Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Children's Screen Time study

A study surveyed parents in 2020 and 2021 about their children’s use of technology and social media during the pandemic. The study focused on youth younger than 12. Between 2020 and 2021 children used digital devices and social media more, and parents increasingly expressed worry about the amount of time their child was spending on those devices. Parents became more aware of their children's online use, and some changed their monitoring habits: either being more restrictive or more lenient. 

McClain, C. (2022). How parents' views of their kids' screen time, social media use changed during COVID-19.   Pew Research Center.


Thursday, April 21, 2022

Library tech access study

 The American Library Association released a report last week underlining the role of libraries in expanding digital equity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Libraries have played an increasingly central role in expanding access to emerging technology, as well as in digital literacy programming efforts with local partnership. This role was made even more important during the pandemic, when patrons were forced to adapt to jarring new realities. The report explores the efforts of libraries to understand and combat the digital divide. (from report abstract).

Bryne, A., & Visser, M. (2021). Keeping communities connected: Library broadband services during the COVID-19 pandemic. (2021). American Library Association.

Monday, April 4, 2022

Teen Social Media Use Study

 A cross-sectional study in the United Kingdom has revealed an association between social media use and lower life satisfaction among children and adolescents aged 10-21 years. "Cross-sectional relationship between self-reported estimates of social media use and life satisfaction ratings is most negative in younger adolescents. Furthermore, sex differences in this relationship are only present during this time. Longitudinal analyses of 17,409 participants (10–21 years old) suggest distinct developmental windows of sensitivity to social media in adolescence, when higher estimated social media use predicts a decrease in life satisfaction ratings one year later (and vice-versa: lower estimated social media use predicts an increase in life satisfaction ratings). These windows occur at different ages for males (14–15 and 19 years old) and females (11–13 and 19 years old). Decreases in life satisfaction ratings also predicted subsequent increases in estimated social media use, however, these were not associated with age or sex." (Abstract).

Orben, A., Przybylski, A.K., Blakemore, SJ. et al. Windows of developmental sensitivity to social media. Nat Commun 13, 1649 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-29296-3

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Lateral Reading Study

 Lateral-reading instruction -- a fact-checking strategy that includes verifying sources and considering author intent -- can help improve students' media literacy, according to a study conducted by a Nebraska school district in partnership with the Stanford University History Education Group. The study has put the district's media literacy instruction, led by school librarians and social studies teachers, in the spotlight.

Wineburg, S. et al. (2022). Lateral reading on the open Internet. SSRN.

https://ssrn.com/abstract=3936112 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3936112

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Reading studies

 Several recent studies reveal the toll the coronavirus pandemic -- now entering its third year -- is taking on children's reading skills. The declines are affecting students in every demographic, and schools are working to boost literacy with tutoring and other supports, but some say their efforts are hampered by a shortage of trained educators.


Research brief. (2022). Amplify. https://amplify.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/mCLASS_MOY-Results_February-2022-Report.pdf

Understanding student learning. (2021). i-Ready. https://www.curriculumassociates.com/-/media/mainsite/files/i-ready/iready-understanding-student-learning-paper-fall-results-2021.pdf

Exmaining the impact of COVID-19 on the identification of at-risk students. (2021). University of Virginia. https://pals.virginia.edu/public/pdfs/login/PALS_StateReport_Fall_2021.pdf

Grouping students who struggle with reading. (2021). Reading Rockets. https://www.readingrockets.org/article/grouping-students-who-struggle-reading

Friday, February 25, 2022

Social Skills Study

 Students' social skills and emotional maturity have declined at least somewhat during the coronavirus pandemic, according to most educators who responded to a recent survey. Educators say that in some cases they have observed students withdrawing or acting out.

Educators see gaps in kids' emotional growth due to pandemic. (2022). Eduncaton Week Research Center. 


Thursday, February 17, 2022

Pandemic and digital divide research


A recent national report exploresthe impact of the pandemic on the digital divide—the gap between those who have access to devices and connectivity, and those who do not—and its impact on learners. It highlighted several areas that have contributed to the divide—such as a lack of access to devices, limited digital skills, and challenges around engaging pupils online. But it also exposed some of the issues that have occurred because of the divide, likes the disproportionate impact on the learning and wellbeing of the most disadvantaged learners.

