Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Susan Schramm-Pate

Abstract

Determining Worth: Cell Phones and their Perceived Place in Secondary Education Classrooms is an action research study that describes and evaluates educators’ perceptions of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs), primarily smartphones, in secondary education classrooms at Jackson High School in Upstate South Carolina. The identified problem of practice that undergirds the present study involves a lack of consistency among secondary educators at this school as to how, when, and why PEDs are allowed for classroom use. The study explores these teacher-participants’ interests in and aversions to using PEDs as instructional tools and communication devices, and concurrently examines current instructional practices, school-level protocol concerning PEDs, and curriculum decisions involving the use of PEDs at JHS. The research question that guides this study is “What are high school educators’ perceptions of students’ use of PEDs in the classroom?” Surveys and interviews provide primary data for this qualitative action research study. Findings include educators’ desires to use PEDs in curriculum and instruction coupled with their lack of knowledge on how to effectively incorporate the engaging devices in reliable and practical ways. An Action Plan based on these findings was designed in conjunction with the teacher-participants to enable them to make informed decisions regarding PED integration in their classrooms to improve curriculum and instruction aimed at improving and enhancing students’ scholarly activity.

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