Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Education

Advisor

Sigrin Newell

Abstract

Technology integration continues to be a professional development concern, especially in elementary schools. It remains unclear why there is a difference between how teachers talk about using technology and how they apply it in teaching reading. The purpose of this study was to explore professional development options that would help teachers connect theory to practice by studying their decision-making process. The conceptual framework was based on elements of the knowing-doing gap and reflective practices. The research questions explored (a) the decision-making process, (b) reflective practices used during decision-making, (c) professional development that facilitates closing the knowing-doing gap, and (d) recommendations from participants to improve upon professional development. In a case study design, 10 K-4 teachers participated in one 60-minute interview, one follow-up interview, and one 45-minute focus group. With the use of typological analysis, transcripts were coded for initial and emerging themes. Results indicated that integrating mobile devices was highly dependent upon teachers being self-directed learners. Teachers relied on informal collegial interactions when deciding to use mobile devices. Continuous professional development that addresses adult learning styles was recommended by the teachers to support technology adoption. Improvements to reading instruction lead to positive social change by increasing student achievement, thereby preparing students to be world citizens in a competitive global market.