Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Individually Designed


Abigail Garthwait

Second Committee Member

Richard Ackerman

Third Committee Member

Janet Fairman


English Language Learners (ELLs) must develop a full range of language skills to participate in the academic discourse of school. This population is a growing demographic in the United States and abroad; and meeting the linguistic needs of ELL students in the mainstream classroom is relevant to teachers across the globe. Technology can be a potential support for students and teachers. This thesis presents findings from a qualitative case study about the implementation of a one-to-one iPad program at an international school. The adoption of the iPads into the 4th grade mainstream classroom was guided by both a linguistic goal to integrate English and content knowledge; and by a second goal to explore teachers’ experiences using a specific conceptual model for iPad integration. The Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework has been shown as a positive model for teacher practice and student learning (Mishra and Kohler, 2008). Little research on this model had been conducted with ELL teachers at the elementary level, and the current study contributes to the literature as it explores students’, teachers’, and leaders’ experiences with this iPad program. The findings from the case study showed that ELL students were engaged when working with the iPads, and that the functionality of the devices offered unique supports to ELL students and teachers. Participants reported that the iPads were used in ways that contributed to linguistic growth and content knowledge development of students. Teachers and leaders reported that the TPACK model was a helpful conceptual model for technology integration with ELL students. While there were many positive findings, there were concerns about shifting pedagogy and resources required to implement a one-to-one iPad program. The thesis concludes with analysis of the findings, and implications for theory and practice.


Individualized in Educational Technology and Educational Leadership