History of ECCTS

Project Title: Steppingstones III: Disseminating and Replicating an Effective Early Childhood Comprehensive Technology System (ECCTS III) PR #H327A990078

Background: ECCTS III represents the third phase of research and development that began in the early 1980's when Macomb Projects (now the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood) at Western Illinois University began examining the positive effects of compputers, adaptive devices, and appropriate software could have on young children with disabilities. Federally-funded projects developed by Macomb Projects formed the Phase I basis for ECCTS II and ECCTS III. These projects included effective early childhood models for personnel development, technology assessment, and integrating technology into the curriculum. More information about the original ECCTS components is found in the section titled "What are the pieces of a comprehensive technology system."

Phase II activities and research began in the fall of 1995 and were completed in 1999. During this phase, all activities involved in Phase 1, plus a transition model developed in Kansas, were combined into an Early Childhood Comprehensive Technology System (ECCTS II) that was implemented and studied at the Just Kids Early Learning Center in Middle Island, New York. Data from this research project indicate that the system is extremely successful and results in benefits for children and teachers.

Examples of Benefits to Children Noted as a Result of Phase II: 

  •        increased attention spans and engagement in software activities
  •        improvements in cause and effect reasoning and problem solving
  •        increased emergent literacy behaviors
  •        improvements in social skills, such as sharing, turn-taking, and communication
  •        improved fine motor skills
  •        improved visual motor skills (tracking)
  •        increased confidence and self esteem
Some of the results of the initial research phase of ECCTS are reported in the following articles:
Promising Practices: Benefits of A Comprehensive Technology System

Findings of a Research Study on Effectiveness of a Comprehensive Technology System Demonstrate Benefits for Children and Teachers

How Five Preschool Children with Autism Responded to Computers

Replicating and Maintaining an Effective Early Childhood Comprehensive Technology System: A final Report for ECCT III