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A systematic review of the impact of ICT on literature-related literacies in English, 5-16

What do we want to know?

There is a growing concern internationally that the investment in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools is not impacting on literacy development. This concern arises from a belief held by many - including governments as well as schools - that ICT is beneficial to literacy learning.  This review looks specifically at the impact of ICT on literature-related literacies.

Who wants to know?

Policy-makers, teachers, parents, students.

What did we find?  

  • A common theme emerging from the research studied is that teachers matter more than technology. 'Impact' is mediated by teachers, and specifically by the discourses that teachers and students use. The actual outcomes of the two-way relationship between ICT and literature-related literacy learning are determined by the ideology, values and practices of the teacher or teachers who set up the interaction.
  • There is a mismatch between commercially available multimedia literature software packages and response-based teaching.
  • The introduction of ICT into literature teaching improves motivation, but the duration of exposure to a technology can affect this.  There may be a connection between de-motivation and the cognitive aspects of readers' engagement with digital texts.

What are the implications?

This report indicates the problematical nature of literature, the changing nature of all texts (including 'literary' ones) and textual practices under technological pressure, the problematic nature of narrowly conceived learning outcomes, and the mediation of pedagogical discourses. It concludes that these implications are relevant to policy, practice and the future research agenda.

How did we get these results?

Seven studies were synthesised; they were published since 1990, and came from the USA, Australia and Canada.

This summary was prepared by the EPPI Centre

This report should be cited as: Locke T, Andrews R (2004) A systematic review of the impact of ICT on literature-related literacies in English 5-16. In: Research Evidence in Education Library. London: EPPI Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London. 

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