Thirteen Reading Recovery teachers are participating in training from ten Arkansas school districts: Cedar Ridge, Little Rock, Magnolia, North Little Rock, Piggott, Russellville, Sheridan, Valley View, Van Buren, and Waldron. As teachers would have to travel up to 2 ½ hours to attend class on the UALR campus, the Center for Literacy’s new video conferencing technology is being used to facilitate their training. Teachers in the Little Rock area attend weekly classes on UALR campus, while teachers in remote districts attend classes on campus once a month and participate through video conferencing on alternate days. Teachers are able to observe their classmates teach live lessons and participate in class discussions every week.
The class is part of a research project approved by the Reading Recovery Council of North America (RRCNA) to explore the use of technology in training Reading Recovery teachers. RRCNA provided a grant to the Center for Literacy to support the study. The results from the project will be used to determine the benefits and challenges of using technology for training Reading Recovery teachers.
The research questions are guiding the study:
1. What is the effect of using video conferencing technology to support the training of Reading Recovery teachers in remote areas?
a. What is the effect on the teachers’ learning and decision-making?
b. What is the effect on the literacy learning of students?
2. What kinds of adjustments are made to result in a more efficient and effective outcome?