The Effect of Technology Implementation on Student Engagement: Chromebooks and Smartboards
Gwynedd Mercy University
Dr. Jeffrey Brown
October 15, 2019
[Purpose] To examine teachers’ perceptions about the impact of adopting Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom on learner engagement and indiscipline cases. [Design] A qualitative descriptive case study. [Method] The setting of the study was Samuel P. Massie Academy in Forestville, Maryland. A sample of (n=42) grade 1-8 teachers were purposively sampled. Data were collected through interviews, questionnaires, and observations. [Findings] Fifteen percent (15%), 26%, 23%, 14% and 9% of the teachers had used Chromebooks and Smartboards for 3 years, 4-year, 5-year, 6 years, and 7 years respectively. Fifty-three (53%) of the teachers agreed and 21.4% strongly agreed that the use of Chromebooks and Smartboards helped students become more engaged and interested in the learning process. Fifty-eight (52.4%) of the agreed and 23.8% strongly agreed that students who use Chromebooks and Smartboards are more motivated to finish their assignments. 38.1% agreed while 23.8% strongly agreed with the opinion that students who use technology in the classroom enjoy learning activities. The respondents felt strongly that chrome books and Smartboards often enhanced students’ participation in class (Mean = 4.21), enhanced students’ attendance (Mean = 4.02), and enhanced student’s motivation (Mean = 4.17). Similarly, Chromebooks and Smartboards enhanced student’s interaction with teachers (Mean = 4.17), students’ ability to work in groups (Mean = 3.57), and interaction with the other students (Mean = 4.10). The teachers generally held that the use of Chromebooks and Smartboards had a great impact on the willingness to take part in-class activities, communication with the teachers, asking and answering questions in class, and willingness to work with other students. [Conclusions] The use of Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom impacts learner engagement and indiscipline cases.
*Table of Contents*
*Abstract* 2 <#_Toc17919659>
*Table of Contents*. 2 <#_Toc17919660>
*Chapter 1*. 6 <#_Toc17919661>
*Introduction to the Study*. 6 <#_Toc17919662>
Background of the Study. 6 <#_Toc17919663>
Background of the Problem.. 8 <#_Toc17919664>
Statement of the Problem.. 11 <#_Toc17919665>
Purpose of the Study. 12 <#_Toc17919666>
Research Questions. 13 <#_Toc17919667>
Significance of the Study. 13 <#_Toc17919668>
Definition of Terms. 14 <#_Toc17919669>
Design of the Study. 15 <#_Toc17919670>
Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations. 16 <#_Toc17919671>
Summary. 17 <#_Toc17919672>
*Chapter 2*. 18 <#_Toc17919673>
*Literature Review*.. 18 <#_Toc17919674>
Overview.. 18 <#_Toc17919675>
Search Description. 19 <#_Toc17919676>
One-to-One Initiative in Education. 19 <#_Toc17919677>
Theoretical Literature. 22 <#_Toc17919678>
Empirical Literature. 25 <#_Toc17919679>
Chapter Summary. 35 <#_Toc17919680>
*Chapter 3*. 37 <#_Toc17919681>
*Methodology*. 37 <#_Toc17919682>
Introduction. 37 <#_Toc17919683>
Research Design. 38 <#_Toc17919684>
Research Approach. 40 <#_Toc17919685>
Research Philosophy. 43 <#_Toc17919686>
Research Strategy. 48 <#_Toc17919687>
Research Setting/Context 51 <#_Toc17919688>
Research Sample and Data Sources (Participants) 51 <#_Toc17919689>
Instruments and Procedures. 53 <#_Toc17919690>
Data Collection. 54 <#_Toc17919691>
Data Analysis. 55 <#_Toc17919692>
Summary. 57 <#_Toc17919693>
*Chapter 4*. 58 <#_Toc17919694>
*Findings*. 58 <#_Toc17919695>
Demographic Characteristics. 58 <#_Toc17919696>
Questionnaire Results. 59 <#_Toc17919697>
Results of open-ended questions. 66 <#_Toc17919698>
*Chapter 5*. 71 <#_Toc17919699>
*Discussion*. 71 <#_Toc17919700>
Classroom technology integration. 73 <#_Toc17919701>
Impact of technology integration in the classroom.. 76 <#_Toc17919702>
*Conclusion*. 78 <#_Toc17919703>
*References*. 80 <#_Toc17919704>
*Chapter 1* *Introduction to the Study* Background of the Study
