Master of Arts (MA)
Semester of Degree Completion
Terri A. Fredrick
This thesis focuses on how students and teachers feel about the current use of technologies like Chromebooks and laptops in the rural secondary English classroom. Chapter one describes my personal journey as a student and educator using various technologies in the classroom, and how I came upon the idea for this study while observing one of the first high schools to implement full 1:1 Chromebook technology in the United States. Then, I discuss my review of the current literature on the subject, and find that there is a lack of knowledge about the emergence of these types of technologies, and the impact they may have on the educational setting previously noted. In an attempt to better understand these attitudes held by students and teachers, I conducted my research by observing two English 9 classes, during two separate lessons, that normally use Chromebooks. To find out if the attitudes about technology were directly related to the lessons, I had one class use the Chromebooks for one of the lessons, and the other class refrained from using the computers for both lessons. Next, I created a questionnaire that asked about the use of technology in the classroom and how it related to their perceived opinion of the lessons, and analyzed the responses. Also, I created a questionnaire to ask the teacher about her opinion of the Chromebooks and how they may have affected the lessons. As a final attempt to gather as much information as I could about these student attitudes, I administered two focus groups, one from each class, comprised of eight total students. Chapter three goes into detail analyzing the responses from the students and teacher. What I found was that I did not sufficiently answer my original thesis questions with the student questionnaire, but realized that the attitudes held by students regarding the Chromebooks came out during the focus group discussions instead. During these discussions students talked about how they preferred paper and pen to the Chromebooks, handwriting as opposed to typing on the computers, and the multitude of technical issues that come with using the laptops. This directly opposed the teacher's attitude in that she believed students preferred using the Chromebooks, and that they were much more efficient than traditional methods of writing. My conclusion based on these findings is that the teachers and administrators must give the students using technology in a rural high school setting a platform to discuss their honest opinions. This platform could be a technology committee or subset of an existing committee like student council that allows for open discussion of the use of technology in the school.
Crowhurst, Casey, "Student and Instructor Attitudes Toward 21st Century Writing Technologies in the Rural Secondary English Classroom" (2018). Masters Theses. 3553.