• The perception of teachers toward the use of mobile technology as a tool to engage students in learning.

      Goad, Kathryn Dawn (2012-05-21)
      The purpose of this study was to gauge the perception of teachers on the use of mobile technology, specifically cell phones, as an instructional tool to engage students in learning. Cell phones are the most ubiquitous piece of technology in the world. Their multiple functions can put the most up-to-date information at the fingertips of the user. However, schools have been slow to embrace these devices out of fear and ignorance on how to use their capabilities. Research is limited on this subject; most coming from cell phone manufacturers and related service providers. The opportunity to explore this technology tool as an instructional aid and provide educators with data to support the use of the cell phone in the classroom was both timely and evoking. The study queried 500 public school teachers in the Midwest on their proficiency with technology, their perception of the importance in using technology, their opinions on using technology in the classroom, and their specific integration of cell phones in their lessons. Of the respondents, 28.5% had experience using cell phones in the classroom. This was in comparison to national statistics of 75% of students having daily access to a phone. A Mann-Whitney U test found no significant difference between STEM teachers and teachers of other disciplines in their perceptions of the importance of using technology in the classroom. However, when conducting a t-test with the same two groups of teachers there was a significant difference in their ability to design and access lessons using technology. STEM teachers rated themselves at a higher skill level than did the teachers of other disciplines.A Pearson correlation examined the relationship between teacher comfort level with technology and the teacher’s ability to design and access lessons using technology. A significant, positive relationship was found in that as the level of technology use increased the teacher ability to design and access lessons increased. With an r value of .742 this correlation was considered strong. The question posed was “Are levels of student engagement different based on the frequency of integration of technology?” Through the use of a one-way ANOVA there was no significant difference in student engagement based on the frequency of its use. A multiple regression was used to determine which of the nine proficiency indicators serve as predictors for student engagement. Two proficiencies, “using software productivity tools” and “locating learning opportunities needed to advance my technology skills” were both found to be significant negative predictors, and “proficiency of troubleshooting problems that occur when using technology” was a significant positive predictor of student engagement. Student engagement was discussed through the summary of experience responses of 44 teachers surveyed. These written responses provided depth to the study when investigating teacher perceptions of student engagement when cell phones are used as an instructional tool.