TPACK in Action: Pre-service Special Educators, Students, and Apps

Project Description


Evaluate the decision-making processes of pre-service special education teachers as related to technology integration

Project Description

In 2013-2014, the research team conducted a project at Starpoint School designed to provide pre-service special education teachers with an opportunity to develop technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK) while integrating iPad applications into lessons. Participants included 12 junior-level pre-service early childhood special education majors who were enrolled in the course Academic Success in Special Education, which has a fieldwork component. Each pre-service teacher was paired with one or two students at Starpoint School, and for a five-week period, each student planned and implemented lessons that incorporated iPad applications. Data were collected from multiple sources, including lesson plans, weekly journals entries, focus group interviews, and field notes. Preliminary findings indicate (1) pre-service teachers selected and implemented apps that complemented their core instruction and (2) high student engagement levels in the iPad lessons.

Research Team

  • Dr. Sue Anderson (Lead Researcher)
  • Dr. Robin Griffith (Co-researcher)
  • Dr. Lindy Crawford (Co-researcher)

Undergraduate Student Researcher

  • Ms. Annie Duplechain


Anderson, S., Griffith, R., & Crawford, L. App-lying TPACK: Integrating iPads into instruction for students with mild disabilities. Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference. Chesapeake, VA: AACE


Anderson, S., Griffith, R., & Crawford, L. (2014). App-lying TPACK: Integrating iPads into Instruction for Students with Mild Disabilities. Proceedings of the Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2014 (pp. 2427-2433). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).


Starpoint School

The Starpoint School is a laboratory school that provides children with learning disabilities, ages six to eleven, the opportunity to reach their educational potential with the help of TCU faculty, staff, and students. The school is located on the TCU campus and provides a facility for graduate and undergraduate students majoring in Education to receive hands-on training and application of best-practice for students with disabilities