Virtual School Meanderings

February 4, 2016

SRI Education Notes | Innovation for 21st Century Learning | February 2016

From Monday’s inbox…

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SRI Education Notes

Denise Glyn Borders Vice President, SRI Education

Innovation for 21st Century Learning

Celebrated educator John Dewey once said, “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” At SRI, we strive to foster 21st century learning practices using rigorous research and collaborations with cutting-edge practitioners. In this month’s SRI Education Notes, we’re highlighting examples of our contributions to innovative education research and practices. Find out about our work on developing inclusive STEM schools, supporting mathematics learning for preschoolers, ensuring career readiness, identifying factors that lead to postsecondary success for students with disabilities, and more.

Enjoy,
Denise Glyn Borders
President, SRI Education

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Oh, the places you’ll go
when you follow @SRI_Education!Whether it’s a gathering of NSF-funded STEM researchers, a White House summit on next-generation STEM high schools, or an education research conference, we’ll be your eyes and ears to discover news, key findings, and useful resources. Be sure to add us to your education Twitter lists in plenty of time for AERA.@SRI_Education

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SRI Education is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. We work with federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients to assess learning gains, use technology for educational innovation, and address risk factors that impede learning.

Visit sri.com/education.

SRI Education
333 Ravenswood Avenue
Menlo Park, CA 94025

1100 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 2800 (28th floor)
Arlington, VA 22209

© 2016 SRI International. SRI Education is a division of SRI International. SRI International is a registered trademark and SRI Education is a trademark of SRI International. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Inclusive STEM High Schools

Can Inclusive STEM High Schools Narrow the STEM Gap for Underrepresented Students?

Previous research has shown that many students, especially those from groups underrepresented in STEM, don’t complete the right courses in high school to be prepared for a STEM major in college. If we truly want to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in STEM, we need transformational changes in high school educational opportunities.

Two states, North Carolina and Texas, have taken strides toward meeting this challenge by supporting the creation of inclusive STEM-focused high schools at scale. What sets these high schools apart from traditional high schools is that they admit students on the basis of their interest in STEM, either through open admissions or lottery, rather than on the basis of test scores. Inclusive STEM high schools target underrepresented groups and provide all their students with a four-year experience designed to prepare them for STEM courses in college.

To determine how effective inclusive STEM high schools are at contributing to improved academic outcomes for underrepresented groups, SRI Education and George Washington University have been conducting the iSTEM research project, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). We are investigating the extent to which inclusive STEM high schools contribute to improved academic outcomes and their impacts on students’ interest in STEM careers and expectations for postsecondary study. Our research is ongoing, but preliminary results are encouraging. We found that attending an inclusive STEM high school enhances a student’s identity as someone who practices science, aspirations for postsecondary education, and interest in one or more STEM careers.

Read more about our study and early findings in a recent blog post by Barbara Means.

Beyond Screen Time: Insights on Using Digital Media With Young Children

Beyond Screen Time: Insights on Using Digital Media With Young Children

From family rooms to policy papers, the conversation about young children and media is changing. Along with the ubiquity of media and technology comes the awareness that keeping children away from screens might not be possible or even desirable. So a key question is how to use digital media and technology with young children to support their learning and development. Researchers from the Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI Education recently released findings from a joint study that illustrated how public media resources—specifically the PBS KIDS show Peg+Cat—could support productive media experiences for children and their parents. Parents and children in the PBS KIDS treatment group engaged with a set of Peg+Cat videos, online games, a tablet-based app, and print activities over a 12-week period while comparison group families continued with their media use.

Study findings indicated positive outcomes. Children in the PBS KIDS group showed stronger improvement than the comparison group in key math skills, including ordinal numbers, spatial relationships, and identifying 3-D shapes. Parents in the PBS KIDS group reported more joint parent-child technology use and more conversation connecting media, mathematics, and daily life than parents in the comparison group. PBS KIDS group parents also reported increased confidence in helping their children learn math and agreed that technology was a valuable tool for doing so.

The study findings coincide with profound shifts in the conversation about the use of digital media with young children. Acknowledging that “screen time” is becoming simply “time,” the American Association of Pediatrics is preparing to release new recommendations for children’s screen time. In this context, the findings from the PBS KIDS study are especially pertinent. For more on the study, see the full blog postby Savitha Moorthy.

