Critically Evaluating Educational Technologies for Literacy Learning

Current Trends and New Paradigms

Authored by: Julie Coiro , Rachel A. Karchmer Klein , Sharon Walpole

International Handbook of Literacy and Technology

Print publication date:  April  2006
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780805850871
eBook ISBN: 9780203929131
Adobe ISBN: 9781135609580


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Educational software and Internet resources are increasingly being recognized for their potential to foster literacy learning in and out of the classroom. Recent studies have shown the benefits of using technology to develop skills such as phonological awareness (Wise & Olson, 1995), word recognition (Davidson, Elcock, & Noyes, 1996), comprehension (Matthew, 1997), spelling (Higgins & Raskind, 2000), writing (Rowley, Carson, & Miller, 1998), and motivation to read (Nicolson, Fawcett, & Nicolson, 2000), each of which represents an important facet of a comprehensive literacy curriculum. Furthermore, software and/or Internet technologies can improve literacy learning for typical students (Allen & Thompson, 1995) and at-risk learners (Howell, Erickson, Stanger, & Wheaton, 2000) as well as for students with learning disabilities (MacArthur & Haynes, 1995) or mixed handicaps (Heimann, Nelson, Tjus, & Gillberg, 1995). Studies also illustrate the positive effects of technology in out-of-school literacy contexts (Hull & Schultz, 2001). These benefits and the evolving role of technology have the potential to greatly influence the ways in which educators think about effective literacy instruction.

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