Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)

Department

Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dong-Shin Shin

Abstract

Abstract

This research study explores how eBooks support young children’s emergent literacy development. Specifically, it focuses on what kinds and modes are available in eBooks for young children, how eBooks motivate or engage students to read and write and how they support students’ decoding and comprehension skills through a home-based qualitative active inquiry. This study took place during hour long tutoring sessions held twice per week with two elementary aged siblings in an Upstate New York middle class home. The collected data included informal and field notes, student artifacts, comprehension conversations, and student interviews. One student enjoyed reading the eBooks and was motivated by them while the other enjoyed reading paper books better and was not motivated by the eBooks.

It was found that some features of eBooks support student’s decoding and comprehension, while some modes of eBooks did not. Pre-teaching of eReader features and previewing the eBook help student comprehend the stories. Student comprehension was aided by the narration features of the eReaders, however animations in TumbleBooks interfered with one student’s comprehension. Use of the Table of Contents and picture cues also contributed to their understanding of eBooks. Finding an eBook at Student One’s reading level was challenging. Both students lost track of the words on the page at times. Technological issues interfered with book reading several times. The Read to Me narration options helped both students with word decoding, especially the beginning reader. More research is needed on how eBooks support student’s decoding and on how beneficial the narration features on eBooks are to beginning readers.

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