SRI Researcher Lynn Newman Featured on Inside IES Research

SRI Researcher Lynn Newman Featured on Inside IES Research

A December 18, 2015, post on the Inside IES Research blog featured an interview with SRI’s Lynn Newman, along with Joseph Madaus from the University of Connecticut. The conversation focused on their study of factors associated with postsecondary success for students with disabilities. They found that students with disabilities who received universally available supports (e.g., tutoring, writing centers) were more likely to persist in and complete postsecondary programs but that fewer than half of students with disabilities used those supports.

See the full blog post to find out what factors led to increased use of learning supports in postsecondary school and what lessons were learned from the study for students and families, secondary educators, postsecondary educators, and researchers.

Miya Warner, Ph.D.

Education Perspectives From Researcher Miya Warner

Miya Warner, Ph.D. is the co-principal investigator of the evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative, a major systemic effort in nine school districts to transform high schools through industry-themed programs that connect classroom study to real-world experiences. This is the seventh year of SRI’s evaluation.

1. What makes Linked Learning a unique and promising approach to high school reform?

In the last century, high school was a place where students were placed into an academic or career (vocational) track. In contrast, Linked Learning takes seriously the need to prepare students for collegeand career by striving to integrate rigorous academics with career technical education and work-based learning experiences. Specifically, Linked Learning pathways provide comprehensive programs of study that connect learning in the classroom with real-world applications outside school to better engage all students, particularly low-income and disadvantaged youth. Importantly, the goal of the California Linked Learning District Initiative was to build district systems to support Linked Learning pathways rather than implement the approach at individual schools or a network of isolated pathways across different districts. School reform efforts tend to come and go without making much lasting change because teachers and administrators know that when the funding ends, they will be asked to move on to the next program. The focus on the district systems was a strategic decision by the Irvine Foundation to make Linked Learning part of the fabric of these districts so it would persist beyond the funding for the initiative.

2. What was the most significant finding from the latest Linked Learning report? What are the implications?

At a time when Linked Learning is expanding rapidly in California, we found evidence that pathway quality plays a key role in these positive findings for students. In addition to certified pathways, we looked at outcomes for students in career pathways that had not been certified in the Linked Learning approach, and we didn’t find the same positive outcomes. Certification indicates that pathways have implemented certain structures such as integration of career technical education course sequences and work-based learning experiences into students’ overall program of study. The lack of positive findings for noncertified pathways suggests that a career theme is not enough to produce positive effects on student outcomes. As more and more schools and school districts adopt the Linked Learning approach, it will be critical that they attend to high-quality teaching that integrates academics with career technical education courses and work-based learning experiences. Without this focus, Linked Learning is unlikely to impact student learning in a meaningful way. Read more about California’s Linked Learning Initiative.

This email was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com.

December 22, 2015

Broadening Student Participation in Secondary Computer Science Through Principled Assessment of Computational Thinking – CTL Research Update – December 2015

A busy blogging day trying to clear out the inbox before the holidays…

CTL: Insightful design, research, and evaluation of innovative learning environments and assessments

Broadening Student Participation in Secondary Computer Science Through Principled Assessment of Computational Thinking

Broadening Student Participation in Secondary Computer Science Through Principled Assessment of Computational Thinking

As part of the NSF-funded Principled Assessment of Computational Thinking (PACT) projects, SRI Educationhas been working with curriculum authors and teachers, assessment experts, and computer scientists to develop assessments for Exploring Computer Science (ECS). ECS is a new high school curriculum that focuses on developing students’ problem-solving and computational thinking skills.

ECS was designed to support the creation a more diverse pipeline to computer science education and careers by targeting urban high schools and expanding the participation of traditionally underrepresented students in introductory computer science. The goal of this effort is to increase the enrollment of women and minorities who remain underrepresented in those attaining computer science degrees and entering computer science careers.

The ECS curriculum is spreading rapidly in response to demand from school districts nationwide. Teachers implementing the curriculum need high-quality assessments of student learning so they can understand their students’ computational thinking skills and help students learn those skills. The SRI PACT team designed and developed assessment tasks that elicited students’ problem solving and inquiry skills in authentic contexts and gave them opportunities to represent their skills in their own words and ways. Continue reading about PACT and the ECS assessments.


