This study examines how technology can support the development of emergent reading and writing skills in four- to five-year-old children. The research was conducted with PictoPal, an intervention which features a software package that uses images and text in three main activity areas: reading, writing, and authentic applications. This article reports on the effects of the PictoPal intervention on pupil literacy and communication skills. Two small-scale studies were conducted. Observation results from the first study showed that children are able to work independently with the program after a few instruction sessions. The second study showed a statistically significant learning effect of experimental versus control group scores after two months of using PictoPal in the classroom under the guidance of a parent volunteer. Further research is needed to arrive at a better understanding of these learning gains with a larger group of pupils.
- Information and Communication Technology