Learning in classrooms has been revolutionized by the advancement of technology. As cited in Banitt, Theis, and Van Leeuwe (2013), John Dewey, an educational theorist once said, “if we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow” (p. 1). The statement is still relevant in today’s classroom since teachers are required to do more than just teaching based on the curriculum. In the current generation, students are regarded as digital natives since they have grown up with technology and social media. In fact, Banitt et al. (2013) study indicated that teenagers spend an average of seven and a half hours consuming media on a daily basis. Since the digital environment has transformed how students learn today, then it is important to note that approaches to student engagement, teaching and learning need to change (Kulow, 2014). However, the adoption of technology is not easier for educators but students find it easier to integrate it into their learning process. Educators are considered digital immigrants and as such face, various challenges, as well as fears, while promoting the integration of technology in their classrooms (Elizondo, 2018). Many teachers argue that they were engaged when learning without technology implying there is no need for using technology to engage students (Beeson, 2013).
Some of the technologies that have enhanced learning in classrooms include educational software with great potential in helping students from K-12 to improve learning outcomes (Gray, Thomas, & Lewis, 2010). The role played by technology in promoting student interactions and engagement in classrooms has been acknowledged by the general public and educators (Lim, Zhao, Tondeur, Chai, & Tsai, 2013). According to Gray et al. (2010), the federal government has been calling for educational reforms after recognizing that technology is fundamental from day to day living as well as day to day working. Education software programs’ focus has been directed towards the importance of powerful learning as well as engaging experiences resulting from the adoption of classroom-based technology. In light of The US National Education Technology Plan (NEPT), this study will examine technology supplements specifically Smartboards and whiteboards that administrators and educators find essential in the classroom for engaging students and enhancing their discipline.
Engagement of students in the classroom is defined by Hamilton-Hankins (2017) as the extent of inquisitiveness, optimism, attention, and the desire shown by learners while being taught by their teachers in the classroom. Generally, the idea of student engagement is believed to be enhanced when learning is improved by making students interested, motivated or inquisitive. However, students are disengaged when the classroom is boring, or when they are dispassionate (Elizondo, 2018). For this study, student engagement will denote the level of completion, attention, effort, and interest of students during classroom activities. Educators are currently being held accountable for meeting student needs to improve their engagement and motivation to learn. Moreover, not only must educators teach using what is in the core curriculum, but they must also utilize intervention as well as differentiation strategies to complement strategies that fail to meet grade-level expectations (Oktay & Çakir, 2013).
Interactive technology implementation into the classroom to supplement educational instruction could help respond to the challenge of failed efforts to increase student engagement. In this regard, Flanigan (2013) argues that schools should implement educational technology programs for students in elementary and junior high school years offering learning opportunities promoting interactive, as well as engaging environments. This is because they increase the desire and enthusiasm of learners leading to their engagement in the learning activities. With modern-day technology, learning institutions are interested in strategies that can help increase student-student or student-teacher interactions in the classroom (Beach & O’Brien, 2014). Developers are coming up with applications that enable learners to access educative content on the internet during their classroom activities. Chromebooks, iPads, Tablets, and Smartboards are among the unique computer-based learning strategies that allow students to interact with peers and teachers as noted by Awuah (2015). Godzicki et al. (2013) said that interactive technologies attract the attention of young learners since teachers can adopt different teaching styles in the classroom to meet their needs. During the initial installation of such technologies, teachers have to receive some form of training from the experts and developers so that they can maximize the use of those tools and pass the knowledge to the learners (McQuiggan et al., 2015; Bebell & Pedulla, 2015).
