Opening new doors
Can the internet solve literacy problems?
Could live-streaming interventions via the internet help children overcome spelling and reading difficulties –preventing a lifetime of limits and humiliation, and closing the unfair gap between the prospects for country and city kids? Answering this vital question is the goal of ground-breaking new research by Dr Saskia Kohnen at the University’s Macquarie Cognition Clinic for Reading.
Dr Kohnen’s team has successfully trialled live-streaming of literacy interventions using services such as Skype and FaceTime. Now she hopes to run the world’s first randomised and controlled study comparing the effectiveness of face-to-face help with live-stream interventions. She will start in urban areas.
Then she intends investigating the situation in rural and remote Australia, where an estimated 4% of literacy professionals cater to around 12% of the population.
“I’m incredibly interested in trying to increase access to higher quality literacy interventions by providing an evidence base for their effectiveness,” she says. Funding for this work could ultimately mean a much brighter future for country children with poor literacy.
Funding could mean a brighter future for children.
Macquarie is greatly strengthened by our many talented early career researches like Dr Kohnen. Their level of passion of commitment to their work is unparalleled but transformative projects require sufficient funding.