Incorporating the Vision of the Next Generation Science Standards into Instruction and Assessment

Incorporating the Vision of the Next Generation Science Standards into Instruction and Assessment

Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) senior researcherChristopher Harris along with Joseph Krajcik, Director of the CREATE for STEM Institute at Michigan State University, were invited to co-lead two professional development workshops this past summer to support the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in California. In July, Harris and Krajcik were invited by the National Science Teachers’ Association to present a full day professional development workshop – Implementing NGSS in Secondary Science Classrooms – to an audience of over 200 science teachers and district leaders in Anaheim, CA. In August, Harris and Krajcik were invited by the California Science Project to present a two-day professional development workshop, Implementing NGSS Instruction and Assessment, at a convening at California State University, East Bay, in Hayward, CA. Participants included California State University faculty regional directors for the California Science Project, representatives from county offices of education, and district science leaders and teachers representing K-12 science. In both workshops, Harris and Krajcik shared insights from their NSF-funded work focused on supporting teachers in implementing instruction and assessment to help students achieve the ambitious learning goals of the NGSS.


Innovative Pedagogy 2015

Innovative Pedagogy 2015

Every year since 2011, the UK’s Open University has released a report called “Innovating Pedagogy” on important educational trends for teachers and policymakers. The 2015 edition of this widely followed report was developed through collaboration between researchers at the Institute of Educational Technology in The Open University and the Center for Technology in Learning. Innovating Pedagogy 2015 introduces ten pedagogies—methods and practices for teaching—that already influence educational practice or offer opportunities for the future. By ‘innovative pedagogies,’ we mean theories and practices of teaching, learning and assessment for the modern, technology-enabled world. The report has already been downloaded 20,000 times. Learn more and get your free copy.


Research on Media-rich Science and Literacy Learning at Home

Research on Media-rich Science and Literacy Learning
at Home

CTL researchers, with long-time partners at EDC’s Center for Children and Technology, will conduct a suite of innovative formative and summative evaluation research studies for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) under the U.S. Department of Education’s Ready to Learn program. CPB and partners will develop new television and multimedia resources to prepare children to succeed in school by engaging preschool and young elementary school children and their families in science and literacy-themed learning at home and in community settings. SRI and EDC researchers will conduct studies that inform the development of new resources and measure their effectiveness. Learn more about prior RTL research results.


Mathematica and SRI selected to run Rapid Cycle Technology project

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology selected Mathematica (prime) and CTL in a highly competitive process to conduct Rapid Cycle Technology Evaluations of educational software applications (apps) in K-12 settings. The primary goal of this initiative is to build capacity in schools and districts to make evidence-based decisions on apps, taking into account the specific needs of their students and local context. Apps can address a variety of goals and audiences, ranging from specific academic skills (e.g., math, science, ELL) to social emotional learning and teacher professional development. The project aims to establish a high standard for low-cost, quick turnaround evaluations by providing sites with models, tools, and resources that they can use to guide their own testing. These resources will be piloted and then field tested in at least two cycles from now through early 2017, with an optional two-year extension period.

Blog Post: Examining Research Support for a Digital, Blended Learning Mathematics Curriculum

Blog Post: Mentoring Girls in Computer Science

Report: A Framework for Evaluating Implementation of Workforce Education Partnerships and Programs


Don’t miss our February Research Update!

Learn about the CTL staff invited to White House events and the NSF forum CTL co-produced with EDC: Next Generation STEM Learning for All.


Stay Connected

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Contact CTL


SRI Education

SRI Education, a division of SRI International, is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. We work with federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients to address risk factors that impede learning, assess learning gains, and use technology for educational innovation. The mission of SRI’s Center for Technology in Learning (CTL) is to improve learning and teaching through innovation and inquiry. Much of our work is conducted in educational settings such as classrooms, afterschool programs, and teacher education programs.


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This email was sent to mkb@wayne.edu.

September 3, 2015

SRI Education Notes | September 2015

From Tuesday’s inbox…

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SRI Education Notes

Denise Glyn Borders
Vice President, SRI Education

Friends and colleagues:

There’s a saying that “all politics is local” and at SRI Education, we think that great educational research is local too. So we’re helping districts improve their own local evaluation capacity, we’re partnering with researchers in Africa to understand how free bikes might help improve outcomes for students and their families, and we’re mentoring girls in our community in computer science. Read more about these stories below, and follow us at @SRI_Educationon Twitter to stay up to date on our publications, presentations, and news!

