Author Biography

Mikala Thomas is an elementary school teacher in Kannapolis City Schools in Kannapolis, North Carolina. She completed this inquiry project as an undergraduate honors teacher candidate in the Elementary Education program at UNC Charlotte. Drew Polly is a professor in the Elementary Education Program at UNC Charlotte.


This teacher inquiry project, conducted by an undergraduate teacher candidate with support from a faculty member, explored the use of visually rich technology and its influence on elementary school students’ motivation and learning outcomes in writing. Students used visually rich technology as part of the writing process. We found that when students used technology to support the writing process they showed incremental gains in motivation as well as gains in student learning outcomes. Implications for practitioners highlight a need for teachers to consider how visually rich technology can support students’ aspects of the writing process as well as development in other literacy areas. Further inquiry projects should examine how technology influences students with consideration of their grade level, academic background, and level of motivation in writing and literacy.