Isabella Ilievski

  1. How poverty affects classroom engagement

Who: low-income students and families in elementary education, grades 3-

What: classroom engagement and success

Why: Students who live in poverty can have a more difficult time being successful in school because they are distracted by at home problems.  I want to find out ways that teachers could possibly adapt better and use specific techniques to accommodate for the student’s home life so that they will be more engaged and thus, successful in the classroom.

  1. How teachers can motivate children for success

Who: students in grades 3-5

What: motivating students to be more engaged, learn more, and be excited about it and not think it’s a chore

Why: I want to find out techniques to increase motivation in a classroom because if students are more motivated to achieve, they will be more engaged and want to learn material which will be beneficial for teachers.

Research statement

My research proposal topic is the effect of e-books on 1st through 3rd grade students with ADHD and their academic achievement of reading comprehension, vocabulary, and story content.  I will focus on the educational technology of e-books through a site called EPIC!, an online digital library for young readers.  I will use an experimental design to test differences between students with ADHD and students without ADHD and whether the use of educational technology of e-books is beneficial to their academic growth.

Annotated Bibliography

Colomer, C., Berenguer, C., Roselló, B., Baixauli, I., & Miranda, A. (2017). The impact of inattention, hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms, and executive functions on learning behaviors of children with ADHD. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 1-10doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00540

The authors’ main purpose was to understand the mechanisms underlying the connection between children with ADHD and how they are at risk of low academic achievement. The authors had two objectives when conducting this study; the first was to compare different components of learning behaviors in children diagnosed with ADHD and typically developing (TD) children.  The second was to analyze the relationships among learning behaviors, executive functioning and symptoms of hyperactivity/impulsivity in both groups. The study had seventy-two children participate where 35 were diagnosed with ADHD and 37 were typically developing children, all between the ages of 7 and 11. The study used the Learning Behaviors Scale, a teacher-report questionnaire, which measures student behaviors related to effective and efficient learning. Parents and teachers provided information about the severity of ADHD in each child diagnosed. The Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF) was used to assess the children’s executive functions through the observation of their behavior in a school environment. The results showed differences between students with ADHD and TD students. Students with ADHD had less tendency to work independently, less persistence, less ability to focus, less ability to resist distractions. Results also demonstrated a close connection between executive functions and inattention symptoms and learning behaviors.

This study is beneficial for my research proposal because it presents the foundations of ADHD being a detriment to students in an academic setting. The study’s results indicated that students with ADHD had a disadvantage in the classroom because they had an inability to focus and demonstrated negative learning behaviors decreasing their ability to learn.  The study is a basic representation of how students with ADHD need to have intervention and other programs to enhance their learning behavior thus increasing their academic achievement.

Farrace-Di Zinno, A. M., Douglas, G., Houghton, S., Lawrence, V., West, J., & Whiting, K. (2001). Body movements of boys with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) during computer video game play. British Journal of Educational Technology, 32, 607–618. doi: 10.1111/1467-8535.00229

The authors conducting this study sought to determine differences in frequency, type, and severity of motor movements in boys with either ADHD- PI (Predominantly Inattentive Type), ADHD- CT (Combined Type), or non-ADHD. The authors wanted to conduct this study because determining the performance of children with ADHD on computer video games can have significant implications for teaching, assessment, and treatment practices. Data was collected from 146 boys in total, 79 with ADHD and 67 non-ADHD boys, all aged 4 months to 16 years. The authors used an experimental design, requiring the completion of four tasks varying along two dimensions: working memory load (low, high) and distractor (absent, present). The results showed that there is no overall difference in the frequency, severity and type of body movements between boys with ADHD and boys without ADHD. Because this study found that there are no significant differences between boys with ADHD and boys without ADHD while playing video games, it highlights that video games reduce motor movements which can be beneficial for teaching children with ADHD. The article supports the theory that immediate reinforcement allows for an increase in self-control and suggests that video games are an additional resource to aid in the academic and behavioral performance of children with ADHD.

