Date Awarded

Summer 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F. DiPaola

Committee Member

James H. Stronge

Committee Member

Margaret E. Constantino


Closing achievement gaps for students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds is a decades-long issue in public education, particularly for reading instruction (International Reading Association [IRA], 2010; National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2013). Across the United States, initiatives to further integrate technology-based instruction to achieve differentiation are constantly emerging. Selecting which programs to use and how to best implement the technology to produce the highest academic gains remain significant issues. Research has shown that technology-based programs can produce the same positive or negative effects as teacher-led instruction (Ross, Morrison, & Lowther, 2010). Finding and implementing high-quality literacy technology is particularly important for students attending Title I schools. Students from low-income backgrounds may start their schooling at a disadvantage in terms of vocabulary and oral communication skills (Reardon, 2013; Timmons, 2008) which research has linked to higher unemployment rates (Timmons, 2008). The purpose of this qualitative program evaluation was to analyze teacher perceptions regarding the impact of implementation activities for a technology-based literacy program in four Title I schools in a Virginia school district. Nine teachers representing kindergarten, first and second grades were interviewed regarding their level of preparedness, classroom integration, obstacles and facilitators in relation to program implementation. Teachers reported high levels of preparedness in placing students on the program, but low levels of support in ongoing implementation and training. Recommendations included providing all teachers with initial and continual professional development, allowing stakeholders to visit model classrooms, providing necessary equipment, devoting time for program-specific data talks and individual teacher planning, and garnering more planning input from the program consultants.




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