Does the Accelerated Reading (AR) Program impact technology usage in the early grades? Part 1 of an exploratory evaluation
Abstract: Across the 50 states in the USA, many school districts have been using the Renaissance Reader product Accelerated Reader (AR) to promote reading among students. In one Southern Elementary school, an exploratory evaluation was started regarding AR. At this school, students who participate in this program and earn points from quizzes are ‘called out’ and rewarded with certificates, bookmarks, and trophies. In this phase of the evaluation, a review of the literature was conducted to find out what literature was out there regarding AR. There were multiple research articles that found positive impacts about using AR as well as some articles that found lesser impacts. Key components of the AR program included being technology driven (Internet-based), individualized based on reader proficiency, ease to set up, assessment of student reading comprehension, using the Zone of Proximal Development as well as the ability for parents and teachers to monitor student progress. Future work on this evaluation will include the analysis of quantitative data regarding student performance.