Addressing the deepening digital divide. (2022), Oxford University Press. 


Want a high SAT score? Ditch test prep and read for fun

Los Angeles Times, Feb. 16, 2022.

To the editor:
Letter writer Linda Mele Johnson (LA Times, Feb. 11) points out that “rich kids do better on the SAT than poor kids.” A major reason is that “rich kids” do more pleasure reading, because they have far more access to books at home and school. 

Studies show that reading more for pleasure (including fiction) results in larger vocabularies, better spelling and better writing. In addition, those who read more know more about literature, history, science and even practical matters. Literacy scholar Jeff McQuillan has argued that pleasure reading is the best way to score well on the SAT, and it is far more effective, economical and pleasant than test prep. It also makes a strong contribution to school and life success. Along with Linda Mele Johnson, I am happy to see the demise of the SAT. Let’s focus instead on investing in libraries and making sure all young readers have plenty of access to books. 

Stephen Krashen
Rossier School of Education University of Southern California 

Primary grades literacy study

Intensive support is needed to help roughly one-third of children in kindergarten through third grade who are not reading at grade level, according to a recent study. For instance, there are first-grade students who do not know the alphabet. While the so-called COVID cohort of students in kindergarten, first and second grade are making progress, they haven’t caught up to where students in those grade levels were performing before schools shut down in March 2020. Fourth and fifth graders seem to have recovered.  Learning disruptions such as quarantines and closings significantly impact literacy outcomes, including slow progress. One-to-one tutoring mitigates this issue. Data also shows racial disparities, with Black and Hispanic students in K-2 not making as strong of a comeback as white students and gaps growing larger than they were before the pandemic.

COVID-19 means more students not learning to read. (2021). Amplify. 


Monday, January 24, 2022

Teen media use study

New research shows that media of all types -- entertainment, social, creative -- has played an important role in helping kids get through a very tough time. Tweens and teens have been using entertainment media to keep their connections and their creativity alive when their worlds are so disrupted. Moreover, they have been using media to boost their moods, connect with friends, and even learn new things outside of school. The data in this report reinforces why it's so important to point kids toward the very best of media, like the shows, games, apps, and books that engage, inspire, and represent everyone equally. And it also serves as a reminder that when kids turn to media, they need to enter spaces that are safe, healthy, and free of hate speech and misinformation. But the data also shows that no matter how engaging media has been for kids during this time, they're ready for a return to in-person connections and a more "normal" media balance.

Rideout, V., & Robb, M. (2021). The role of media during the pandemic: connection, creativity, and learning for tweens and teens. Common Sense Media


Thursday, January 20, 2022

Multidisciplinary youth services research

Abstract: Scholars working in the area of children and youth services (CYS) have called for researchers and educators to look to disciplines outside of Library and Information Science (LIS) for inspiration in moving this area of the field forward. In this paper, we explore the opportunities provided by incorporating theoretical approaches and concepts from the fields of childhood studies, learning sciences, and educational technology in three separate special topics courses offered at the University of Kentucky. In these courses, we draw on our knowledge and expertise within fields external to LIS in order to encourage our students to think deeply and critically about how they think about, interact with, and provide services for children and youth. While two of the three courses are not solely focused on children and youth, all include content relevant to CYS professionals. In each section, we highlight the ways in which our different disciplinary expertise influences both the material we teach and the ways in which we teach. We then discuss the commonalities amongst our experiences and the potential that incorporating concepts and theories from these and other disciplines has for broadening CYS curricula more generally.

Barriage, S., DeGiacomo, D., & Gtreenhaigh, S. (2022). Thinkig beyond library and information science: Interdisciplinary inspiration for children and youth services curricula. JELIS, 63(1), 1-18.    https://utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/jelis-2020-0079

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Intellectual freedom issues in school librarianship preparation research

 This study was conducted to examine the preparation of school librarians around intellectual freedom issues. The pilot study was conducted with school librarian students at three universities. A gap analysis was used by the researchers to measure the gap between prior knowledge about intellectual freedom that students believed they possessed upon entering a school library preparation program and the knowledge they believed they possessed when leaving the school library preparation program. A survey was administered that was divided into the three aspects of self-awareness, education, and willingness to take action. The educational gaps are focused on in this article with recommendations to continue to analyze the data in further publications. Additionally, the researchers provide suggestions for improving school librarians’ preparation in the area of intellectual freedom.

