Evaluating Teachers across Canada and Kenya Acquiring Competence with Online Literacy Programs for Children

Given the prevalence of computer software in educational settings, it is important to establish the efficacy of software for teachers in the classroom. One software program, ABRACADABRA (ABRA), has been demonstrated to be effective in the development of literacy skills in young children (e.g. Wolgemuth, et al., 2014). Although this program has positive impacts, limited research is available to determine the cross-cultural relevance of this software. The present study evaluated the impact of teaching experience and literacy knowledge in pre-service and in-service teachers’ perceptions regarding this technology among two Canadian and one Kenyan sample. A total of 64 female teachers (Mage= 38.26, SDage =11.22) completed a pre-test survey and then participated in a training workshop for the ABRA software. Workshops were followed by a post-test survey. Outcomes indicated that participants’ knowledge of literacy did not significantly vary across locations; however, their confidence in teaching four areas (reading fluency, writing, comprehension, and alphabetic) of literacy did vary as a function of location, with Kenyan teachers yielding the highest teaching confidence. Interestingly, across all locations, the participant’s confidence in teaching early literacy increased following the workshop. No differences were found across participants regarding comfort using and teaching with technology. Endorsement of the software was high with approximately 92% of the participants indicating that they would be likely to use ABRA going forward. Qualitative analyses confirmed some well-established barriers and successes for these teaching workshops. Points for discussion consider the relevance of workshop training and its impact on the implementation of this software.

Literacy, ABRACADABRA, TPACK Framework, Teaching with Technology, Reading, Pedagogy

Literacies Learning

Poster/Exhibit Session

  • Constanza Banda
    • MA Student, Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada Ontario, Canada
  • Eileen Wood
    • Professor, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada Canada