Enjoy,
Denise Glyn Borders
President, SRI Education

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:: Featured Tweets

Go to the SRI Education Twitter pageGo to the SRI Education Twitter pageGo to the SRI Education Twitter pageGo to the SRI Education Twitter page

:: New Publication

SRI Researchers Offer Tools for Evaluating Quality of Workforce Education

The “skills gap” between what schools teach and what employers need is wider than ever. To address this problem, substantial investments support partnerships between employers and community college educators. How do these collaborations work and what can make them work better? A 6-year study by SRI Education researchers offers a practitioner-based framework and tools for answering these questions. Read the fullWorkforce Education Implementation Evaluation Research Brief.

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SRI Education is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. We work with federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients to assess learning gains, use technology for educational innovation, and address risk factors that impede learning.

Visit sri.com/education.

SRI Education
333 Ravenswood Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

1100 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 2800 (28th floor)
Arlington, VA 22209

© 2015 SRI International. SRI Education is a division of SRI International. SRI International is a registered trademark and SRI Education is a trademark of SRI International. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Lessons from Massachusetts: Promising Strategies for Building Evaluator Capacity

Lessons from Massachusetts: Promising Strategies for Building Evaluator Capacity

Over the past few years, most states across the country have adopted statewide educator evaluation systems, Massachusetts being one of them. These evaluation systems typically include more frequent observations of teachers of all experience and performance levels to facilitate accurate observations and improve educators’ instructional practice, which has added significant responsibilities to evaluators’ workloads. Many states report facing challenges with evaluator capacity especially related to managing principals’ workloads and ensuring the consistency of evaluators’ ratings and feedback across the district.

As part of our Center for Education Policy’s study of the implementation of Massachusetts’ Educator Evaluation Framework, the research team visited three case study districts and conducted phone interviews in a fourth to learn about their promising strategies for building evaluator capacity. The team spoke to district administrators, principals, teachers, and union representatives to explore the contextual factors surrounding their practices.

To address consistency among evaluators’ feedback and ratings, all case study districts provided ongoing opportunities for educators to calibrate on the practices they look for during observations and to discuss common processes for delivering feedback. These efforts included

  • Having evaluators collectively analyze examples of real-world teaching and anonymized feedback
  • Providing evaluators with content-specific training and providing examples of what rigor looks like within specific subject areas
  • Conducting group walk-throughs so that evaluators could compare feedback and complement each other’s knowledge of content or context

To address the increased workload and time needed to complete evaluation activities, including conducting observations, providing feedback, and reviewing evidence, district efforts included

  • Leveraging district administrators as primary evaluators for a subset of school staff
  • Revisiting district guidance on observation frequency, resulting in fewer observations with higher quality feedback

Read the full case study brief which highlights promising practices from these case study districts that could inform other states and districts’ efforts to build evaluator capacity.

SRI Education Researchers Evaluate School Bicycle Program in Africa that Supports Educational Outcomes

Evaluating the Educational Impact of a School Bike Program in South Africa

With funding from the UBS Optimus Foundation, SRI Education researchers are evaluating a school bicycle program in rural sub-Saharan Africa that is intended to improve attendance and educational outcomes for students who would otherwise walk long distances to school each day. World Bicycle Relief, a Chicago-based organization with support from the foundation, is distributing bikes to school children in South Africa and other countries during the 2015 and 2016 school years. Partnering with local researchers, SRI is designing and conducting a study to determine the impact of the program on attendance, school performance, and family well-being and the local factors and practices that support better outcomes. The final evaluation report will be available in 2017.

Mentoring Girls in Computer Science

Mentoring Girls in Computer Science

Despite the buzz around introducing children to computer science and coding in the K-12 years, there is a stark reality which we contend with: disappointingly low numbers of girls and underserved minorities are studying computing in the United States. Recent figures suggest that we have a long way to go to level the playing field. At SRI Education, we’re not only leading research on computer science, but we’re also doing our bit to move the needle by engaging in efforts that target tweens in middle school––when many children develop or lose interest in particular subjects, as is often the case with girls and STEM.

In fall 2014, the Design_Code_Build program introduced more than 400 Bay Area middle school students to the basics of computer science coding, such as logic, structure, space, and change. A series of events at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California for middle school students emphasized problem solving, teamwork, and project-based learning. SRI Education’s Shuchi Grover delivered the keynote, sharing her journey, which began with her 1982 proclamation to a newspaper in her hometown in India that she wanted to study computer science. Grover’s Computing is Everywhere! playlist was especially interesting to the students.

Last year, SRI Education’s Patti Schank served as a mentor to a Technovation team of girls. Technovation is designed to promote women’s exploration of science, innovation, and entrepreneurship, involving thousands of girls in more than 60 countries. Small teams of young women work together to design mobile apps and pitch their “startup” businesses to investors. Each team is matched with a female mentor. Schank’s team created a mobile app called “MissedIt,” designed to help students catch up on schoolwork if they were absent or missed information in class.