This study provides support for my research proposal on how educational technology is helpful to students with ADHD.  It increases my knowledge on the effect of games on children with ADHD and progresses my working hypothesis that electronic books can improve the reading capability and comprehension of a student with ADHD because the games involved in the reading will promote focus within the student.  My research proposal will build on their findings by taking it a step further by using specific technology for education and seeing how an educational resource may affect a student with ADHD.

Gruner, S., Ostber, P., & Hedenius, M. (2018). The compensatory effect of text-to-speech technology on reading comprehension and reading rate in Swedish schoolchildren with reading disability: the moderating effect of inattention and hyperactivity symptoms differs by grade groups. Journal of Special Education Technology, 33, 98–110. doi: 10.1177/0162643417742898

The purpose of this study was to determine if the compensatory effect of text-to-speech (TTS) technology on reading comprehension and reading rate is influence by problems with inattention and hyperactive.  The second purpose was to research whether a moderating effect of these symptoms differ between grade groups. The authors used an experimental design having two groups of participants where one listened to a text with TTS and the other read the text to themselves. Then, the conditions were switched. There were two different grade groupings, 3-5, and 6-9. The participants were not clinically diagnosed with ADHD, but were determined to have reading disabilities. ADHD symptoms were assessed by a screening questionnaire. The study also consisted of a qualitative design of phenomenology as the participants were asked of their experiences reading the text or using TTS and whether they had previous experience with any speech synthesizer.  The findings of the study showed that TTS technology had a positive effect on reading rate for both sets of grade groups, but that reading comprehension increased in the lower set of grades and stayed the same for the older grades. The study also found that the students preferred the TTS technology as opposed to reading the text on their own.

This study indicates that students can learn better from TTS technology which is present in electronic books.  My research proposal will focus on electronic books and how they improve or not improve reading comprehension and capability in students with ADHD. This study adds a layer to my study indicating that TTS technology is beneficial for students. I will include a TTS capability in my research proposal to build off of this study.

Guerra, F., Tiwari, A., Das, A., Cavazos Vela, J., & Sharma, M. (2017). Examining teachers’ understanding of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 17, 247–256. doi: 10.1111/1471-3802.12382

The authors’ purpose of this study was to research teachers’ knowledge, misconceptions, and concerns about students with ADHD. The researchers used a mixed methods approach involving 173 elementary school teachers.  The Knowledge of Attention Deficit Disorders Scale was used to measure the level of knowledge and the perspectives teachers had about ADHD.  The authors found that there was a lack of coursework for ADHD students among the majority of the teachers.  The teachers also voiced that administration did not support professional development programs in relation to ADHD.  This study highlights the need for preparational programs to educate teachers on how to best teach students with ADHD.

In relation to my research proposal, this study lays a foundation for the lack of teacher support and education on ADHD.  It indicates that the first way to improve academic achievement in ADHD students is to prepare the teachers with materials and resources that could add to their teaching strategies.  It gives my research proposal a good base on where to start my proposal and emphasizes the importance of providing teachers with tools such as electronic books and other educational technology that could benefit a child with ADHD.

Huang, Y.-M., Liang, T.-H., Su, Y.-N., & Chen, N.-S. (2012). Empowering personalized learning with an interactive e-book learning system for elementary school students. Educational Technology Research and Development, 60, 703–722. doi: 10.1007/s11423-012-9237-6

This study investigated e-books (electronic books) through a system called Interactive E-book Learning System (IELS).  This system was developed for elementary school students.  The system included personalized learning functions such as e-annotation, bookmarks, content searching, and learning process tracking which were all designed to enhance student learning. Two investigations were conducted.  The first looked at how 166 elementary school students evaluated the usability of the system.  The second evaluated the learning effect of the developed system.  The authors used a mixed methods approach to understand what the students thought of the system and how it increased learning statistically. The findings indicated that because the system tracked how the student learned, it is able to provide further, individualized attention to students that may need extra help in reading.