Moreover, it is mandatory for each learner to be given a chance to interact with those technologies to increase their motivation and positive attitude. Since technologies integrated into the classroom have been found to make students engaged in the classroom (Godzicki et al., 2013), it was interesting to examine how Chromebooks and Smartboards affect student engagement in the classroom. This chapter begins by examining the background of the study which is then followed by a description of the problem statement, study purpose, research questions, and the study significance. Additionally, the definition of terms, assumptions, limitations, and delimitations and chapter conclusions are discussed in this section. Background of the Problem
Approximately 25% to 60% of students in the US are disengaged from school (Lee, 2014). This situation is not unique or new in the United States of America (USA) but appears to be a common situation that is widespread and recurrent. A review of previous studies by Lee (2014) revealed that 25% of schoolchildren across 43 nations were found to have a low sense of belonging, as 20% of them also had low levels of involvement in classroom activities. Poor or lack of engagement among schoolchildren at school has grown to become a serious concern for educational policymakers and teachers. This is attributed to the increase in students’ likelihood of displaying disruptive behaviors as well as dropping out of school. Many studies have been found to support the significant connection between academic success and behavioral engagement for students from elementary, junior/middle school or high school (Guo, Connor, Tompkins, & Morrison, 2011). Thus, promoting an improvement in student engagement in these levels is fundamental in addressing poor student outcomes (Lee, 2014).
Evidence shows that student engagement is important in enhancing their motivation, and eagerness to learn, which enhances students’ academic progress (Osu, 2017). The teaching and learning environments with high student engagement have been observed to increase interaction, consultations and enhanced students’ grades (Nikou & Economides, 2016). Current research is focusing on techniques to improve student engagement as a means of addressing low academic performance, boredom and increased school dropout among students (Mohd Nor et al., 2018). However, evidence shows that the traditional classroom environment does not encourage engagement among students and with their teachers (Nikou & Economides, 2016; Mohd Nor et al., 2018). As such, computer-based technologies are being pursued as possible approaches to enhance student engagement. In this regard, Schindler, Burkholder, Morad, and Marsh (2017) argued that increased access to personal computers is driving the development, application, and research into the importance of the various computer-based technologies in enhancing students’ engagement.
To increase student engagement in school, interactive technologies have been found to be effective (Osu, 2017). The visual nature of interactive technologies may involve students in many ways to increase their positive behaviors as a result of their engagement when being taught. In this view, teachers will be able to manage student focus, retention and attention during classroom instruction (Kulow, 2014; Sahin, Top, & Delen, 2016). The use of interactive technology also caters for the developmental stage of the junior school students. Literature associated with students in the junior high school shows that engagement of learners at this level as well as their inspiration and academic achievement decline (Osu, 2017). The focus of the student changes from learning to social relationships. Consequently, such students respond positively to instructional strategies that are interactive and those that promote problem solving and collaboration (Osu, 2017). The use of Chromebooks or Smartboards promotes teaching and learning that will increase collaboration, interaction and problem-solving making students engaged fully in their classroom with increased enthusiasm and motivation for learning (Awuah, 2015).