Dawkins, A., & Branyon, A. (2022). Prepared to defend? Results of a gap analysis to measure  school librarian students' prior knowledge and learning of intellectual freedom concepts. School Library Research, 46.  https://www.utpjournals.press/doi/abs/10.3138/jelis-2021-0046

Friday, January 14, 2022

School Library Selection Policies Research

Researchers examined policies from 80 school districts across the United States to determine the status of selection policies in school libraries and whether the policies contain components recommended by the “Selection & Reconsideration Policy Toolkit for Public, School, & Academic Libraries” published by the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom in 2018. The research team also sought to determine the overall effectiveness of policies by discussing the discrepancies between the toolkit and the sample selection policies.&The research team determined that most of the school library selection policies included at least half of the expected key components. However, they state a need for school librarians to advocate for revision of policies to keep them current and provide effective guidance for school librarians as they make selections for their collections.

Dawkins, A., & Eidson, S. (2021). A content analysis of district school library selection policies in the United States. School Library Research, 24.


Wednesday, January 12, 2022

College-Career Readiness Study

 Differences in access to supports in high school contribute to variation in access to postsecondary opportunities. The study's authors compare nationally representative survey response data from the 2020 and 2021 Learn Together Surveys to examine differences in how high school teachers and principals provided supports to students for successful postsecondary transitions before and during the first year of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Through their analysis, the authors identify equity gaps in which groups of students reportedly received sufficient supports.

Key Findings

  • Access to supports for postsecondary transitions was unevenly distributed across student groups.
  • High school teachers reported providing fewer students with college and career readiness supports one year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • High school principals and teachers desired more staff to help with postsecondary transitions.
Mulhern, C., & Steiner, E. (2022). Changes in college and career readiness supports during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rand.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Reading for Pleasure Benefits Study

 Reading for pleasures is associated with improved outcomes for students, according to data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the Program for International Student Assessment. Yet, data shows a decline in the number of those who report reading for pleasure, as well as potential downsides to consuming more information digitally versus in print.Young readers using simple, short texts have not seen a significant drop in comprehension, whether they were reading in print or online, while teenagers and adults, grappling with long-form and more complex texts, did find digital reading more challenging for comprehension and focus.

Kogar, E.Y. (2021). An Investigation of the Mediating Role of Various Variables in the Effect of Both Gender and Economic, Social and Cultural Status on Reading Literacy. International Journal of Progressive Education, 17(1), 376-391. doi: 10.29329/ijpe.2021.329.24

This study is discussed at:Sparks, S. (2022, Jan. 4). How to nurutre lifelong readers in a digital age. Education Week.


See also Baron, N. (2021). How we read now: Strategic choices for print, screen, and audio. Oxford University Press. 

See also Merga, M. K., & Mat Roni, S. (2018). Children’s perceptions of the importance and value of reading. Australian Journal of Education62(2), 135-153. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0004944118779615?casa_token=0yUQ08K6i-cAAAAA:TO3HQNGDkKxkZDwasmj8lIZhXztkmFqshzVkdgCvcOgfcXMGFGSHMF_1m8IyBkSLdynPdg1wxByDBQ

 Merga, M. K., & Mat Roni, S. (2018). Children’s perceptions of the importance and value of

reading. Australian Journal of Education, 62(2), 135-153.

School Libraries Status Reports

 The EveryLibrary Institute has released two free reports that underscore the importance of school librarians. (Registration is required for each.)

The first, “Anticipating the Post-COVID Pivot for School Librarians,” looks at “recent research and data about the role, impact, and importance of school librarians and school library programs to create a detailed, actionable set of recommendations for education policy-makers concerned with sustaining successful schools and turning-around failing ones.”

The second—“Could School Librarians Be the Secret to Increasing Literacy Scores?”—is based on research from Washington, D.C., public schools showing that there’s “a connection between gains in the literacy-based component of standardized tests and [students’] access to school librarians. School librarians in Washington, D.C., Public Schools (DCPS) have worked diligently to increase literacy in every school over the past several years.”