Computers in the Schools (2015)

Computers in the Schools is supported by an editorial review board of prominent specialists in the school and educational setting. Material presented offers a rich source of discussion for educators, administrators, computer center directors, and special service providers in the school setting. Articles emphasize the practical aspect of any application, but also tie theory to practice, relate present accomplishments to past efforts and future trends, identify conclusions and their implications, and discuss the theoretical and philosophical basis for the application. 

Exploration of a Blended Learning Approach to Reading Instruction for Low SES Students in Early Elementary Grades

Rachel L. Schechter, Paul Macaruso, Elizabeth R. Kazakoff, Elizabeth Brooke


This study investigated the potential benefits of a blended learning approach on the reading skills of low socioeconomic status students in Grades 1 and 2. Treatment students received English language arts instruction that was both teacher-led and technology-based. Comparisons were made with control students who received the same English language arts instruction without the blended learning component. Results showed significantly greater pretest/posttest gains on a standardized reading assessment for the treatment students compared to the control students. The greatest discrepancy occurred in reading comprehension. A sub-analysis of lowperforming English language learner students in the treatment group revealed the largest reading gains. At posttest, these students performed at the level of non-English language learner students in
the control group. Results indicated a blended learning approach can be effective in enhancing the reading skills of low socioeconomic students.


Key Findings

  • Students in the Core5 group showed significantly greater gains on a standardized reading assessment compared to control students who received the same classroom instruction without Core5. The greatest discrepancy between groups occurred in reading comprehension.  
  • It was found that the largest reading gains occurred for low-performing ELL students in the Core5 group. At posttest, these students performed at the level of non-ELL students in the control group.  The Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE™), Levels 1 and 2, was used as the reading measure. [Schechter, R., Macaruso, P., Kazakoff, E.R., & Brooke, E. (2015). Exploration of a blended learning approach to reading instruction for low SES students in early elementary grades. Computers in the Schools, 32, 183–200.]