Evaluating the effectiveness of a technology-based preschool literacy project: A final report of the LitTECH outreach project

Funded by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP), LitTECH Outreach was a 3-year technology-based preschool literacy project conducted by staff at the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood, a research and development division of the College of Education and Human Services at Western Illinois University. The major goal of LitTECH was to link the results of effective emergent literacy technology research to early childhood practice, thereby improving emergent literacy practices for young children with disabilities. LitTECH positively impacted teachers and children in treatment classrooms, as demonstrated by the data collected during the 3-year project. Treatment teachers implemented important components of the LitTECH curriculum into their classrooms. They established appropriate classroom computer center environments, integrated technology tools and software into the classroom curriculum, and made use of technology to facilitate communication between home and school. Treatment children saw greater gains in emergent literacy skills than their comparison counterparts. These skills included interacting with book and print materials, demonstrating an understanding of story, book handling skills, responding to pictures and print, and demonstrating emergent writing and reading behaviors. Treatment children also had greater gains in technology skills particularly in the areas of basic operations and concepts, using technology productivity tools, and using technology problem-solving and decision-making tools. Parents reported that involvement in the literacy technology program provided such benefits to their children as improved language development and communication skills. The study demonstrated the LitTECH model positively impacts the development and acquisition of emergent literacy skills of young children with and without disabilities.

Johanson, J., Bell, C., & Daytner, K.
Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood Education.
Related Research
Content Area: 
Grade Level: 
birth to preschool
IDEA Disability Category: 
emotional disturbance
major-other health impairment
specific learning disability
speech or language impairment
Instructional Support: 
opportunities to learn concepts
practice and reinforcement activities
National Reading Panel Standards: 
English Language Arts: 
Reading: Foundational Skills
Reading: Informational Text
Reading: Literature