Commercial Software Programs Approved for Teaching Reading and Writing in the Primary Grades: Another Sobering Reality

Winter 2009

Source: Journal of Research on Technology in Education, Volume 42, Number 2 (Winter 2009).

This paper reports the results of a systematic and comprehensive evaluation of the suitability of 13 commercially available, authorized software programs for teaching reading and writing in the primary grades.

These programs were assessed on interface design, content, instructional design, whether manufacturers’ educational claims were supported by the programs, and appropriateness to supplement reading and writing instruction. Regardless of date of publication, most software programs were judged to be non-instructional, in that they did not track student progress, provide feedback, or adapt to suit student needs.
Many used decade-old interface design and program functions as well as content features, thereby limiting their usefulness as educational tools.

Updated: Mar. 02, 2010