Research on this intervention program aimed to address whether digital technology (i.e., apps on tablets) contributes to struggling early readers’ (4–6 years old) on-task behavior and level of engagement while learning prerequisite emergent literacy skills (e.g., phonemic awareness, phonics, word recognition and decoding). The research also investigated whether parents/guardians of these students garner new knowledge about the potential of using multimodal applications to support their children’s literacy learning. Students struggling with early literacy worked one on one with a tutor alternating between activities on and off the tablet. Data were collected from two iterations of this program in the winter (n = 18) and spring (n = 19). Qualitative observation scales were used to rate students’ on-task behavior and level of engagement. A student questionnaire and parent survey were also administered. Results indicate that the nature of the features embedded within tablets seemed to enhance or hinder students’ level of on-task behavior or level of engagement. A relationship between students’ on-task behavior and level of engagement was also discovered. Parents/guardians reported being involved with their children, and this interaction positively impacted the child’s enjoyment of reading. Implications for educators point to the importance of a blended learning model for early reading intervention and the importance of pre-settings in reading apps.
Tkach, R., & Gallagher, T. L. (2020). Sparking Reading Engagement through Tablets: An Early Intervention Reading Program and Parent Workshop for Tablets at Home. Reading Horizons: A Journal of Literacy and Language Arts, 59 (3). Retrieved from https://scholarworks.wmich.edu/reading_horizons/vol59/iss3/2