For more about the Technovation and the Design_Code_Build project, read the full Mentoring Girls in Computer Science blog post.

 

June 15, 2015

SRI Education Notes – June 2015

From the inbox earlier today…

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SRI Education Notes

Denise Glyn Borders
Vice President, SRI Education

Friends and colleagues:

At SRI we recognize that developing innovations to improve opportunities for learning requires a multi-faceted approach. This issue of SRI Education Notes exemplifies the diversity of topics and enterprises in which we are engaged to form our comprehensive approach to education research, evaluation, and development. From exploring ways to assess the computational thinking practices in computer science to examining how California schools are meeting students’ health service needs to improving student engagement via blended learning approaches, we are helping educators improve results for students.

Enjoy,
Denise Glyn Borders
President, SRI Education

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:: Our Top Tweets

Center for EdPolicy ranked 10th in ED policyBest Practices for Recruiting SchoolsSRI Education Assessing Linked LearningCenter for EdPolicy ranked 10th in ED policyBest Practices for Recruiting SchoolsSRI Education Assessing Linked Learning

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SRI Education is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. We work with federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients to assess learning gains, use technology for educational innovation and address risk factors that impede learning.

Visit sri.com/education.

SRI Education
333 Ravenswood Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

1100 Wilson Boulevard
Suite 2800 (28th floor)
Arlington, VA 22209

© 2015 SRI International. SRI International is a registered trademark and SRI Education is a trademark of SRI International. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Lack of School Nurses in California Puts School Children at Risk

Foster Youth and Early Implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula: Not Yet Making the Grade

California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2013, is the first overhaul of the state’s education funding system in 40 years. It replaces previous categorical funding streams with a base level of funding for all districts and additional dollars for districts that serve low-income students, English learners, and foster youth. Under the law, districts are required to create a fiscal blueprint, called a Local Control Accountability Plan, that describes how money will be used broadly to support all students, and more specifically for the targeted subgroups.

Researchers in SRI’s Center for Education Policy aim to provide policymakers with timely information about the implementation and effectiveness of public investments in the education system. In keeping with this goal, SRI conducted the first studies of the implementation of California’s groundbreaking Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF). In a recent study funded by the National Center for Youth Law, researchers from SRI Education and J. Koppich & Associates examined the LCFF as it relates to foster youth. SRI’s Dr. Daniel Humphrey presented findings at a legislative hearing on foster youth and the LCFF in March 2015.

The LCFF identifies foster youth for the first time as a distinct sub-population of underserved students who require added attention to improve their educational and social outcomes. The study found, however, that the first year of LCFF implementation resulted in little specific attention to foster youth in most districts’ plans. Foster Youth and the Early Implementation of the LCFF: Not Yet Making the Gradereveals serious gaps between the state’s intent to highlight foster youth as a target group and the state’s, counties’, and districts’ systems of support for this particularly under-performing group of students. Foster youth have the poorest educational and life outcomes of any of the target groups.

Researchers identified multiple obstacles facing educators as they try to meet the needs of foster youth. These obstacles include different definitions of foster youth eligible for California’s Foster Youth Services program and the LCFF, a lack of a comprehensive state data system and few local district data systems able to track the educational outcomes of foster youth, and inconsistent data sharing practices between districts, County Offices of Education, and Social Service agencies. Through case studies, the report highlights local strategies to improve school stability, add counseling and tutoring programs, strengthen advocacy, change school climate for foster youth, and provide relevant professional development to school staff. While districts, counties, and social service agencies have complex challenges to address, researchers believe that the next round of LCAPs and budget development is likely to bring more attention to foster youth supports and services.

Teacher Quality and Learning

Lack of School Nurses in California Puts School Children at Risk

Approximately 1.4 million school age children in California are considered to have a special health care need, which includes chronic conditions—such as allergies, heart problems, seizure disorders, or diabetes—that require nursing services. As part of a team that included professionals from Sacramento State University, University of California, Berkeley, and University of Wisconsin-Madison, SRI Education researchers examined how California schools are meeting health service needs during the school day. The findings of our recently completed study show that there is a lot of room for improvement.

