Overcoming the Challenges of Improving Canadian Children’s Literacy Skills

New ideas and software resources aid teaching literacy and numeracy


The goal of this project was to address the issue of literacy acquisition by providing educators with new ideas and software resources to aid in teaching literacy and numeracy. Literacy is not only the ability to read and write, but also includes the ability to navigate new technologies and understand and utilize acquired information. The Center for the Study of Learning and Performance developed three new software platforms, collectively called the Learning Toolkit, to aid in literacy acquisition. These programs consist of inter-related, evidence based tools that work together to give teachers and learners important assistance in developing and enhancing essential educational competencies. CSLP freely distributes software and training package supplements to educators who are supported in using materials in their local schools. Teachers are supported in their use of the Learning Toolkit by “just-in-time” videos, which provide feedback for educators and allow teachers to communicate with one another on-line.

Grant Outputs

ePearl – Electronic Portfolio Encouraging Active Reflective Learning – http://grover.concordia.ca/epearl/promo/en/index.php

Evidence indicates the importance of developing students’ self-regulatory skills – the cycle of Forethought, Performance and Self-reflection – for successful school learning as well as for self-directed learning in adulthood. ePEARL is designed to scaffold the self-regulation process for students as well as to support the teachers guiding them. ePearl provides ideas for improved teaching processes and facilitates student learning outcomes by encouraging student self-regulation. Long-term use will facilitate increased standardized test scores.

ISIS-21 – Inquiry Strategies for the Information Society in the 21st Century – http://grover.concordia.ca/isis/promo/home.php

ISIS-21 seeks to teach children and adolescents about the inquiry process and to develop their competencies in information literacy. The multi-year $1.2 million project will involve the research and development of web-based bilingual software geared to students, teachers, parents, and school library personnel from late elementary to grade 12. Each module will address a fundamental component of the inquiry process, including how to articulate an information need, effectively use internet search tools, evaluate sources, and synthesize, integrate and use the information.

ABRACADABRA – A Balanced Reading Approach for Canadians Designed to Achieve Best Results for All – http://grover.concordia.ca/abracadabra/resources/download/LTK_ABRA_hr.pdf

ABRACADABRA is an online learning tool that contains interactive alphabetic, fluency, comprehension and writing activities linked to digital stories to promote basic literacy skills among emerging readers. Teachers can oversee individual student entries and are provided with suggestions on how to aid their students. Additional information is available online for instructors, and parents can access learning resources through ABRACADABRA online to aid with out-of-classroom education.

Grant Details

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