Goals and Objectives

The research goals addressed the problem of illiteracy among young children with disabilities and explored the availability, quality, use and effectiveness of technology as demonstrated through using the Interactive Technology Literacy Curriculum (ITLC). The goals target a description and explanation of the effects of the ITLC on preschool classooms for young children with mild to moderate disabilities, their families, the staff and relevant aspects of the ecological system. The goals follow.

  1. Describe and explain how use of the elements of the ITLC effects the emergent literacy concepts and behaviors of young children with disabilities in preschool classrooms over time.
  2. Describe and explain the outcomes, challenges, and implications of the ITLC to preschool staff related to teaching content, skills, and strategies.
  3. Describe and explain how the ITLC can be used in preschool classrooms to encourage literacy concepts and behaviors in young children.
  4. Describe and explain the characteristics and availability of software and activities which can be used successfully in elements of the ITLC.
  5. Analyze and explain the benefits of using the ITLC and the difficulties encountered in using it, together with any negative effects.

The objectives to accomplish the goals were divided into two categories: Research Objectives and Management Objectives. Both sets of objectives follow.

Research Objectives

R1. Identify, organize, test, and revise appropriate interactive software and activities into the four elements of the ITLC.
R2. Collect, analyze, and summarize pre-test data on children, families, and staff as well as baseline data on all four classroom types.
R3. Administer the four elements of the ITLC differentially to Classrooms I and II.
R4. Observe, interview, and collect relevant data from children in Classrooms I and II.
R5. Observe, interview, and collect relevant data from staff in Type I and II Classrooms.
R6. Observe, interview, and collect relevant data from children and staff in Types III and IV Classrooms.
R7. Collect post-test data on children, families, and staff in all four classroom types.
R8. Compare and contrast the information and data collected in objectives R1 through R6.
R9. Repeat objectives R3 through R7 in Phases 2 and 3.

Management Objectives

M1. Accomplish start-up activities including administration, hiring, training research associates and participating teachers, Human Subjects review, equipment and software purchase.
M2. Finalize list of participating teachers, other staff, children, and families then secure agreement to participate and signatures on necessary release forms, including release of information about child.
M3. Develop pre- and post- emergent literacy tests, observation format, procedures, interview forms, and other measures needed; pilot them; and collect information related to consistency, validity, reliability. Revise as necessary.
M4. Schedule and arrange for pre- and post-tests, observations, interviews, and other data collection procedures for all four classroom types.
M5. Conduct information gathering activities in all four classroom types.
M6. Analyze information and data collected, including content analysis, triangulation, and audit.
M7. Summarize information, draw conclusions, identify problems, and make recommendations in written form.
M8. Disseminate results of the study to professionals, families, decision makers, and interested citizens on the national level in various formats including journal articles, presentations at conferences, and in other media formats including an interactive satellite television program at the end of the project, if funding permits.