This study is beneficial to my research proposal because it supports the use of e-books in a classroom.  It highlights that e-books can be helpful to students who might need individualized attention such as students with ADHD.  My research proposal will look at how e-books affect students with ADHD and based off of this study, e-books are a great tool for individualized teaching.

Jack, C., & Higgins, S. (2018). What is educational technology and how is it being used to support teaching and learning in the early years? International Journal of Early Years Education. doi: 10.1080/09669760.2018.1504754

This study sought to learn what the public thinks of the term “educational technologies”.  It was a qualitative study that used phenomenology and interviews to determine how technology is seen and used in the world by young 20 year olds. The findings suggest that technology is viewed to be more than just computers and that it supports a variety of activities useful for different reasons. It details how technology is used in early years education.

My proposal benefits from this research because it supports the importance of technology and the rising influence of it in modern times. The study emphasizes that technology is useful in the academic arena and my research proposal directly encourages this idea.  This research will provide me with the reasoning as to why my study is important because technology is advancing and the academic setting needs to learn how best to use it to gain the greatest achievement.

Lo, C. K. (2018). Grounding the flipped classroom approach in the foundations of educational technology. Educational Technology Research and Development, 66, 793–811. doi: 10.1007/s11423-018-9578-x

This study highlights the flipped classroom approach which cis an instructional approach allowing more in-class time to be spent on interactive learning activities and the direct lecturing component of education is shifted to outside of the classroom through instructional videos. The aim of this article was to provide a foundation for this approach in Spector’s model of the six pillars of educational technology (i.e., communication, interaction, environment, culture, instructions, and learning).  This article gives 10 recommendations that are useful for implementing the flipped classroom approach.

This article suggests that further studies be done that are design-based research to see how effective the framework is and hopefully, improve educational practices. My study will build upon this foundation and use this framework to encourage the use of e-books outside of the classroom.

McClanahan, B., Williams, K., Kennedy, E., & Tate, S. (2012). A breakthrough for josh: how use of an iPad facilitated reading improvement. TechTrends, 56, 20–28. doi: 10.1007/s11528-012-0572-6

This study was a tutoring project in an elementary education reading course where an iPad was used as an intervention strategy with a fifth grade struggling reader with ADHD. The study was quantitative using a pre and post assessments showing results that within 6 weeks, the student gained one year’s growth in reading. The student also gained confidence and a feeling that he controlled his learning. Even though this study was of one student, it encourages that the use of an iPad and e-books can benefit a student with ADHD who is struggling with reading.

This study is beneficial for my proposal because it provides a direct example of how technology, specifically e-books, can help a student with ADHD get better at reading.  This study had limitations because it was only with one student, but this is where my study will build upon these results and demonstrate the effectiveness of e-books on a larger population.

O’Toole, K. J., & Kannass, K. N. (2018). Emergent literacy in print and electronic contexts: The influence of book type, narration source, and attention. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 173, 100–115. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2018.03.013

This study aimed to understand how 4-year-olds learn words and story content from a print book read aloud by an adult, a print book narrated by an audio device, and an e-book narrated by an audio device. The authors used a between-subjects design to test the amount of words learned and the story comprehension. The findings demonstrated that the children learned more words from the e-book with the audio narrator, but story comprehension did not differ among the conditions.

This study indicates that e-books have the potential to scaffold young children’s learning.  Through guided participation, caregivers can support the development of literacy skills through print and electronic contexts.  This study will benefit my research proposal because it encourages the benefit of using technology to enhance student learning.  My study will build upon this study by adding the component of ADHD and testing whether students with ADHD benefit more from reading from a digital or print context.

Pearman, C. J., & Chang, C.-W. (2010). Scaffolding or distracting: CD-ROM storybooks and young readers. TechTrends, 54, 52–57. doi: 10.1007/s11528-010-0420-5

This study researches whether CD-ROM storybooks (electronic texts with interactive features) hinder development of a young reader’s decoding skills and use of context cues. E-books can have distracting animations, hotspots, and other examples that take away from the story-line.  These can cause lack of focus and prolong reading leading to fatigue.  The findings indicate that e-books can be a benefit to a child’s literacy with supervision and adult interaction.

