Invasive Technologies: How Administrators, Teachers, and Students Negotiate the Use of Students’ Mobile Technologies in the Classroom
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CitationAmaechi, Uche. 2016. Invasive Technologies: How Administrators, Teachers, and Students Negotiate the Use of Students’ Mobile Technologies in the Classroom. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThe rise in popularity of mobile technologies, particularly with respect to youth, has created new challenges and opportunities for districts, schools, and classrooms. As more students come to own these devices they have increasingly sought to use them in their schools and classrooms, with or without their schools’ official support. Districts and schools have responded to this encroachment in a variety of ways ranging from establishing policies that dictate common practices across all classrooms to empowering teachers to create mobile phone policies for their classrooms.
In this study, I investigated how the conflicting demands of school-level and district-level policies, and student resistance and continuation to use their mobile phones in the schools and classrooms, have influenced teachers’ classroom policies at two schools in different districts. I conducted a series of interviews with district and school administrators, teachers, and students in two schools with different policies guiding the use of mobile phones in the classroom.
I found that students resisted district, school, and teacher policies and pushed to use their mobile phones in their classrooms irrespective of their teachers’ wishes. However, although students frequently used their mobile phones for non-educational purposes that detracted from their and their classmates’ learning, many students used their mobile phones for educational and non-educational uses that supported their learning inside and outside of school. I also found that teachers tended to base their classroom policies more on their personal philosophies and the demands of their students than on school and district policies. These policies enabled teachers to explore the potential for students’ mobile phones to support student learning.
My research suggests that districts could benefit from articulating clear philosophies regarding the use of mobile phones in schools and classrooms, particularly philosophies that encourage and support teachers in exploring the potential of these devices in the classrooms. These new policies would also benefit from districts ensuring the incorporation of more student and teacher voice into the policy-making process. I also propose a taxonomy of mobile phone use that schools and districts can use to support teachers in aligning their classroom practices with a school’s mobile phone policy.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:27112697