There are specific strategies such as the 1:1 initiative, which are aimed at ensuring that every student gets access to digital technology (Zheng et al., 2014). Such technologies are designed to promote enhanced student learning and as such, there is a need to assess whether such technologies are effective in serving the intended purpose (Zheng et al., 2014). Interactive technologies such as Chromebooks and Smartboards are some of the technological devices designed to benefit schoolchildren in their classroom. Despite the beneficial features associated with interactive technologies, such as touch screen capability as well as stable and reliable internet connection, limited research is available about their effectiveness in promoting student engagement (Yockel, 2017). The limited evidence on the use of interactive technology is inconclusive, which calls for further assessment into the topic (Yockel, 2017). This study, therefore, sought to address the existing gap by examining the importance of classroom instruction that uses interactive technologies such as Chromebooks and Smartboards in enhancing students’ engagement and improving student management in the classroom. Statement of the Problem
Currently, a large number of studies documenting the successful integration of interactive technologies such as Chromebooks or Smartboards in elementary and middle school educational settings can be found in the education literature. These studies have shown positive effects of instructional technologies on student engagement, attitudes and learning gains (McKnight et al., 2016; Osu, 2017; Schindler et al., 2017; Shams, Dabaghi, & Shahnazari-Dorcheh, 2016; Swayne, 2017; Tertemiz, Sahin, Can, & Duzgun, 2015; Yang, Wang, & Chiu, 2015; White, 2018; Yockel, 2017). Some of these studies focus more on pedagogy, teacher use and training needs (Bebell & Pedulla, 2015; Godzicki et al., 2013). Particular studies highlighting student perspectives on interactive technology integration to the classroom involve learning and teaching styles and application of technology in specific academic disciplines (Oktay & Çakir, 2013). Also, research on student engagement as well as motivation has been directed to teacher perceptions about student engagement as well as student perceptions about pleasure and enjoyment when interactive technology is integrated into the classroom (Godzicki et al., 2013; Osu, 2017; Zheng et al., 2014). To date, there is little research documenting the utilization of interactive technologies specifically for improving student engagement and behaviors in the 1st to 8th-grade classrooms. In this regard, there is no understanding of teacher and administrator views regarding the effect of integrating interactive technologies in the 1st to 8th-grade classrooms. Therefore, this research study was aimed at identifying ways through which the implementation of interactive technologies including the Chromebooks and Smartboards engage 1st-8th-grade students and reduce disruptive behaviors to enhance classroom management based on views of educators and administrators. Purpose of the Study
The research study sought to identify whether the implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom for learners impacts their engagement and whether teachers have less disciplinary issues to deal with*. * Therefore, the study was aimed at examining teachers’ perceptions about the impact of adopting Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom on learner engagement and indiscipline cases. Particularly, the study examined if the implementation of technologies such as Chromebooks and Smartboards can enhance the engagement and classroom discipline among 1st-8th graders. This study highlights the use of different interactive technologies such as Chromebooks and Smartboards in enhancing students’ behavioral engagement. Additionally, the findings of this study will foster an understanding on how to enhance the different facets of students’ behavioral engagement such as timely submission of classwork, homework, test, quizzes, assigned projects, and the adherence to the teachers’ instructions through the use of Chromebook and Smartboards, which is vital in enhancing students’ academic performance. In this regard, this qualitative study was aimed at exploring the perceptions of teachers regarding the use of Chromebooks and Smartboards Prince George County public schools.
The main question of research stated: In what ways does the implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom engage students and enhance class management? Some of the related questions to help in answering the main question are:
i. In what ways do Chromebooks and Smartboards impact student engagement in the classroom?
ii. In what ways do Chromebooks and Smartboards impact student discipline in the classroom?
iii. How does the use of Chromebooks and Smartboards impact teachers’ management in the classroom? Significance of the Study
Effective teaching strategies are essential in providing children with a critical as well as a solid foundation for their subsequent successful learning (Hamilton-Hankins, 2017; Swayne, 2017). The study examined the benefits of using Smartboards and Chromebooks in the classroom while determining whether it can promote improvement of classroom discipline and student engagement for 1st-8th graders. Research on how the implementation of technology engages students in the classroom will be beneficial to educational professionals at the 1st-8th-grade education levels, including curriculum administrators and educators besides students. On the other hand, the study also added to the already existing knowledge on the use of the different interactive technologies in the classroom. Specifically, this study’s results may help improve knowledge associated with technology-assisted teaching and learning, improvement of student engagement and discipline cases. In this regard, the gap associated with limited knowledge of how interactive technologies such as Smartboards and Chromebooks impact student engagement and discipline in the classroom can be addressed. Definition of Terms
*Chromebooks based tools.* Chromebooks are defined by Miller (2011) as laptops running on Google Chrome’s operating system (OS) that are developed to store data online as well as run cloud-based applications such as Gmail, YouTube, and Google+. Chromebooks based tools do not run on OS X and Windows meaning that they do not support traditional applications including Microsoft office which are key in the daily activities. However, they support versions of similar applications such as Word and Excel using the Chrome web browser (Bartolo, 2017).
