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Improving Early Literacy Skills Using Technology at Home

Haya Shamir, Claudia Miner, Ann Izzo, Kathryn Feehan, Erik Yoder, and David Pocklington
Waterford Research Institute, Sandy, Utah, USA
Abstract—This study explored the impact of computer-assisted instruction on the literacy skills of young learners. Pre-kindergarten students were randomized into either a computer-adaptive reading (experimental) condition using the Waterford Early Reading Program (ERP) or a computer-adaptive math and science (control) condition using the Waterford Early Math and Science Program (EMS). Students used their respective programs at home in thirteen of the most rural school districts in Utah. The Waterford Assessments of Core Skills (WACS) was administered at the beginning and end of the program to assess students’ literacy skills across multiple strands. At the end of the program year, students who used the computer-adaptive reading program significantly outperformed their control counterparts on Overall WACS scores; furthermore, students who used ERP outperformed their control counterparts on literacy strands of the assessment. The improvement was seen across demographics, including socioeconomic status, whether students attended another preschool, ethnicity, and active special education status. These findings indicate that computer-assisted instruction improves students’ early literacy skills after one year in the program and prepares them for kindergarten.
 
Index Terms—early learning, computer-assisted instruction, literacy

Cite: Haya Shamir, Claudia Miner, Ann Izzo, Kathryn Feehan, Erik Yoder, and David Pocklington, "Improving Early Literacy Skills Using Technology at Home," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 191-197, September 2019. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.5.3.191-197
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