They (kids) learned a lot from it, not only what’s on the program but the nuances as well. A number of the experimental kids said almost immediately, that letter has more than 1 sound and that letter has 3 sounds. That came very, very seldom from kids in the control and placebo groups. Dr. Ian Cameron (University of Victoria)
In this type of resource it is not only necessary to engage the student through attractive and stimulating visual material, but also to sequence the material so that it develops critical and analytical thinking. I feel this aspect of the storyboard has been very carefully thought through… Dr. Dale McIntosh (Arts in Education University of Victoria)
Primary Teachers' Comments:
It was a treat to work with!
I couldn’t believe how pure their sounds were when I tested the letters. They are just now putting the sounds together. Children master each letter before they go on. They are not going on before they are ready. The ones they have done are strong. For the ones they haven’t done yet, they’ll say, “No, I haven’t done that one yet.”
When tracing, their hand just automatically goes to the right spot without a second thought. Carol (Kindergarten)
It meets the needs of those children who need all their learning modalities when they are learning. You see it, and say it, and touch it all at the same time when taking in the information and this program provides that. Joan (Kindergarten/grade one for First Nations)
I love the program – children are fully engaged.
It really does the job working through all the learning modalities. Children who are learning well orally are getting the instruction orally while practicing following the program visually. The fact that all three things are working at the same time is not only a great way to work on the alphabet skills but helps those children who need to work on the other modalities at the same time. I found that to be really helpful for the little children in terms of good listening skills and those who have small muscle development delays.
I tend to leave formal printing practice until early spring. Now the printing teaching that I am doing is much more like a printing practice because they know how to create the letters in the way we want to teach them. Donna (Grade one)
School Computer Teachers'/Technicians' Comments:
Kids were deeply engaged by it, more so than virtually any other program I have seen at the primary level. They sit down and will be completely focused to the point that if you come to help them or communicate with them, they see that as an intrusion. Scott (School’s technician & computer lab teacher)
One of the first things that I noticed was the engaged silence in the room as the students worked their way through a series of motivating activities. To have children at the kindergarten level fully engaged for a forty minute period was unexpected. Doug (ESL teacher)
My child has been playing with ALPHabiTunes for 3 years. He is currently in Grade 1 and is able to read small novels. His spelling is very good and he is able to sound out words that are unfamiliar to him. ALPHabiTunes gave him a great base and was very enjoyable. Sandie Landa
I wish I could buy ALPHabiTunes for all the kids in my class. Adam (Grade two student)
I am constantly searching for tools to help students who find learning to read and write challenging.
A local company has developed a computer program which will help students make sense of written English.
Barb Pringle is the teacher who has developed this program and as over the years she has helped several of our students, I am excited about being involved in this project.
(Brenda Simmons, Principal, South Park School)
I see this as a program that could work in both a regular classroom and in a resource room.
Depending on the cost, I easily see every school in the district purchasing such a program.
(Dr. Monty Bryant, Assistant Superintendent, Victoria School district.)
ALPHabiTunes became a victim of it’s own success.
As Dr. Monty Bryant, states “Depending on the cost.”
Once the professionals realized that ALPHabiTunes would be beneficial to all students, and not just the “at risk” students the following edict was issued:
“In lieu of the results we cannot ethically give the program to the
students who need it as the program would be beneficial to all students
which we cannot afford.”
What is being developed here is, of course, not what we would expect to see in what has commonly come to be known as an "interactive multimedia learning resource." I state this because there is a very carefully developed sequential learning process involved here that demands that true interactivity become subordinate to that sequence of learning. The use of on-screen animations and sound clips aids greatly in engaging the students in the learning process and provide necessary rewards for what might be described as "correct" behaviour. Dr. Dale McIntosh, Arts in Education, University of Victoria
Testimonial # 2
I was especially impressed by the fact that the technical staff, … constantly observed in the classroom so that they are able to gain a much deeper and richer understand of her techniques than would be possible on paper only. I believe that the artists and programmer are able to create much better material because of their depth of understanding of the learning principles and teaching techniques involved and do not concentrate entirely on technical and artistic matters. (Dr. Dale McIntosh, Arts in Education, University of Victoria.