This article emphasizes the need for adult monitoring and the simplistic type of e-books without too many distracting features. This article is beneficial for my study because it motivates me to use a source of e-books that can be monitored by adults and doesn’t include too many distracting features.

Powell, L., Parker, J., & Harpin, V. (2018). What is the level of evidence for the use of currently available technologies in facilitating the self-management of difficulties associated with ADHD in children and young people? A systematic review. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 27, 1391–1412. doi: 10.1007/s00787-017-1092-x

This article reviews the level of evidence for the use of technologies to help self-manage ADHD in children and young people. This review assessed 14 studies about technology that self-managed difficulties associated with ADHD.  The methodological quality of the studies were assessed.  This review found the potential use of technology in pediatric ADHD management, but it also shows that there needs to be more current research on the topic with larger sample sizes, validated outcomes, and more psychoeducation component.

This review indicates what my study needs to consist of to be helpful. This review is beneficial to understanding where the past research has lacked. It provides a foundation for essentially, what I need to fix in my study in order to have my study be useful to the educational psychology field.

Raggi, V. L., & Chronis, A. M. (2006). Interventions to address the academic impairment of children and adolescents with ADHD. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 9, 85–111. doi: 10.1007/s10567-006-0006-0

This article discusses the behavioral symptoms of ADHD that can attribute to academic underachievement. It discusses how there are many current-based evidence approaches the treatment of ADHD and how they have positively impacted behavioral variables such as attention and disruptive behavior.  It reviews the studies that discuss interventions that specifically target academic outcomes and states that they are beneficial. This article details the different types of interventions that could be used to increase academic achievement in students with ADHD.

This article is important for my study because it educates me on the types of interventions that are beneficial for students with ADHD.  This will benefit my study because it will be incorporated in how the students in the study can be most successful taught to achieve academic success.

Richter, A., & Courage, M. L. (2017). Comparing electronic and paper storybooks for preschoolers: Attention, engagement, and recall. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 48, 92–102. doi: 10.1016/j.appdev.2017.01.002

This study aimed to assess preschool children’s attention, engagement, and communication during readings from comparable electronic and paper storybooks and they’re recall of the story content. The authors used an experimental design to assess the different between print and electronic book on story content retrieval as well as engagement with the text, communication, and attention to the text. The findings showed that children were more attentive to the e-book and wer emore engaged in the e-book.  The results also showed that children communicated more about the device during the e-book and more about the story during the paper book.  The findings also demonstrated that there was no difference in recall of the story on format.

This study is beneficial for my proposal because it demonstrates a study indicating that e-books are beneficial to a child’s engagement and attention.  My proposal will build on this because it adds the students with ADHD who lack attention skills.  This enhances my hypothesis that e-books will be beneficial for students with ADHD because based off of this study, students pay more attention to e-books than print books.

Shamir, A., Segal-Drori, O., & Goren, I. (2018). Educational electronic book activity supports language retention among children at risk for learning disabilities. Education and Information Technologies, 23, 1231–1252. doi: 10.1007/s10639-017-9653-7

The main purpose of this study was to look at the effect of an activity with an e-book on language retention among children at risk for learning disabilities. The authors investigated two modes of the e-book concerning metacognitive guidance.  There were 3 different groups of kindergarteners where one group read an e-book with cognitive guidance, the second group read an e-book without cognitive guidance, and the third group received a regular kindergarten program without e-books. The vocabulary of the children was assessed pre and post intervention, the latter being twice, one immediately after the intervention and one seven weeks later. The findings showed a long-term positive effect on vocabulary with the use of an e-book. In addition, there was an increase in recall of main ideas from the story.

This study demonstrates how e-books are beneficial in the long run for students’ literacy skills. My proposal will build upon this study by using e-books with ADHD students.  The seven-week post test showed the longitudinal effects of e-books which will be beneficial for my study.

