ISTE Booth 3078: Research shows gains in emergent literacy skill development using Letters alive®

Atlanta, GA – (June 16, 2014) – Pre-K and Kindergarten students made greater gains on two standard reading skill assessments when using the Letters alive® augmented reality program, according to research by Dr. Tamra Ogletree at the University of West Georgia. The Letters alive® curriculum is aligned to Common Core Standards and is best suited for early learners. 26 alphabet cards spring to life using augmented reality, aided by a broad library of lesson plans to help students grasp key concepts in reading.

While students using the full curriculum of Letters alive made the greatest gains, even those exposed to only a partial implementation showed greater improvement than students in classrooms with no implementation. The two measures taken were the AIMSweb® Benchmark Assessments for Letter Naming Fluency and Letter Sound Fluency. For both measures, the full implementation classroom showed on average more than twice as much improvement as the control classroom.

In her summary, Ogletree states:

“The scores from the AIMSweb® Letter Naming and Letter Sound Fluency Assessments (the quantitative data from this study) suggest that the Letters alive® curriculum positively impacts students’ early literacy skills. 100% of students in the full implementation classroom experienced gains on the Letter Naming Fluency Assessment, while 84.2% of students in the partial implementation classroom experienced gains on that assessment, followed by only 78.6% of students in the classroom with no exposure who experienced gains on the Letter Naming Fluency test. Additionally, 100% of students in the full implementation classroom and the partial implementation classroom experienced gains on the Letter Sound Fluency Assessment, while only 64.3% of students in the classroom with no exposure experienced gains.”

The most common reason teachers believed the Letters alive curriculum had been so effective was its power to engage even those students with the most notable attention difficulties. One pre-K teacher even admitted that it was nearly impossible to use the augmented reality features of Letters alive with a single student without catching the attention of the entire classroom.

Interviews with students included in the study told a similar story of excited engagement. The students reported loving “when the animals pop out” and having personal favorites among the animals. One student first said that she didn’t enjoy the animals, then admitted to liking the crocodile “because he scares us.” One said that the animals reminded her of going to the zoo.

The positive gains and effective engagement demonstrated by this study were made over only three months. The Letters alive® curriculum is intended to last a full school year, which suggests that even greater improvement could be achieved by completing the entire curriculum. The educators involved noted how perfectly Letters alive targeted their students’ emergent literacy needs and expressed excitement about implementing the entire curriculum in the next school year.

Summary & Full Study:
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Tamra Ogletree has a PH.D. in Language and Literacy and a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Qualitative Research from the University of Georgia. She holds an L-7 certificate in Educational Leadership and a M.Ed. in Early Childhood and Middle Grades Education with an emphasis in Language Arts and Science education. She currently is an Associate Professor of Reading at the University of West Georgia. She is also the Regional Site Director of the GA Girl’s STEM Collaborative Project, Director of the Cherokee Rose Writing Project which is part of the National Writing Project, and leader researcher of the Applied Research Team for the U-Lead endeavor of the University of West Georgia. She has presented at regional, state, national, and international conferences.


Letters alive® is a supplemental reading program that gets students excited about reading. Alphabet cards spring to life to help students grasp key concepts in reading. Letters alive® uses the same mind-blowing, computer-generated augmented reality technology implemented by the Imagineers at Walt Disney World. The lesson plans included in every kit align with Common Core State Standards for PreK and Kindergarten classrooms, as well as early childhood reading within grades 1 – 5 for ESL students, RTI students and students with special needs.


Alive Studios is the world’s first augmented reality learning company, dedicated to engaging early learners for success in reading and math. Offering research-driven tools backed by a proven teaching methodology that kids love, Alive Studios delivers Letters Alive®, Math Alive®, and Storybooks Alive ® in 10 countries and in classrooms across the United States. More information at

About the Author:

Andrea Jones

Andrea Jones is a technology specialist in Virginia. A former French teacher, she currently supports technology integration in a middle school.