Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

Jenifer Schneider, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

David Allsopp, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Hoppey, Ph.D.

Committee Member

James King, Ed.D.


Digital Literacies, Literacy, Reading Difficulties, Struggling Readers, Struggling Writers, Writing


In this dissertation, I present the findings from a qualitative case study of the digital literacy integration of a teacher and the digital literacy practices of three students with literacy-related learning difficulties within her classroom. As a researcher, I was interested in the ways students with literacy- related learning difficulties navigated digital tools in a technology-infused environment created by a teacher who has experience using digital tools for instructional and student-learning purposes. My research was guided by the following questions: (1) What was the context, content, and structure of the teacher’s technology instruction? (2) In what ways did the students use technological tools? (3) How did students with reading difficulties compose during digital literacy events? The data for this case study included classroom observations, interviews, field notes, work samples, and lesson plans. Through the use of both inductive (Phase I and II) and a priori (Phase III) analysis, the data highlight several important findings to inform the research questions: (a) Knowledge of Technology Does Not Ensure Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (b) Students with Reading Difficulties Still Have Difficulty with Reading Despite Technology Integration and (c) Change in Writing Tool (technology) does not Guarantee Change in Writing Performance.