Date of Conferral







Dr. Lucy K. Abernathy


Though iPads are being implemented more in elementary classrooms, many beginning teachers struggle with integrating literacy using the iPad in Title I schools among struggling readers. The purpose of this qualitative research study was to seek an in-depth understanding of the perceptions of kindergarten through 2nd grade 1styear teacher self-efficacy and experiences with literacy-based iPad integration among struggling readers in Title I schools. Bandura’s theory of self-efficacy provided theoretical foundation to determine the relationship between self-efficacy and participants’ experiences. Seven elementary school teachers from grades K-2 participated in open-ended interviews. Data were transcribed, coded, and categorized by textural and structural descriptions through the process of horizontalization that resulted in 10 major themes. Findings revealed that using the iPad as an instructional tool increased engagement and promoted growth in reading, and self-efficacy was directly related to teacher instructional experiences. Findings also revealed diverse experiences regarding teacher support, prior training, and functional challenges when using the iPad to integrate literacy. Implications include increased support at the elementary level as well as further education on self-efficacy and teaching students from poverty. This social change effort spreads awareness to educators who serve students in Title I schools in their effort to increase literacy skills among struggling readers using digital technology.