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Jill Castek

Research Assistant Professor, LLTR



(503) 725-8720
More Information

Physical Address

Literacy, Language, & Technology Research Group
University Center Building (UCB) 301X
Portland, OR 97207-0751

Mailing Address

Literacy, Language, & Technology Research Group
Portland State University
PO Box 751 — LLTR
Portland, OR 97207-0751
Ph.D. Educational Psychology, University of Connecticut 2008M.S. Reading Specialist, California State University, East Bay 1999B.A. Liberal Studies, University of Pittsburgh 1992

Research Interests

  • Instructional techniques and digital tools used to support reading, writing, and content learning
  • Adults digital literacy and problem solving skills
  • Digital literacy practices
  • STEM learning


  •  Principal Investigator, Training Researchers to Use PIAAC to Further Multidisciplinary Research Aims – an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded research project $918,000, 3 years
  •   Principal Investigator, Advancing Digital Equity in Public Libraries: Assessing Library Patrons’ Problem Solving in Technology Rich Environments – an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded research project $500,000, 2 years
  • Principal Investigator, Fostering Digital Literacy and Engagement with Online Health Portals a Community Health Fund project of Legacy Health $75,000, 1 year
  • Principal Investigator, Building and Sustaining Learner Engagement in the Tutor-Facilitated Digital Literacy Acquisition Process – an Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) funded research project $999,493, 3 years

Representative Publications

  • Castek, J., Jacobs, G., Pendell, K., Pizzolato, D., Reder S., & Withers, E. (2015). Digital Literacy Acquisition in Brief Series.  Retrieved from  
  • Beach, R. & Castek, J. (2015). Use of app and devices for fostering mobile learning of literacy practices. (p 343-370).  In B. Guzzetti M. M. Lesley (Eds.) Handbook of Research on the Societal Impact of Digital Media. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
  • Castek, J. & Coiro, J. (2015). Understanding what students know: Evaluating online research and reading comprehension skills.  Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy 58(7). 546-549. 
  • Castek, J., Henry, L., Coiro, J., Leu, D., & Hartman, D. (2015). Research on instruction and assessment in the new literacies of online research and comprehension (p. 324-344). In S. Parris and K. Headley, Comprehension Instruction: Research-Based Best Practices (3rd Edition). NY, NY: Guilford Press.
  • Jacobs, G., Castek, J., Pizzolato, A., Reder, S., & Pendell, K. (2014). A closer look at adult digital literacy acquisition. Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. 57(8). 624-627.
  • Castek, J., Beach, R., Cotanch, H., & Scott, J. (2014). Examining middle-school students’ uses of Diigo annotations to engage in collaborative argumentative writing. (p. 80-101). In R. Anderson and C. Mims (Eds). Handbook of Research on Digital Tools for Writing Instruction in K-12. Hershey, PA: IGI.
  • Harrison, C., Dwyer, B., & Castek, J. (2014).  Using technology to improve learning.  Huntington Beach, CA: Teacher Created Materials Publishing.
  • Pendell, K., Withers, E., Castek, J., & Reder, S. (2013). Tutor-facilitated adult digital literacy learning: Insights from a case study. Internet Reference Services Quarterly, 18, 1–21
  • Castek, J., & Beach, R. (2013). Using apps to support disciplinary literacy and science learning. International Reading Association cross-journal virtual issue highlighting. Reaching Teacher, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, 57(7), 554-564. doi: 10.1002/JAAL.180
  • Leu, D.J. & Coiro, J., Kinzer, C., Castek, J., & Henry, L.A. (2013). A dual level theory of the changing nature of literacy, instruction, and assessment. In N. Unrau & D. Alvermann (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th ed., pp. 1150 – 1181). Newark, DE: International Reading Assoc.