Shaw, R., & Lewis, V. (2005). The impact of computer-mediated and traditional academic task presentation on the performance and behaviour of children with ADHD. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 5, 47–54. doi: 10.1111/J.1471-3802.2005.00041.x

The authors’ purpose in this study was to examine whether the use of computers would have a positive impact on how students with ADHD would perform academic tasks and their behavior while completing them. It tested whether stimulation such as animations and features were beneficial or distracting. The study tested whether students performed better with computer tasks or regular pen and paper tasks. The findings revealed students with ADHD produced more accurate answers and exhibited more on-task behavior with the computers.

This study is extremely beneficial for my proposal because it encourages my hypothesis that technology will benefit a student with ADHD and increase their academic achievement. This study detailed that their behavior was more engaged in the computer tasks which supports previous claims made by other studies I have found.  This study promotes the need for my study because my study will be larger and more specified validating the research and results of this study.

Xu, Chunzhen, Reid, Robert, & Steckelberg, Allen. (2002). Technology applications for children with ADHD: assessing the empirical support. Education and Treatment of Children, 25(2), 224-228.

This article reviews research about students with ADHD and how computer-based technology has been beneficial.  It discusses 5 different categories: 1) computer assisted instruction, 2) computer based cognitive training, 3) biofeedback training, 4) assessment, and 5) behavior modification. This article results in the limitations of current research and insists that more research of controlled experimentation needs to be done to accurately assess if technology is truly benefiting children with ADHD.

This article promotes the need for my study and how it will help benefit the stand on technology and children with ADHD. My study will add to the growing field of research on the connection between educational technology, student achievement and students with ADHD.  This article helps me understand the importance of this student and emphasizes the need for it in the educational psychology field.


Students with ADHD

— Teachers knowledge of ADHD

  • Guerra, F., Tiwari, A., Das, A., Cavazos Vela, J., & Sharma, M. (2017).

          — Academic achievement of students with ADHD

  • Colomer, C., Berenguer, C., Roselló, B., Baixauli, I., & Miranda, A. (2017).

          — Behavior that affects low academic achievement

  • Raggi, V. L., & Chronis, A. M. (2006).

           –Flipped Classroom Approach

  • Lo, C. K. (2018).

Educational Technology

  • Farrace-Di Zinno, A. M., Douglas, G., Houghton, S., Lawrence, V., West, J., & Whiting, K. (2001).
  • Powell, L., Parker, J., & Harpin, V. (2018).
  • Xu, Chunzhen, Reid, Robert, & Steckelberg, Allen. (2002).

—  Public’s knowledge of technology in classroom  

  • Jack, Christine, & Higgins, Steve. (2018).

— Electronic books

  • Gruner, Sofia, Ostber, Per, & Hedenius, Martina. (2018).
  • Huang, Y.-M., Liang, T.-H., Su, Y.-N., & Chen, N.-S. (2012).
  • McClanahan, B., Williams, K., Kennedy, E., & Tate, S. (2012).
  • Shamir, A., Segal-Drori, O., & Goren, I. (2018).

            –E-books vs. Print

  • O’Toole, K. J., & Kannass, K. N. (2018).
  • Pearman, Cathy J., & Chang, Ching-Wen. (2010).
  • Richter, A., & Courage, M. L. (2017).
  • Shaw, R., & Lewis, V. (2005).

Current Study


I.S. Symposium Response 

I went to see an Archaeology and Geology double major I.S. presentation that was about the rainfall and and flooding possibility in Angor Wak in Cambodia. The presentation was done with a powerpoint for 15 minutes.  The presenter used simple images and limited text which didn’t overwhelm the viewer.  She created maps of the land and topography and demonstrated those images and explained them clearly.  However, I would say she went quickly through her project, but as she was short for time, it made sense why she rushed.  Overall, I.S. symposium is filled with many different types of topics and it’s incredible to see what one could do with an I.S. and how you can research what is most interesting to you.



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