Date of Award

Fall 12-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Dong-shin Shin


As we move further into the 21st century and beyond, the push to integrate technology into classrooms is becoming ever more apparent. Government is now moving towards making this integration a requirement through state and nationwide initiatives. As teachers scramble to become familiar with new and improved technological resources, many are turning to electronic books (e-Books) to meet their needs. While e-Books seem to be a logical source as they are essentially electronic versions of the paperback texts we already know and love, there seems to be a growing concern amongst researchers in the field as to their effectiveness in the literacy development skills of comprehension and decoding.

To further investigate I conducted a four-week long qualitative study of young children's uses of e-Books, focused on skills in comprehension and decoding at an emergent level as well as motivational applications. I observed and analyzed the work of two first graders reading at an emergent level. The focal students attend a suburban school in Western New York. Data collection methods included conversations, observation notes, and surveys.

Recommendations from this study tentatively suggest that e-Books both support and hinder emergent readers’ literacy development. With appropriate education for literacy instructors on how to best utilize all the features of an e-Book the transfer of this knowledge to students can lead to an effective application of e-Books in regular literacy instruction.