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ERIC Number: ED539719
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Educational Technology Applications on Reading Outcomes for Struggling Readers: A Best Evidence Synthesis. Educator's Summary
Center for Research and Reform in Education
This review examines the effectiveness of educational technology applications in improving the reading achievement of struggling readers in elementary schools. The review applies consistent inclusion standards to focus on studies that met high methodological standards. A total of 20 studies based on about 7,000 students in grades K-6 were included in the final analysis. Four major categories of education technology are reviewed: (1) Small-group integrated applications, such as Lindamood Phoneme Sequence Program and Read, Write, and Type. These tutorial educational technology applications use small-group interaction tightly integrated with reading curriculum; (2) Comprehensive models, including READ 180 and Read About. These programs use computer-assisted instruction (CAI) along with non-computer activities as students' core reading approach; (3) Supplemental CAI programs, such as Destination Reading, Plato Focus, Waterford, and WICAT. These programs provide additional instruction at students' assessed levels of need to supplement traditional classroom instruction; and (4) The Fast ForWord program. This program supplements traditional CAI with software designed to retrain the brain to process information more effectively through a set of computer games that slow and magnify the acoustic changes in normal speech. A literature search of articles written between 1980 and 2012 was carried out to find studies that met the inclusion criteria. Researchers examined the relationship between education technology effectiveness for struggling readers and three key study variables: type of intervention, grade level, and program intensity. Findings of this review indicate that educational technology applications produced a positive but modest effect on the reading skills of struggling readers (overall weighted mean effect size=+0.14) in comparison to "business as usual" methods. One of the most important practical implications of this review is that there is a limited evidence base for the use of technology applications to enhance the reading performance of struggling readers in elementary schools. [For the full report, "Effects of Educational Technology Applications on Reading Outcomes for Struggling Readers: A Best Evidence Synthesis," see ED539714.]
Center for Research and Reform in Education. Available from: School of Education Johns Hopkins University. 200 West Towsontown Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21204. Tel: 410-616-2407; Fax: 410-324-4444; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE)