Original Research

Information and communication technology reading interventions: A scoping review

Jessica Dean, Michelle Pascoe, Jane le Roux
Reading & Writing | Vol 12, No 1 | a294 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/rw.v12i1.294 | © 2021 Jessica Dean, Michelle Pascoe, Jane le Roux | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2020 | Published: 23 March 2021

About the author(s)

Jessica Dean, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Michelle Pascoe, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
Jane le Roux, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Information and communication technology (ICT) reading interventions can help children with reading difficulties, especially those in resource-constrained environments who otherwise might not have support.

Objectives: (1) Provide an overview of ICT reading interventions used globally with primary school children. (2) Provide further information on the subset of studies conducted in majority world countries, describing the interventions used, their impact on reading and challenges faced.

Method: A scoping review was used with a search strategy that yielded a total of 49 studies for inclusion in the main review (Objective 1), and a subset of five studies undertaken in the majority world (Objective 2).

Results: Most published studies (93.88%, 46 studies) demonstrated positive outcomes of ICT reading interventions on learners’ reading. Well-researched programmes with demonstrated effectiveness included GraphoGame, ABRACADABRA, Reading RACES and Chassymo. Only five studies (10.2%) were conducted in the majority world, but all reported in this subset described positive literacy gains through ABRACADABRA and GraphoGame.

Conclusion: There is a growing evidence base of ICT reading interventions that could be helpful in addressing the reading crisis in South Africa. Programmes such as ABRACADABRA and GraphoGame demonstrate effectiveness in a variety of contexts and may have a role to play in addressing the reading challenges faced by children in South Africa.

Contribution: The review highlighted evidence supporting the use of ICT reading interventions. Evidence of such approaches in South Africa (and other majority world countries) remains limited and requires further evaluation of both existing and innovative, locally developed interventions.


Keywords

reading interventions; ICT; computer-based; applications; effectiveness.

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