Date of Award

Fall 12-10-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Dong-shinShin


Over the past decade school districts across the country have been trying to find ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. With the new initiatives of state and federal lawmakers, the push for this integration is greater now more than ever. As teachers across the nation try to fulfill this requirement, they are looking for ways to do this throughout the school day. Some of the ways educators are incorporating technology into their instruction is through the use of Internet websites and program software. While websites and programs seem like a wonderful idea to engage students in daily learning, there seems to be a growing concern by researchers as to the effectiveness on children’s literacy development, specifically in the areas of reading and writing.

To further investigate this issue I conducted a four-week long qualitative study focused on what online learning sites and computer programs are currently being used and the impact of these technologies on students’ literacy development. I observed and analyzed the work of two third graders engaged in online learning sites and the impact on their reading and writing development. The focal students in the study attend a suburban school in Western New York. Collected data include surveys, observation notes, and student work samples.

Recommendations from this study tentatively suggest that online learning sites and programs support third graders’ literacy development. With appropriate professional development opportunities for teachers about which technologies to utilize, there can be an effective application of technology during daily literacy instruction.