Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Ellen Scales


AbstractResearchers found that the integration of internet technology into K–12 classrooms can improve student outcomes. Self-reported statements from 15 teachers and district survey results at the local setting, a rural school in a Southern state, indicated that sixth- through eighth-grade English Language Arts (ELA) teachers were not making effective use of research-supported internet resources in literacy instruction and assessment, and it is not known why. The purpose of this explanatory, qualitative case study, which included Knowles’s theory of adult learning as a framework, was to understand how ELA teachers were using internet resources in literacy instruction. The research questions were used to inquire how middle school ELA teachers were using internet-based technology in the ELA classroom, which technologies they selected for integration into the ELA curriculum, and barriers they faced when they used internet-based technology in ELA instruction. Data were collected from semistructured interviews, document analysis, and the lived experiences and behaviors of 10 participants regarding their technology use in literacy instruction. All participants had over 5 years’ experience teaching ELA and hesitated to use the internet in the literacy classroom. Qualitative coding and thematic analysis were used to identify the essential meaning of participants’ lived experiences from interview and document data. Results indicated that participants most commonly used videos and Google Suite internet-based technology and that barriers to use included beliefs about technology and lack of knowledge and skill. A professional development project that provides technology education to literacy teachers to minimize literacy learning gaps and contribute to social change is recommended.

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