About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4931-4939
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

MECHANICAL MOM / DIGITAL DAD / TECHNOLOGICAL TEACHER: SUCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE READING PROGRAMS IN EARLY ELEMENTARY GRADES

I. Larison

Northern Kentucky University (UNITED STATES)
This paper will examine four educational software reading programs, the impact these programs have on literacy development for students in kindergarten and grade 1, and how teachers’ beliefs about reading instruction have changed with the use of these computerized literacy experiences. The following questions provide a framework for this paper. What educational software reading experiences are being used with students in kindergarten and grade 1? How are teachers evaluating the quality of these programs? Why are teachers bringing the software reading experiences into their classrooms? How do the programs benefit literacy and reading development?

Teachers in a suburban school district in the Midwest United States use four software programs: Starfall, Ticket To Read, Breakthrough to Literacy, and Headsprout. These programs are being evaluated based on the following criteria. A) The quality of the program design, ease of operation, and the literacy skills being addressed through the activities; B) The cost of the program per student and support services or materials available to teachers; C) The program flexibility, array of activities provided, and how the program can interface with existing literacy curriculum; D) The interactive qualities or the program and the level of engagement for students.

Generally, classroom teachers and school personnel have selected each program for different merits and incorporate them into classroom instruction for various reasons. However, according to program materials, each program is based on scientific reading research data and designed to address the 5 areas of literacy instruction (developing phonemic awareness, delivering phonics instruction, providing fluency experiences, vocabulary development, and text comprehension) outlined by the National Reading Panel in 2000.

Interview data from teachers suggests the programs are incorporated into the kindergarten and grade 1 literacy experiences for children for one or more of the following reasons. Students lack significant listening and informal reading experiences in the home. Students need to practice or remediate specific skill sets (letter and sound identification, blending and segmenting words, etc.). Teachers need to incorporate the use of computer technology and need to provide engaging literacy activities for students who demonstrate low interest and lower level reading achievement.

Discussion and recommendations address how each program seems to impact literacy and reading development in later grades. Teachers emphasized improvements in their students’ levels of confidence and attitudes toward the reading process; students’ interest and willingness to participate in a literacy experience; and improvements in students’ demonstration of key concepts and skills (phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and text comprehension). Finally, the application and effectiveness of the programs is experienced beyond the primary classrooms. The examination of educational software experiences for students in kindergarten and grade 1 is relevant for teacher professional development, training of teacher education students, and promoting family literacy experiences.
@InProceedings{LARISON2009MEC,
author = {Larison, I.},
title = {MECHANICAL MOM / DIGITAL DAD / TECHNOLOGICAL TEACHER: SUCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE READING PROGRAMS IN EARLY ELEMENTARY GRADES},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {4931-4939}}
TY - CONF
AU - I. Larison
TI - MECHANICAL MOM / DIGITAL DAD / TECHNOLOGICAL TEACHER: SUCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE READING PROGRAMS IN EARLY ELEMENTARY GRADES
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 4931
EP - 4939
ER -
I. Larison (2009) MECHANICAL MOM / DIGITAL DAD / TECHNOLOGICAL TEACHER: SUCESSFUL EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE READING PROGRAMS IN EARLY ELEMENTARY GRADES, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 4931-4939.
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