School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Linda Holcomb


Reading motivation, Technology, Middle School Students




The purpose of this collective case study was to understand the experiences of middle grades students as they relate to reading motivation with personal learning devices. The guiding question was, how do middle school students describe their experiences with personal learning devices as it relates to their motivation to read? The sample population included a total of 15 students from grades sixth, seventh and eighth from a North Georgia middle school. The psychological needs aspect of Deci and Ryan’s self-determination relevant to reading motivation and Rosenblatt’s transactional reading theory in regard to efferent and aesthetic reading transactions served as the theoretical basis for the research. Data was collected from multiple sources including individual interviews, ELA journals, reports from the reading platform myON® and focus group interviews. Data analysis consisted of coding and categorizing information that was then used to conduct a cross case synthesis. The themes of tools, focus, purpose, choice, voice and nonlinear reading were extrapolated and used to inform the naturalistic generalization that technology does not encourage students to read of their own volition. Instead, middle grade students are inclined to read with devices because the tools and features allow differentiation of the reading process on many levels. The results of this study substantiated the notion that technology is best utilized within the context of well-planned engaging instruction that takes into consideration the individual needs, capabilities, and preferences of each learner.

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