One of the major findings was that a large population of children does not have access to minimal health services during the school day; only 43 percent of school districts reported that they employed a school nurse. So what is happening in the 57 percent of school districts without school nurses? We don’t have a definitive answer, but it is not a stretch to speculate that all children – and especially children with special health care needs– are experiencing poorer health and academic outcomes because they don’t have access to school nurses.

And what is happening in those school districts that do employ school nurses? We found very low nurse to student ratios—39 percent of districts had nurse-to-student ratios of only one nurse to 3,000 students (The nationally recommended ratio is 1 to 750). School nurses reported providing services in an average of six or more buildings. Another barrier to meeting the needs of children with special health care needs is that the school nurse may not always know who those children are. Only about half of the 446 practicing school nurses surveyed in the study reported knowing which students had special health needs.

While the most obvious recommendation would be to call for more school nurses in California, policy makers say that it is unlikely. The school nurse positions were eliminated over many years of budget cuts by education leaders who had to make difficult choices. At this point, there seems to be little political will to reverse the damage that has been done because of the significant cost implications. With that in mind, the research team recommends increasing data collection of children with special health care needs so that school districts and personnel can better understand these needs, as well as the establishment of state standards for who can perform medical procedures in schools. To learn more, check out SRI Researcher Dr. Kathleen Hebbeler’s blog post.

Teacher Quality and Learning

New Ed Tech Developer’s Guide Outlines Path for Developing Digital Tools and Apps that Address Critical Educational Needs

Significant strides have been made in leveraging technology for learning in today’s K-12 schools, from increased access to the Internet through President Obama’s ConnectED initiative to the availability of more affordable tools and devices, to rich digital content for more engaging learning experiences. Yet there are still a number of unmet needs in education that technology could help to solve. With this in mind, the Office of Educational Technology has released the Ed Tech Developer’s Guide to help software developers, start-ups, and entrepreneurs create digital tools to address challenges faced by teachers, school leaders, students and their families. Read our full blog post to learn more. The Guide was developed in part by SRI Education’s Center for Technology in Learning, with significant contributions from experts in the field.

Blended Learning Research

Blended Learning Research

SRI Education was recently featured in the EdWeek Digital Directionsarticle, Blended Learning Research: The Seven Studies You Need to Know. Of the seven studies, #1 and #3 were conducted by SRI Education: the “Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies,” funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and the “Blended Learning Report,” from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. The first study is referred to as “the granddaddy of blended learning studies and the one most commonly cited when it comes to such programs.” The Dell Foundation report examined teacher satisfaction, student productivity, and the use of data to inform instruction at 13 low-income charter schools that used a rotation model of blended learning, which is particularly relevant given the current popularity of introducing blended learning in low-income schools.

This email was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com.

April 8, 2015

Conference Highlights | SRI Education Notes | April 2015

From Tuesday’s inbox…

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SRI Education Notes - June 12, 2014

Denise Glyn Borders<br />
Vice President, SRI Education

Friends and colleagues:

As researchers, building knowledge, capacity, and community around our work in education is essential. Sharing innovative methods and highlighting significant findings at conferences and professional meetings is one way SRI researchers shape the field, make connections, and form collaborations. Throughout 2015, SRI researchers have presented and participated in discussions about their work at conferences across the country. In this latest issue of SRI Education Notes, enjoy selected details of these experiences and a preview of the work SRI researchers will share at the upcoming American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting.

Enjoy,
Denise Glyn Borders
President, SRI Education

:: Find us at AERA

Download a printer-friendly list of
SRI Ed presentations here

Thursday, April 16

How Local Actors Make Sense of Tracking/Competing Policy Initiatives,Rebecca Anne Schmidt

Friday, April 17

Division C, Section 1e: Development of Assessments in Computer Science and Engineering Education, Marie Bienkowski, Daisy Wise Rutstein, Eric B. Snow

Measuring Change in Achievement and Social-Emotional Growth Among After-School Participants in the United States and the United Kingdom, Ann House, Patrik Lundh

Parental Involvement and Student Success: International Perspectives,Lynn Newman

STEM Integration in K–12 Education: Status, Prospects, and an Agenda for Research, Barbara M. Means

Midwest Child–Parent Centers, Pre-Kindergarten to Third Grade, Erika Gaylor, Katherine Ferguson, Donna Spiker

“Systems of Assessments” for Deeper Learning of Computational Thinking in K–12, Shuchi Grover

Designing an Online Computer Science Course for Deeper Computational Learning in Middle School, Shuchi Grover

