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Rachel Karchmer-Klein is an associate professor in the School of Education at the University of Delaware where she teaches courses in literacy and educational technology at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. She is a former elementary classroom teacher and reading specialist and earned her Ph.D. in Reading Education at Syracuse University.
Her research investigates relationships among literacy skills, digital tools, and teacher preparation, with particular emphasis on technology-infused instructional design. Her overall goal is to improve preservice and practicing teachers’ knowledge of how to leverage technological affordances to support students’ literacy learning. She initially focused on K-12 instructional practices; however, her work has expanded to include research on university faculty’s use of technology in online course design. Her research has been published in literacy and educational technology journals such as Reading Research Quarterly, Journal of Research in Reading, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, and The Reading Teacher. Her new book, Improving Online Teacher Education: Digital Tools and Evidence-Based Practices, is available from Teachers College Press.
Theoretically, her work is guided by broad notions of literacy. Specifically, her beliefs are informed by research that recognizes digital texts are inherently multimodal, requiring consumers and producers to think deeply about navigational behaviors, the interactivity and collaboration technology affords, and what meaning, if any, each mode represents in a cohesive text. In order to leverage digital tools for teaching or learning, one must be knowledgeable of their capabilities.
She taught her first online course in 2003 and continues to design hybrid and fully online courses. She serves as the coordinator of the M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership and the M.Ed. in Literacy program in the School of Education.
- Ph.D., Reading Education, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 1999
- M.Ed., Elementary Education, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY, 1994
- B.A., Political Science, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY, 1993
- Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Delaware, 2008–present
- Assistant Professor, School of Education, University of Delaware, 2003–2008
- Assistant Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1999–2003
- Karchmer-Klein, R. (PI) and Amendum, S (co-PI). M.Ed. in Literacy Online Program Support. University of Delaware, Provost’s Initiative for Excellence and Innovation in E-Learning, 2017. ($75,000)
- Karchmer-Klein, R, Mouza, C., and Hofstetter, F. (co-PIs). Elementary Teacher Education Program iPad Initiative: Leveraging Electronic Texts and Mobile Applications in 21st Century Teaching and Learning. University of Delaware, Instructional Technology Transformation Grant, 2012–2013. ($20,000)
- Karchmer-Klein, R. Examining the Technology Preparation of Classroom Teachers: From Theory to Practice. University of Delaware, General University Research Grant, 2012–2013. ($5,500)
Recent Professional Awards
- Albert J. Kingston Award for Distinguished Service, Literacy Research Association, 2020
- Technology in Reading Research Award, International Literacy Association, Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group, 2016
- Distinguished Faculty Award, School of Education, University of Delaware, 2016
- Best Paper Award, American Educational Research Association (AERA), Technology as an Agent of Change in Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group, 2013