Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Jenifer Jasiniski Schneider, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jolyn Blank, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Danielle V. Dennis, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Julie Coiro, Ph.D.


Inservice Teachers, Specialized Language, Professional Development, Professional Knowledge


Emerging and transforming innovations carry with them new ways of conceptualizing literacy practices in the classroom. As the technology revolution forges ahead and permeates the elementary school setting, teachers must consider how they talk about and model digital literacy practices. Digital literacy goes beyond merely operating technology tools and devices. It includes the cognitive and social processes that take place when reading, writing, and communicating in digital spaces and with digital tools. To understand the integration of digital literacies into the classroom, we must better understand how teachers develop digital literacy competencies and dispositions through focused and intentional professional learning experiences. This qualitative, multi-analysis design explored how elementary teachers who engaged in a professional learning experience made sense of digital literacies and how that thinking manifested through their language. The dissertation aimed to inform our understanding of inservice teachers’ conceptions of digital literacy and digital literacy professional learning experiences. I analyzed existing data from the institute (e.g., survey data, interview data, video transcripts, institute texts, and participant artifacts) to examine how teachers acquire and use a specialized professional language associated with digital literacies. Through a multi-analysis approach, the data highlight findings related to quality digital literacy professional learning, the acquisition of a specialized language as an outcome of professional learning, and the importance of design, structure, and activities related to professional learning.