Fast Facts

Gary Pattillo is reference librarian at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, e-mail: pattillo@email.unc.edu

Evaluating digital information

“To investigate how people determine the credibility of digital information, (investigators) sampled 45 individuals: 10 Ph.D. historians, 10 professional fact checkers, and 25 Stanford University undergraduates. (They) observed them as they evaluated live websites and searched for information on social and political issues. Historians and students often fell victim to easily manipulated features of websites, such as official-looking logos and domain names. They read vertically, staying within a website to evaluate its reliability. In contrast, fact checkers read laterally, leaving a site after a quick scan and opening up new browser tabs in order to judge the credibility of the original site. Compared to the other groups, fact checkers arrived at more warranted conclusions in a fraction of the time.”

Sam Wineburg and Sarah McGrew, “Lateral Reading: Reading Less and Learning More When Evaluating Digital Information,” Stanford History Education Group Working Paper No. 2017-A1, October 6, 2017, https://ssrn.com/abstract=3048994 (retrieved December 4, 2017).

Graduate degrees

The total number of master’s degrees increased 59 percent between 2000–01 and 2013–14 and is projected to increase 30 percent between 2013–14 and 2025–26. The total number of doctor’s degrees increased 48 percent between 2000–01 and 2013–14 and is projected to increase 18 percent between 2013–14 and 2025–26.

William J. Hussar and Tabitha M. Bailey, “Projections of Education Statistics to 2025 (NCES 2017-019),” U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2017019 (retrieved December 4, 2017).

Global Human Capital Index

The Global Human Capital Index ranks 130 countries on how well they are developing their human capital across broad elements such as level of formal education, professional development, skills application, and expertise. The latest Global Human Capital Index lists Norway, Finland, Switzerland, The United States, and Denmark as the top five ranked countries across these dimensions overall.

World Economic Forum, “The Global Human Capital Report 2017,” September 13, 2017, https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-global-human-capital-report-2017 (retrieved December 4, 2017).

School diversity

In U.S. public K-12 schools, students of color now outnumber their white peers, due largely to growth in America’s Latino and Asian youth populations. Of the projected 50.7 million public school students entering prekindergarten through grade 12 in fall 2017, White students will account for some 24.4 million. The remaining 26.3 million will be composed of 8.0 million Black students, 13.6 million Hispanic students, 2.8 million Asian/Pacific Islander students, 0.5 million American Indian/Alaska Native students, and 1.5 million students of two or more races. In higher education, females are expected to account for the majority of college and university students in fall 2017: about 11.5 million females will attend in fall 2017 compared with 8.9 million males.

National Center for Education Statistics, “Enrollment in elementary, secondary, and degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution, enrollment level, and attendance status and sex of student: Selected years, fall 1990 through fall 2026,” https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d16/tables/dt16_105.20.asp (retrieved December 4, 2017).

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