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Donald J. Leu, Ph.D.
John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology
Professor of Education
Director, New Literacies Research Lab

Donald J. Leu is the John and Maria Neag Endowed Chair in Literacy and Technology at the University of Connecticut. He holds a joint appointment in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational Psychology in the Neag School of Education. A graduate of Michigan State, Harvard, and Berkeley, he is an international authority on literacy education, especially the new skills and strategies required to read, write, and learn with Internet technologies and the best instructional practices that prepare students for these new literacies. Don directs the New Literacies Research Lab in the Neag School of Education. He is a member of the Reading Hall of Fame, Past President of the Literacy Research Association, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association. Don was recently featured in the documentary "Out of Print," directed by Vivienne Roumani and narrated by Meryl Streep. He edited the Handbook of Research on New Literacies (Erlbaum, 2008) and has more than 100 research publications and seventeen books on topics that range from the new literacies of online research and comprehension, to teacher education, to phonemic awareness. He is a frequent speaker at major conferences and has given keynote addresses in Europe, Australia, Asia, South America, and North America. His work has been funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the North Central Educational Research Lab, the Carnegie Corporation, the Institute for Education Sciences, PBS, the Annenberg Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Australian Council of Educational Research, and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

•Ph.D. Language, Literacy, and Culture, University of California, Berkeley

•Ed.M. Reading and Human Development, Harvard University

•B.A. Political Science/History/Russian, Michigan State University

« Full C.V. »

Contact Information: 

Gentry - 439

Phone: (860) 486-0202
Fax: (860) 486-2994
Mobile : (860) 680-3752


Mailing Address:
New Literacies Research Lab
249 Glenbrook Rd.
Storrs, CT 06269-3033

Personal Web Page


A.B. Herr Award from the Association of Literacy Educators and Researchers for distinguished service in reading.

Green Honors Chair, Texas Christian University

Maryann Manning Medal from the University of Alabama, Birmingham for Exemplary Leadership in Reading Research and Practice

Friday Medal for Innovation and Leadership in Education from North Carolina State University

Elected to the Reading Hall of Fame of the International Reading Association, 2007.


Member, Board of Directors (2007-2010), International Reading Association

Former Vice President, President Elect, President, and Past President, National Reading Conference

In the News:

CNN Interview

Featured in the documentary, OUT OF PRINT, directed by Vivienne Roumani and narrated by Meryl Streep.

A Story of Achievement

Cover story in District Administration on the work of the New Literacies Research Team

E-School News: Study Aims To Improve Internet Literacy

Researchers find kids need better online academic skills

Recent Grant Award Announcement

The New Literacies Research Team

Areas of Expertise:

Literacy & Technology

Reading Education

Cognition and Instruction

Funded Research:

Leu, D. J. & Kulikowich, J., Sedransk, N., Coiro, J. (2008). Assessing Online Reading Comprehension: The ORCA Project. U. S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.2009-2013. $2,813,127.00.

Leu, Donald J. & Reinking, David. Developing Internet Comprehension Strategies Among Adolescent Students At Risk to Become Dropouts. U. S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences. 2005-8. $1,795,477.00.

Leu, Donald J., Jr., Douglas Hartman, and the New Literacies Research Team at the University of Connecticut. Evaluating the Development of Scientific Knowledge and New Forms of Reading Comprehension During Online Reading. North Central Educational Research Lab. 2005. $77,622

Leu, Donald J, Jr. (Co-PI with Charles Kinzer, Vanderbilt University; Linda Labbo, University of Georgia; William Teale, University of Illinois, Chicago Circle). Best Practices - Teacher Preparation- Technology: Connections that Enhance Children's Literacy Acquisition and Reading Achievement. National Science Foundation (Grant No. REC-0089221), 2000-2006. $5,500,000.

Hartman, D., Leu, D.J., Olson, M.R., Truxam, M.P. Reading and writing to learn with the “new literacies”: Preparing a new generation of teachers and researchers to develop literate American adolescents. Carnegie Corporation of New York. 2005. $100,000.

Selected Publications/Presentations:

Leu, D. J., Kinzer, C. K., Coiro, J., Castek, J., Henry, L. A. (2013). New literacies: A dual level theory of the changing nature of literacy, instruction, and assessment. In Alvermann, D.E., Unrau, N.J., & Ruddell, R.B. (Eds.). (2013). Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th ed.). (pp. 1150-1181). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Leu, D.J., Everett-Cacopardo, H., Zawilinski, L., McVerry, J.G., O’Byrne, W. I. (2012). The new literacies of online reading comprehension. C.A. Chapelle, (Ed.) The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. (4239-4247). Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Kiili, C., Laurinen, L., Marttunen, M., & Leu, D. J. (2012). Working on understanding during collaborative online reading. Journal of Literacy Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. doi: 10.1177/1086296X12457166

Leu, D. J., O’Byrne, W. I., Zawilinski, L., McVerry, J. G., & Everett-Cocapardo, H. (2009). Expanding the new literacies conversation. Educational Researcher, 38, 264-269.

Coiro, J., Knoble, M., Lankshear, C., Leu, D. J. (2008) Handbook of research on new literacies. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwaw, NJ.

Leu, D. J., Coiro, J., Castek, J., Hartman, D., Henry, L.A., & Reinking, D. (2008). Research on instruction and assessment in the new literacies of online reading comprehension. In Cathy Collins Block, Sherri Parris, & Peter Afflerbach (Eds.). Comprehension instruction: Research-based best practices. New York: Guilford Press.

Leu, D.J., Jr., Kinzer, C.K., Coiro, J., Cammack, D. (2004). Toward a theory of new literacies emerging from the Internet and other information and communication technologies. In R.B. Ruddell & N. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical Models and Processes of Reading, Fifth Edition (1568-1611). International Reading Association: Newark, DE.

Schrader, P. G., Leu, D. J., Kinzer, C. K., Ataya, R., Teale, W. H., Labbo, L. D., & Cammack, D. (2003). Using Internet delivered video cases, to support pre-service teachers' understanding of effective early literacy instruction: An exploratory study. Instructional Science: An International Journal of Learning and Cognition. 31: 317–340,

Leu, D. J., Jr. & Kinzer, C. K. (2000). The convergence of literacy instruction and networked technologies for information and communication. Reading Research Quarterly, 35, 108-127.

Leu, D. J., Jr. (2000). Literacy and technology: Deictic consequences for literacy education in an information age. In M. L. Kamil, P. Mosenthal, P. D. Pearson, and R. Barr (Eds.) Handbook of Reading Research, Volume III (pp. 743-770). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum

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