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Publication Date

Spring 2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

Advisor

Emily Slusser

Keywords

Barriers and supports, Digital literacy development, Digital literacy instruction, Digital literacy skills, Early elementary school, Teachers' perceptions

Subject Areas

Elementary education; Educational technology; Educational leadership

Abstract

This study examines teachers’ perceptions about digital literacy instruction in early elementary school grades (e.g., Kindergarten through grade 2) so as to identify existing obstacles to digital literacy instruction as well as support systems necessary to enhance instruction. Participants (n = 37) included Kindergarten, first, and second grade teachers from both Title I and non-Title I schools. Data was collected through an online survey with primarily closed-ended questions. Correlations and relationships amongst and across survey questions were analyzed. Analysis revealed that early elementary grade students in this school district are provided with more opportunities to practice computer literacy than information literacy skills. Teachers identified the high student to teacher ratio, lack of time to plan and teach technology lessons, and students’ limited self-management and independence skills as major impediments to digital literacy instruction in the early elementary grades. Conversely, they indicated that access to district-level technology coaches and on-site technology support, opportunities to observe demo technology lessons, and their own knowledge of grade-level technology standards enhance their ability to teach digital literacy skills. Findings also show that teachers’ grade-level assignment and the school’s Title I status influence teachers’ views about when and whether to introduce various digital literacy skills with clear implications for practice and future research.

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