Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Amy E. White


AbstractBecause parental engagement has been shown to have a positive relationship with K-12 student academic achievement, the problem for this study was that though information and communication technology applications (ICT apps) are available to engage parents with teachers and schools, it was unclear whether parents are aware of and use them. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore if parents of struggling readers in a Title I middle school were aware of school-parent communication apps, and if they perceived them as useful for partnering with schools to improve student academic success. Connectivism was the conceptual framework for the study because it contextualizes how schools and parents use technology for knowledge-sharing in the digital age. The research questions asked about parents’ awareness of ICT apps, their perspectives on their use for communication with the school, and the communications they believed would support their engagement. Semistructured interviews with a convenience sample of nine participants were coded inductively using the Quirkos platform. The findings indicated parents prefer short message service texting and Gmail school communication, and they prioritized timely, two-way communication with the school to support student academic achievement. The findings contribute to positive social change by providing stakeholders with new information on how to simplify and leverage ICT apps for school-parent engagement that supports academic gains. The implications of this study include consideration of ICT apps as an integral component that supports equity in school communication policies, particularly in Title I schools, where school-parent engagement is federally mandated.

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