Literacy and Math Outcomes among Preschoolers using a                             Computer Assisted Learning Program Deliv...
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Literacy and Math Outcomes among Preschoolers using a Computer Assisted Learning Program Delivered on Touchscreen Computers

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Literacy and Math Outcomes among Preschoolers using a
Computer Assisted Learning Program Delivered on Touchscreen Computers
Lilla Dale McManis, Ph.D., Research Director
Mark H. McManis, Ph.D., Clinical Asst. Prof, Dept. of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee
National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference-Atlanta GA, Nov. 2012

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Literacy and Math Outcomes among Preschoolers using a Computer Assisted Learning Program Delivered on Touchscreen Computers

  1. 1. Literacy and Math Outcomes among Preschoolers using a Computer Assisted Learning Program Delivered on Touchscreen Computers Lilla Dale McManis, Ph.D., Research Director Mark H. McManis, Ph.D., Clinical Asst. Prof, Dept. of Pediatrics, University of Tennessee National Association for the Education of Young Children Annual Conference-Atlanta GA, Nov. 2012Background. There is strong evidence that young children who participate in high-quality preschool programs enterschool more ready to learn than children without this opportunity (Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, NIEER,NCRECE). Educational technology is one promising component of a high quality program to support these corefoundational skills for all subsequent school-based learning (McCarrick & Li, 2007; McManis & Gunnewig, 2012).Purpose. The purpose of the current study was to investigate language/literacy and math outcomes for preschool childrenusing computer-assisted instruction (iStartSmart) over a school year compared to children in classrooms without the iSS.iStartSmart is an educational technology system that brings research-based language/literacy and math content based tochildren in a scaffolded systematic manner. Delivered on an interactive touchscreen computer, there are 18 skill areas in 5skill families that take children from emerging to completed. Children move through the levels at a rate based ondemonstrating learning mastery of the content. The iSS has progress monitoring which allows teachers to see at any timehow children are progressing through the levels.Methods. The results are based on 9 classrooms with the iSS All-in-One computer and 9 control classrooms without theiSS. The classrooms were in childcare centers serving substantial numbers of low-income children located in a majormetropolitan area. Randomly selected children were pre- and post-tested on standardized school readiness measures withstrong reliability and validity. Improvement in Standardized Test Scores 10 Difference score* 8 6 4 Control (n=70) 2 0 iSS (n=55) Standardized TestKey Findings. Children using the iSS scored statistically significantly higher than control children on standard scores and percentiles at the end of the study on both of the school readiness language/literacy and math measures. There was a significant relationship between level of achievement in the iStartSmart (Shell Squad Games) and standardized measures of preschool academic performance/school readiness.Summary. These findings provide strong initial empirical evidence that the levels in the iSS Shell Squad Games canserve as a proxy for external measures of school readiness that are standardized and have good reliability/validity.For technology to be meaningful in early education, it must provide opportunities for children to gain the essential skillsthat prepare them for school. The results of this outcomes-based study strongly demonstrate that the iStartSmart made aunique, statistically significant, and meaningfully significant contribution to this goal. N. Main St., Suite 101 Winston-Salem, NC 27101 ph. 800.624.7968 fax 800.410.7282 www.HatchEarlyChildhood.com

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