Study: Interactive whiteboards boost pre-school learning

The first research to study the use of interactive whiteboard technology in preschools appears to show that the SMART Board™ solution developed by HATCH® – the TeachSmart® Learning System – can be used successfully with preschool children to affect student gains in core early literacy and math skills.

The study, Relationship of the TeachSmart® Learning System with Literacy and Mathematics Outcomes for Preschoolers, demonstrates that children made meaningful gains from fall to spring in early literacy, print knowledge, phonological awareness, emergent writing and mathematics skills. At the beginning of the study, only 46% of the children were ready to learn to read in kindergarten. Six months later, 82% exhibited literacy skills required for reading readiness. Only 72% of children scored high enough during initial mathematics tests to be considered ready for math in school. At the end of the study, that number had increased to 92%.

Many schools have integrated SMART Boards™ in preschool classrooms, sparking a debate over whether interactive whiteboard technology can accelerate student achievement in early childhood. These results suggest that education technology innovations that personalize learning, engage students and support teachers can be effectively implemented in preschool classrooms to shape the foundation for success in K-12.

June McCourt, Supervisor of Special Education, CTE and PreK Director for the Trenton, TN Special School District, a participating school, said, “I believe that the children who are familiar with the TeachSmart® Learning System start out ahead of those who have not been exposed to the technology. The progress the students made from pre-test to post-test is amazing. The percentage of students unprepared for kindergarten has dropped.”

“HATCH® incorporates the best and most recent early childhood research when developing educational technology products. We also actively participate in new research.” said Dr. Lilla Dale McManis, Product Development Research Specialist.

A panel of experts in early childhood research, special education, child development and developmental psychology conducted the study. External assessors administered all testing and an independent statistician conducted data analysis.