Scaling the Digital Divide: Home Computer Technology and Student Achievement
NBER, June 2010
Does differential access to computer technology at home compound the educational disparities between rich and poor? Would a program of government provision of computers to early secondary school students reduce these disparities? This paper reports on a study of data on North Carolina public school students. The study found that the introduction of home computer technology is associated with modest but statistically significant and persistent negative impacts on students' test scores for maths and reading. The paper argues that providing universal access to home computers and high-speed internet access would broaden, rather than narrow, math and reading achievement gaps. The report is published as Working Paper No.16078 from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Adapted from the publisher's description. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsSecondary education
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Resourcing Schools in Australia: A Proposal for the Restructure of Public Funding
This report offers a proposal for the restructuring of public funding for education to benefit schools across all sectors in Australia. It argues that current systems suffer from issues of inconsistency and a lack of transparency, and that these issues affect school enrolments, the quality of schooling, and student outcomes. This proposal describes a system that is more consistent, that may help break down barriers, and that can be utilised across the school sectors and across the states. The proposal consists of a number of sections, including: Educational needs and the public guarantee; Public and private – the future of schooling; and Issues and Alternatives. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsEducation policy
Participation in and Completion of Vocational Education and Training for People with Disability
Melbourne Institute, June 2010
Improving the educational outcomes of people with a disability is seen as key in helping improve their employment and life prospects. Vocational Education and Training (VET) is an important avenue for further education for people with disability because it is a highly flexible and accessible form of education. This paper examines whether people with disability face barriers in participating in and completing a VET qualification. Overall, results indicated that people with disability are not disadvantaged in terms of participation, but are in terms of completion. This is especially the case for those with more limiting conditions and those with mental health problems who have low levels of social support. The full paper is available online.
Vocational education and training
Hearing Directly from Vulnerable Young Australians
Mission Australia, 2010
This publication reports on data gathered from a study of 48,000 young people, and focuses specifically on the responses of those from vulnerable backgrounds. It provides background on these young people, reports on their concerns and makes some policy recommendations for enhancing their wellbeing. It recommends that efforts be made to help vulnerable young people develop the capacity to or rebuild relationships with friends and family; to provide information and support; to take a holistic approach to health and well-being issues whilst also providing targeted education and campaigns about drugs and alcohol; and to support young people moving into independent living arrangements. The full report is available online.
Subject HeadingsSocial justice
Children and Young People's Views on Web 2.0 Technologies
NFER, June 2010
This report examines young people's attitudes towards and uses of web 2.0 technologies. Data was drawn from discussion groups held with 11–19 year olds in England. The findings indicated that web 2.0 technologies were used extensively by the young people featured in the study for personal use, participation in peer discussions and for expressing opinions. Most used these technologies with peers but outside formal learning contexts. The respondents were confident in the use of these technologies, and while issues such as cyber-bullying did arise, they were confident in their ability to deal with these problems. Some respondents did not use these technologies, which may highlight the existence of a 'digital divide'. The full report is available online.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
Taking Charge of Professional Development: A Practical Model for Your School
This text guides school leaders and leadership teams in developing a practical professional development model for their school. A systematic method outlined in the book aims to help leaders combine the three key elements of time, motivational systems and teacher leadership, to develop professional development programs that motivate teachers to continuously learn and apply best practices; make adult learning activities as convenient as possible; aim to reduce costs; seek to reward teachers financially for best practices; and ensure someone with expertise within the school is always available to provide additional training and support. The outlined programs seek to develop professional learning communities; increase academic rigor through formative assessment, goal setting, and interventions; and increase the relevance of classroom instruction.
Subject HeadingsSchool leadership