade performance, after controlling for errors in state test measurements, the researchers found. That meant a student struggling in the bottom quarter of 3rd graders in her state was very likely to end up performing in the lowest 25 percent of 8th graders—and to end up in the same percentile in 10th grade. If a school district provided academic mobility one standard deviation higher than the average of districts in its state, its struggling 3rd graders on average improved nearly 6 percentile points on the state rankings by grade 8 and became nearly 8 percentage points more likely to graduate high school on time.
While the vast majority of students graduated high school, students' 3rd-grade achievement was still 25 percent to 35 percent predictive of whether they earned a diploma in four or five years. Urban students who struggled in 3rd grade were much less likely to graduate than those who attended rural or suburban schools. It is surprising at how little chance low-performing students had of changing their academic ranking within any of the districts across all six states.
Goldhaber, D. (2020). National Center for the Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research.
http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2020/02/Academic_mobility_low.html

High school students' emotions study

When researchers  asked more than 21,678 U.S. high school students to say how they typically felt at school, nearly 75 percent of their answers were negative. "Tired" topped the list, followed by "bored" and "stressed," with positive words like "happy" distantly following.Students reported feeling boredom and stressed, but in the moment they reported feeling calm, happy, and relaxed even more often. What didn't change was the one "feeling" the researchers hadn't expected at all: Students overwhelmingly reported feeling tired. It was the only feeling consistently named by more than half of the students. The study also found that boys and girls tended to experience school differently. Girls reported more negative feelings than boys overall, and in the moment, girls were much more likely to say they were stressed. As of 2016 the National Sleep Foundation found that 87 percent of high school students in the United States sleep significantly less than the recommended 8 to 10 hours per night. And on the heels of the Yale study, another in the journal Molecular Psychiatry also found that even preteen students who got insufficient sleep had higher rates of anxiety, depression, impulsive behavior, and poor cognitive performance. 
Moeller, J. et al.  (2020).  High school students' feelings. Learning & Instruction, 66 (April).
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.learninstruc.2019.101301


Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Group Work Study

Students learn best from one-on-one interaction with an adult, but group work follows as a strong alternative, according to an analysis of 71 studies -- mostly from the US and UK. Data shows that students benefit from working in pairs, as well as in groups of three or four. The ones that produced the strongest learning gains for peer interaction were those where adults gave children clear instructions for what do during their conversations. The instructions force children to debate and negotiate, during which they can clear up misunderstandings and deepen their knowledge.
Tenenbaum, H. R., Winstone, N. E., Leman, P. J., & Avery, R. E. (2019). How effective is peer interaction in facilitating learning? A meta-analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/edu0000436
https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2019-75000-001?doi=1

Friday, January 31, 2020

Fake news education study

Researchers  found that interventions as simple as reading a short article or watching a three-and-a-half-minute long educational video can make an immediate difference in students' abilities to pick out fake news.
Bouyges, H. (2019). Fighting fake news. Paris, France: Reboot Foundation.
https://reboot-foundation.org/wp-content/uploads/_docs/Fake-News-Report.pdf

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Media literacy education report

The U.S. Media Literacy Report 2020 provides a state-by-state progress report for media literacy education laws in K-12 schools. The report outlines both legislative successes and areas for improvement as well as recommendations to ensure that media literacy is an active part of every student’s education. 
U.S. Media Literacy Policy Report 2020. Waterton, MA: Media Literacy Now. 
https://medialiteracynow.org/mlnpolicyreport/ 

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Warly reading study

A national study indicated that elementary special education and K-12 teachers (72 percent) say their schools use balanced literacy. The surveys also found that balanced literacy is the reading instruction philosophy embraced by most survey respondents, although significant generational gaps exist: The less experience they have in higher education, the more likely postsecondary instructors are to favor explicit, systematic phonics with language comprehension as a separate focus. And the more experience they have in the classroom, the more likely elementary teachers are to support balanced literacy. Nevertheless, most teachers focus on phonics. Students should learn how to sound out words rather than relay on pictures or context to cue them on the words.
Early reading instruction. (2020). Bethesda, MD: Education Week.
https://www.edweek.org/media/ed%20week%20reading%20instruction%20survey%20report-final%201.24.20.pdf?cmp=eml-enl-eu-news2&M=59027837&U=1673093&UUID=38915a68716182c0a0b20ace8b5219f7

Sunday, January 12, 2020

News literacy study

In a report released in November, the researchers evaluated the ability of 3,446 students – from 16 urban and suburban school districts in 14 states – to judge the credibility and accuracy of digital sources of information.  Overall, on four of the assigned six tasks, over 90 percent of students received no credit at all. Out of all of the student responses, fewer than 3 percent earned full credit. Students continued to display a troubling tendency to accept websites at face value. A few of the lowlights from the report:
  • Fifty-two percent of students believed a grainy video claiming to show ballot stuffing in the 2016 Democratic primaries constituted “strong evidence” of voter fraud in the U.S. The video was actually shot in Russia. Among more than 3,000 responses, only three students tracked down the source of the video –  even though a simple Google search would have quickly exposed 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 the site’s aesthetics, its top-level domain (.org or .com), or how it portrayed itself on the About page.
 Breakstone, J. et al. (2019). Students' civic online reasoning. Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University. 
https://sheg.stanford.edu/students-civic-online-reasoning

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Online information literacy study

An international study found that only 2% of 8th graders could critically assess information found online. Economic status and parents' education (i.e., bachelor's degree or higher) correlated significantly with competency.
International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement. (2019). International Computer and Information Literacy Study. Amsterdam: Author.
http://www.iea.nl/publications/press-release/icils-2018-results-press-release