Abstract—The study investigated the longitudinal impact of computer-assisted instruction (CAI) on early literacy skills. The use of technology in the classroom has been explored in the literature, but there has been limited evidence of long-lasting effects. Pre-kindergarten students from low socioeconomic status homes in Florida were provided with a CAI program, Waterford Early Learning (WEL), while in preschool. Students did not use WEL the following year while in kindergarten. At the end of kindergarten, these students (experimental) were assessed on a literacy assessment, and their scores were compared to the scores of kindergarten students who did not use WEL (control). Differences between experimental and control groups were analyzed in terms of demographic factors, including English learner (EL) status, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES). By the end of kindergarten, students who used WEL in pre-kindergarten outperformed students who did not use WEL. After using WEL, young learners from disadvantaged backgrounds benefited beyond the immediate use of the software. Large effect sizes show that students, particularly EL and Hispanic students, saw substantial, long-term, meaningful improvement as a result of using WEL. These results indicate that CAI technology can have a lasting positive effect on early literacy skills.
Index Terms—Computer-assisted instruction (CAI), literacy, early childhood.
The authors are with the Waterford Research Institute, Sandy, UT 84093 USA (e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Cite: Haya Shamir, Erik H. Yoder, David B. Pocklington, and Kathryn C. Feehan, "Computer-Assisted Instruction: Long-Term Effects on Early Literacy Skills of Low Socioeconomic Status Students," International Journal of Information and Education Technology vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 263-267, 2019.