Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther

Second Advisor

Anthony Annunziato

Third Advisor

Catherine DiMartino


The utilization of technology in the elementary classroom is becoming increasingly vital in a global society. Teaching during the Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on all educators. As a result of the crisis, instructors worldwide had to quickly adapt and shift to a new way of teaching both remotely and in person. Educators were asked to transition, create, and implement online teaching due to school closures with no choice but to teach online even if they did not feel properly prepared to do so, or formerly had little training in online teaching (Hechinger et al., 2020). Teaching during a pandemic has emphasized the many benefits to using technology as an educational tool. Researchers found that iPads help general and special needs students improve basic skills, such as reading and writing, and increase their attention and interest in learning (Fernández-López et al., 2013). The study explores how teachers become leaders within their classrooms through the use of technology and innovative teaching practices for special education and general education students. This mandate from IDEA places additional challenges for teachers when students with varied abilities are in one classroom. As technology becomes a necessity in everyday teaching due to the pandemic, preparing both teachers and students to be successful while implementing technology is necessary. Both teachers and students need to feel confident in their abilities in order to be successful. The school chosen for this study is a Title 1, National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, located in the suburbs of Long Island, New York. The school is composed of students from grades 3-5. The participants in this study will be special education and general education teachers that participate in both focus groups and individual interviews to examine the teaching practices within a general and special education setting. The study adds to the body of literature and provides an exemplar for exploring technology use and innovative teaching practices within its use for special education and general education students. More specifically, the study will explore teacher perceptions of their role as leaders in introducing and implementing these innovations.