Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology


Educational Psychology and Methodology

Content Description

1 online resource (pages xiii, 200) : color illustrations

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Kristie Asaro-Saddler

Committee Members

Bruce Saddler, Deborah May


Experimental Design, iPad, Mobile Technology, Technology, Technology-Based Graphic Organizers, Writing Intervention, Fourth grade (Education), Writing materials and instruments, Graphic organizers, Children's writings, Children with disabilities, Writings of, Students with disabilities, iPad (Computer)

Subject Categories

Educational Technology | Elementary Education | Special Education and Teaching


Writing strategies, such as graphic organizers and mnemonic devices, have supported students in planning in advance of writing and technology has the potential to alleviate the burden of handwriting fatigue for struggling writers. Furthermore, under the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010), fourth-graders are expected to be able to use technology to compose essays across writing genres. The integration of mobile technologies, such as the iPad, is becoming commonplace in education at all levels; however, little empirical research currently supports the iPad as a medium for written expression. This study adds to the current research base by conducting the first comparative investigation that leverages a technology-based graphic organizer (TBGO), on an iPad, against the same graphic organizer on paper. Two fourth-grade inclusion classrooms were taught to plan and write with a paper graphic organizer and an iPad app, through a pretest/posttest, switching replications design. The use of an iPad as a tool for writing was viewed as socially acceptable by students and produced significant results in essay length over the paper version. Both the TBGO and the paper graphic organizers improved writing quality. Limitations and implications for practice are included.