Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

How early childhood educators are initally integrating tablet technology in the curriculum
by Leonard, Jessica Alexis, Ph.D., Saint Louis University, 2013, 125; 3596180
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research examined how two early childhood educators initially integrated tablet technology in the curriculum through classroom observation, interviews and a review of documentation. The overall question was: how are early childhood educators initially integrating tablet technologies in the curriculum? The researcher also asked three sub-questions to further delve into developmentally appropriate practice while choosing apps. The three sub-questions ranged from what the early childhood educators believed about the impact of tablet technology within the curriculum, to how the early childhood educators were choosing developmentally appropriate apps.

The results of the research were the early childhood educator were initially integrating tablet technology at a cautious pace, but were not aware if the apps were developmentally appropriate. The researcher observed for seven weeks with 14 observations per educator. The observations and unobtrusive documentation showed that the iPads were used as a teacher driven goal. The children did not get to choose an app during the 7 weeks study. Each educator had an app in mind for each observational period. The researcher observed that many of the children, in one particular room, never had an opportunity to use the iPad.

The data collection strategies for this study were unobtrusive documentation, interviews, and unobtrusive observations. The unobtrusive documentation was the lesson plans submitted by one of the educators and app lists. The researcher arranged pre- and post-interview for the two educators. Though the unobtrusive documentation, observations and interviews, the researcher answered the initial research questions as well as the three sub-questions.

Seven themes emerged from the data. The themes included: a slow and cautious pace of integrating technology, the limited access to iPads, evidence of the lack of emphasis in lesson planning, need for more and continuous professional development, a trial and error approach to app selection, educators reliance on others for app selection, and uninformed app selection.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Bufkin, Linda J.
Commitee: Arend, Lauren, Cole, Robert, Rule, Ann, Voss, Joy
School: Saint Louis University
Department: Educational Studies
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Early childhood education, Educational technology
Keywords: Developmentally appropraite, Early childhood education, Tablet computers, Technology integration, iPads
Publication Number: 3596180
ISBN: 978-1-303-42608-7
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