Transforming literacy instruction: exploring pre-service teachers' integration of tablet technology in reading, comprehension, and writing


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Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. PHILOSOPHY
The purpose of the study was to explore pre-service teachers' integration of tablet technology in reading, comprehension and writing instruction. As global technological use continues to soar, a large absence in the availability of tablet technology in the public schools continues, and reflects a glaring disparity between the technological uses inside and outside of education. Within a qualitative paradigm, two theoretical frameworks guided this study -- phenomenology and transformative learning (TL) theory. The researcher conducted three sets of interviews of 14 pre-service teachers. This study was guided by four research questions regarding pre-service teachers' descriptions of using technology integration in delivering reading, comprehension, and writing instruction using tutorials. The study explored the extent to which pre-service teachers employed tablet technology during learning activities. Data collected included an interview of the interpretive researcher, tutoring lesson plans, cadre conferencing blogs, and final case study reflections. Data was analyzed using Saldana's (2013) holistic coding methods and Giorgi's (1994) four-step analysis process. From the four research questions, ten essential themes emerged from pre-service teachers' lived experiences of integration of tablet technology: (a) generational learning shift, (b) cognitive disassociation with learning, (c) paradox of gaming, (d) technological disinclination, (e) critical thinking and problem solving, (f) self-generated learning, (g) collective brain and partnership, (h) collaborative creativity, (i) reluctance in integration of technology with writing, and (j) academic and recreational convenience. These themes revealed both positive shifts in the processing of innovative technology and literacy instruction, and challenges that must be overcome if pre-service teachers are to help students reach their full potential in the 21st century. An analysis of transformative learning theory (Mezirow, 1978, 1991, 2000), revealed five pre-service teachers who experienced the ten stages while another nine who experienced partial transformative learning stages. The findings have implications for the restructuring of teacher education programs. Pre-service teachers require continued increases of their technological, pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK), as well as greater development of their writing skills. An increase in the transformation of pre-service teachers' skillsets and mindsets can be facilitated with explicit technological integration of literacy instruction to prepare them to improve student learning outcomes.
Educational Leadership, Curriculum & Instruction
College of Education and Human Development