Saturday, April 18

New Tools, New Voices: Innovations in Understanding and Analyzing Life-Wide Ecologies for Youth Interest-Driven Learning, Timothy Podkul, Denise Sauerteig

Advanced Technologies for Learning SIG Paper Session, Shuchi Grover

Sunday, April 19

Promoting Equitable Access to 21st-Century Skills: Global and Local Designs for Professional Learning, Linda F. Shear

Evidence-Based Technology Integration Scenarios, Vanessa L. Peters

Disability, Poverty, and Postschool Outcomes: Exploring School and Family Influences, Mary M. Wagner, Lynn A. Newman

Writing for Students With Significant Cognitive Disabilities: It’s More Than Just Writing Their Names, Renée Cameto

Design-Based Research: Coming of Age for a Versatile Methodology Supporting Diverse Research and Learner Needs,Shuchi Grover

Monday, April 20

Topics in Test Development, Daisy Wise Rutstein, Ximena Dominguez

Enhancing Achievement and Creativity Via Technology, Carlin Llorente, Savitha Moorthy

English Learner Access to Core Content: Critically Examining Linguistic Stratification in Schools, Haiwen Wang

Transition Planning and Postsecondary Outcomes for Individuals With Disabilities, Lynn Newman, Harold Javitz

:: Stay Connected

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SRI Education is tackling the most complex issues in education to help students succeed. We work with federal and state agencies, school districts, major foundations, nonprofit organizations, and international and commercial clients to address risk factors that impede learning, assess learning gains, and use technology for educational innovation.

Visit sri.com/education.

SRI Education
333 Ravenswood Ave.
Menlo Park, CA 94025

© 2015 SRI International. SRI International is a registered trademark and SRI Education is a trademark of SRI International. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Supporting Evidence-Based Investments from Preschool through College and Beyond

SRI at SREE: Supporting Evidence-Based Investments from Preschool Through College and Beyond

This year’s SREE spring conference in Washington, DC, focused on the role of research in understanding and supporting learning and growth from preschool through college and beyond.

SRI Education early childhood, education reform, and digital learning experts braved one of DC’s famous blizzards to present findings and contribute to valuable discussions. Findings from SRI Education studies like these support evidence-based investments in digital learning and family support services. Erika Gaylor, Donna Spiker, and Xin Wei presented with Erin Lease and Arthur Reynolds, University of Minnesota, on the Midwest Child-Parent Center PreK-3rd Grade School Reform Model. The group reported on the goals and preliminary outcomes of the Child-Parent Centers Expansion Project, a reform model aimed at improving short- and long-term outcomes of participating children and families. The project has a quasi-experimental design to examine the impact of the model on kindergarten readiness and second grade school achievement, as well as parent involvement in children’s education and learning.

Savitha Moorthy and Phil Vahey presented in a session on improving math outcomes through curriculum and teacher expectations. Savitha presented a recent Ready to Learn randomized controlled trial in pre-K classrooms with Shelley Pasnik of EDC, Preschool Teachers Can Use a Transmedia Curriculum Supplement to Support Young Children’s Mathematics Learning. In this study, pre-K teachers who were provided with a 10-week math curriculum supplement including digital games and shows reported significant increases in their confidence and comfort with certain early mathematics concepts. Additionally, the children in their classrooms had significantly higher scores on the supplement-aligned math assessment than the two other study conditions. Phil presented findings from the Next Generation Preschool Math (NGPM) evaluation, Improving Mathematics Learning by Integrating Curricular Activities with Innovative & Developmentally Appropriate Digital Apps. The study was designed to examine the NGPM program of digital math games and traditional preschool activities. The results provide preliminary evidence that NGPM improves preschool children’s understanding of unit-specific mathematics content and that it was feasible for teachers to integrate tablet-based games in preschool classrooms.

An SRCD poster session

Sharing Findings on Early Childhood Development and Connections to K-12 at SRCD

As recognition for the importance of early childhood development grows nationally, SRI’s early childhood researchers continue to shape what is known about programs and practices that support young children.

SRI’s presence at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in Philadelphia from March 19 to 21 showcased a sample of promising findings for effective early child development and education.

