Teacher knowledge for using technology to foster early literacy: A literature review

Nelleke Belo, Susan McKenney, Joke Voogt, Barbara Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
217 Downloads (Pure)


A literature review was conducted to describe the knowledge and skills teachers need for using technology to foster early literacy development in kindergarten classrooms. The study was guided by three research questions, concerning 1) effects of specific technologies, 2) effective design characteristics and 3) effective use of such applications. The sample consisted of 46 articles that reported on the affordances of technology in relation to kindergartners' early literacy development. The review included studies on electronic books, computer-based training programs, technology-rich literacy curricula, assistive technology, and other educational media and sources for technology-rich literacy education. The following software applications were found effective in fostering kindergartners' early literacy development: Electronic storybooks, computer-based phonics and vocabulary training programs, software applications that enable children to ‘read and write’, software applications that are designed for tutorial activities, and educational television programs with a narrative format. Few of the studies reviewed provided specific information about effective design characteristics of such applications or concrete guidelines for using technology in developmentally appropriate fashion in kindergarten. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-383
JournalComputers in human behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • 22/4 OA procedure
  • Technology
  • Early literacy
  • Kindergarten


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