Term of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Judith Repman

Committee Member 1

Grigory Dmitriyev

Committee Member 2

Marlynn Griffin

Committee Member 3

Caren Town

Committee Member 3 Email



Classrooms of today are in continual flux and state and local mandates are constantly reforming the curriculum in order to help prepare students to compete in a global society; in addition, advancements in technology have greatly impacted today’s students and how they learn as well as the way teachers instruct. As educators, we need to recognize what our students need to become successful citizens in today’s society, which often requires students to be critical evaluators of various types of information and requires them to become literate across a wide range of literacies. Not only is it critical that classroom teachers instruct students in the effective use of technology and the new literacies, but it is also important that teachers understand the impact that the technology revolution has had on economically disadvantaged students.

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to explore how the effective integration of information and communication technologies helps identify and develop the skills and behaviors to support the new literacies in a fourth grade classroom of economically disadvantaged students and to better understand the opportunities for access to technology among these students. The study revealed that these skills include participating in on-line discussions, searching for information on-line, sharing created files, engagement in multimedia websites, use of various types of language, exploring Internet browsers, and exploring word processing applications. This research sought to understand the levels of learning that were encouraged through the discussions and tasks. The levels of learning were based on Bloom’s taxonomy and identified the level of cognitive complexity of each discussion and task. The researcher revealed that many of the discussions and tasks did require higher level thinking skills.

Finally, this research study sought to understand the access and use of the Internet by economically disadvantaged students in informal environments. Through survey research, the data described a lack of Internet access and usage among the economically disadvantaged students in this study. Additionally, the data revealed that when the students in this research study used the Internet they typically accessed games, videos, sites of personal interest, and CRCT practice sites.