SRI Education’s Erika Gaylor facilitated “How to get from ‘P’ to ‘K’?” Lessons learned from developers, evaluators, and policy analysts of three early childhood initiatives,” a roundtable discussion on preschool to third grade approaches that hold promise to help close achievement gaps. The discussion, which featured SRI’s Shari Golan as a panelist, focused on one of the biggest obstacles to preK-3 work: bridging the traditional boundaries of the early learning and the K-12 education systems. Several early childhood initiatives in Minnesota including an effort to improve preK-3 literacy achievement, a Child Parent Center program model that provides comprehensive education and family support services for preK-3, and two innovative programs funded by Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge (RTT-ELC), were discussed. These initiatives are attempting to promote continuity of goals, assessment, curriculum, and professional development between PreK and K to strengthen connections between early education and the K-12 system.

SRI researchers also presented their study findings at the SRCD’s many poster sessions. Erika Gaylor, Donna Spiker, &Xin Wei shared early findings from their i3 evaluation of an early math intervention in Chicago Public Schools. Abby Winerpresented two posters related to social-emotional development: “The Impact of Demographic and Social Risk on Young Children’s Social and Emotional Competence” and “Becoming Prosocial: Reliability of Individual Differences in Early Prosocial Behavior”. Sarah Gerard and Danae Kamdar presented the findings of a randomized controlled trial on an intervention that integrates digital media with traditional hands-on activities to support early math teaching and learning in pre-K classrooms in New York City and the San Francisco Bay area. SRI’s early childhood research continues to contribute evidence-based findings on the effectiveness of initiatives and strategies to promote early learning and child development.

From Austin to Chicago, SRI Researchers Share Findings That Bridge Research to Practice

Christopher Harris presented at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Conference in Chicago March 12–15, which was focused on the Next Generation Science Standards. Christopher and SRI alumni Angela DeBarger and Bill Penuel led several sessions, including an interactive session for nearly 500 attendees on assessing NGSS in the classroom and a full day professional development institute on designing NGSS-aligned assessments. After talking with district leaders, state-level staff, and assessment companies at the conference, Christopher noted that there is a real need for principled yet practical approaches for creating assessments that integrate practices and content, especially those that can be used at multiple levels of the education system.

SxSW EduPhil Vahey continued his U.S. tour for Next Generation Preschool Math with a stop at SXSWEdu, where he joined Shelley Pasnik of EDC and Jillian Orr of WGBH Educational Foundation to discuss building the research base for STEM apps in pre-K. A recent randomized experiment showed that pre-K classrooms that used the NGPM materials made significantly more improvements in the target math skills.

Andrew Krumm presented to education researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and funders attending the Carnegie Foundation’s Summit on Improvement in Education. In keeping with the summit’s focus on “The Power of Networks: Partnerships, Collaboratives, and Communities,” Andrew and his fellow panelists shared examples of successful partnerships in order to provide strategies to help others bridge the gap between research and practice. He offered particular expertise in the intersection of learning sciences, advanced analytics, and researcher-practitioner partnerships.

Improving K-12 Computer Science Education and Assessment

Improving K-12 Computer Science Education and Assessment

Education policy makers are working on how to best support children’s learning in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), so that understanding of core ideas grows in tandem with their abilities to use the practices of science and engineering. SRI Education computer science education researchers are focused on computational thinking knowledge and skills as part of that work. Researchers will contribute to the discussion at the annual AERA meeting, presenting at the session Development of Assessments in Computer Science and Engineering Education.

Center for Technology in Learning, Assistant Director Marie Bienkowski will present an analysis of the NGSS as part of a larger domain analysis of computer science concepts and computational thinking practices. She will interpret the NGSS Engineering practices and performance expectations as concepts that fit computer science. In contrast to work that uses computing as a way to support science inquiry or engineering design, this treats computer science in its own right as a way to teach design. Shuchi Grover will discuss developing assessments for computational thinking in K-12 settings. She will argue for the need for multiple measures or “systems of assessments” that are complementary, attend to cognitive and non-cognitive aspects of computational thinking, and contribute to a comprehensive picture of student learning. She will also describe the forms of assessments designed and tested in a middle school introductory computing curriculum.

Shuchi will also present the paper “Designing an Online Computer Science Course for Deeper Computational Learning in Middle School” describing the design considerations in the use of a middle school course ‘Foundations for Advancing Computational Thinking’ (FACT) on Stanford University’s OpenEdX MOOC platform. Shuchi willi present “Design-Based Research: Coming of Age for a Versatile Methodology Supporting Diverse Research and Learner Needs”. Co-authored with Roy Pea, this paper describes an iterative effort to design, refine, and study a blended learning curricular intervention to answer questions on the development of deeper, transferable computational thinking skills among young teens.

This email was sent to mkbarbour@gmail.com.

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