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Designing technology for emergent literacy: The PictoPal initiative


Computers & Education Volume 52, Number 4, ISSN 0360-1315 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


PictoPal is the name of a technology-supported intervention designed to foster the development of emergent reading and writing skills in four and five year old children. Following the theoretical underpinnings and a brief description of PictoPal, this article describes how children worked with the technology; how the intervention elicited their engagement with literacy concepts both on the computer and off; and effects on early literacy learning. Observation results indicate that children are able to work independently with the program after a few instruction sessions. Observation data yield insight in the nature of adult guidance and the way the results of computer activities were implemented in off-computer classroom activities, as well as areas where this could be improved. Comparison of the four pre–post test experiments used to assess learning effects, suggest that the on-computer activities in PictoPal can yield a statistically significant learning effect, but only when integration with off-computer activities is present.


McKenney, S. & Voogt, J. (2009). Designing technology for emergent literacy: The PictoPal initiative. Computers & Education, 52(4), 719-729. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved September 24, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Computers & Education on January 29, 2019. Computers & Education is a publication of Elsevier.

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