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Effective iPad Integration in the Kindergarten Literacy Curriculum Through Creation-Based Literacy Tasks: An Action Research Study

Fink, Melissa (2018) Effective iPad Integration in the Kindergarten Literacy Curriculum Through Creation-Based Literacy Tasks: An Action Research Study. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In the current educational landscape where the use of technology is prominent, the present study was designed to examine how to effectively integrate iPads and open-content applications into early literacy instruction through the use of creation-based tasks: digital experiences where students have the opportunity to be creators of content and demonstrate knowledge in a multimodal way. To this end, the central research question is as follows: In a 1:1iPad classroom environment, how are creation-based learning tasks that utilize the iPad and related open-content iPad applications effectively integrated into literacy pedagogy to facilitate literacy learning in the kindergarten classroom? Through the process of teacher-action research, these questions were also explored: How do creation-based literacy tasks engage kindergarten students in digital literacy practices? How do these literacy tasks foster the development of students’ agency and promote engagement? How has my teaching practice been impacted by these experiences?

A technology integration framework was developed to guide effective iPad integration in the kindergarten literacy curriculum, specifically related to using open-content applications for creation-based tasks. Aligned to this framework, a series of lessons and creation-based tasks
(guided, independent, collaborative) were designed, purposefully linked to learning goals, then incorporated into small group instruction. Through observations, focus-group interviews, collection of digital artifacts, a reflective journal and audio-recordings, this action research study examined how creation-based literacy tasks impact three key aspects of early years learning: digital literacy practices, agency, and engagement.

Findings indicate that integrating iPads in these specific ways into a coherent framework not only provided kindergarten students with expanded opportunities to interact with literacy learning and transform understandings into a creation using a digital pathway – but it promoted engagement with digital literacy practices, provided a foundation for student agency, and fostered student engagement and collaboration. Furthermore, findings point to the importance of an active teacher role in facilitating and scaffolding these learning experiences. These findings have significant implications for the understanding of how to improve the quality of iPad integration and capitalize on its pedagogical potential to facilitate early literacy learning. Continued efforts are needed to translate this research into accessible, high-quality professional development opportunities.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Fink, Melissamelissafink78@hotmail.commaf221
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairCrawford,
Committee MemberCho,
Committee MemberGenest,
Date: 27 September 2018
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 June 2018
Approval Date: 27 September 2018
Submission Date: 27 September 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 152
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: iPad integration kindergarten literacy
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2018 21:44
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2018 21:44


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