Ed-Tech Policy Report Roundup

Reading Research

By Christina A. Samuels — March 16, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

A computer-based program intended to sharpen children’s auditory skills in order to help them read better did not appear to help students in eight schools studied as part of a randomized field trial.

Fast ForWord, developed by the Oakland, Calif.-based Scientific Learning Corp., is intended to help students learn phonemes, or the sounds that make up words. Though the program is widely used, there has been little rigorous evaluation of it, say the authors of the study, published in the March issue of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis.

Researchers studied 415 students in the 2nd and 7th grades who had low reading-test scores. In addition to showing generally no improvement in language and reading-test scores among the students overall, the researchers found that schools had problems implementing Fast ForWord as designed, which would have required students to spend 90 to 100 minutes a day, five days a week, with the program. The 7th graders who followed the program faithfully did see improved literacy outcomes, the researchers say.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 18, 2009 edition of Education Week


Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Ed-Tech Policy Reported Essay Remote Learning Isn’t Just for Emergencies
Schools were less prepared for digital learning than they thought they were.
5 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
Ed-Tech Policy Opinion Why Are We Turning Our Backs on Remote Learning?
Neither the detractors nor defenders of remote learning are fully in the right, argues one superintendent.
Theresa Rouse
5 min read
Illustration of girl working on computer at home.
Ed-Tech Policy Letter to the Editor Using E-Rate to Address the Homework Gap
The FCC's E-rate program can provide relief to many families, says this letter author from the Internet Society.
1 min read
Ed-Tech Policy Q&A Acting FCC Chair: The 'Homework Gap' Is an 'Especially Cruel' Reality During the Pandemic
Under the new leadership of Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC is exploring broadening the E-Rate to cover home-connectivity needs.
5 min read
Internet connectivity doesn't reach all the houses
Vanessa Solis/Education Week and iStock/Getty