LitTECH Outreach was a 3-year OSEP-funded outreach project conducted by staff at the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood (the Center), a research and development division of the College of Education and Human Services at Western Illinois University. LitTECH was based on ideas that work—the positive results of two research studies and two related research-based early childhood technology and literacy projects, all conducted by the Center. The project was designed to link the results of effective emergent literacy technology research findings to early childhood practice, thereby improving emergent literacy practices for young children with disabilities.
LitTECH was replicated in 10 sites: three sites in Year 1, eight sites in Year 2, and eight sites in Year 3. Some sites participated more than one year. Nine sites were in Illinois and one was in Missouri. Sites included early childhood centers, a Head Start program, pre-K programs, and special education cooperative classrooms. The total teacher sample over the 3-year period was 92 treatment classroom teachers (some participating more that one year) and 37 comparison classroom teachers. Treatment classrooms over the 3 years served 1,549 children (some more than one year). Comparison classrooms served 609 children.
- improve educational practice by linking tested research results to practice in replication sites
- provide access to the general curriculum, specifically related to literacy development, to children with disabilities
- promote awareness of the positive effects software and adaptations can have on children's literacy skills
- provide effective teaching/learning strategies for early childhood personnel and families
- advance the knowledge and competencies of those using emergent literacy technology applications with children with disabilities.