*Smartboards as an internet-based tool. *This is an interactive whiteboard defined by Haydon Musti-Rao and Alter (2017) as set up involving an image generated by a computer and projector onto a screen the size of the convention whiteboard with a sensitive touch screen. Generally, it is a touch screen computer used in classrooms for ‘*e-teaching’* where students are allowed to use their fingers or pens to interact or modify content (Haydon et al., 2017).
*Teachers-tutors that guide learners in the classroom*. These are educators for helping students using one on one methods and they do not award grades (Hardman, 2016). For instance, in classroom platforms, they try as much as they can to coach or help students to improve their learning outcomes (Ramorola, 2018).
*1st through 8th* *graders-used in this context to represent learners*. In the US, 1st to 5th graders are students in elementary school while 6th to 8 th graders are students in junior high school (Núñez et al, 2015).
*One-to-one device. *The 1:1 digital device is one that accessed by students at anytime and anywhere. Similarly, 1:1 access denotes equal opportunity for all students to access digital devices to support their learning process (Bebell & Pedulla, 2015).
*Student Engagement. *It denotes the extent of interest, attention, passion, and optimism showed by students in the classroom and in most cases, it extends to motivation towards their learning process (Godzicki et al., 2013). Design of the Study
This study will use a qualitative descriptive case study research design in collecting and analyzing data. Qualitative research is a scientific inquiry seeking to build a narrative description of a given research phenomenon (Kim, Sefcik & Bradway, 2017). The case study research design is selected for this study because it will facilitate the collection of in-depth knowledge about the implementation and use of interactive technology such as Chromebooks and Smartboards in promoting engagement of 1st through 8th-grade students as described by the teachers. This research design involved the collection of data using semi-structured interviews. Research participants for this study will be 31 and they will be selected using a purposeful sampling technique following a defined inclusion/exclusion criterion to be described in chapter three. The participants will be teachers identified from a suburban school. Data analysis will follow the thematic analysis process in which data will be coded and emerging themes identified for accomplishing the aim of this study (Braun, Clarke, Hayfield, & Terry, 2019). To ensure confidentiality of the participants, collected data was stored using password-protected computers kept in lockable rooms accessible to the researcher only as well as assuring participants that their data will be destroyed after the completion of the research project (Kaiser, 2009). Assumptions, Limitations, and Delimitations
The researcher utilized a qualitative descriptive research design to examine ways in which the implementation of interactive technologies such as Smartboards and Chromebooks engage students while increasing their discipline cases at 1st-8th graders in this study. The researcher assumed that learning institutions using technology-based tools when teaching students impact student engagement (Schindler et al., 2017) and discipline (Osu, 2017). Also, the researcher assumed that teachers have mastered the use of technology tools. On the other hand, the researcher assumed that schoolchildren at the research site receive comparable instruction from teachers using Chromebooks and Smartboards. Moreover, it was assumed that students from the research site are given opportunity by teachers to access Chromebooks and Smartboards and that teachers have positive views associated with integration of those technologies into classrooms. Finally, it was assumed by the researcher that the research participants would give honest responses to aid in making appropriate conclusions.
There was a limitation of time associated with data collection in which data was collected within a short duration meaning some of the participants may have failed to give accurate and honest responses and this affected the final study findings. The study scope entailed teacher and administrator views about the implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards and student engagement and discipline. During the research, teachers and administrators were asked their views regarding how the implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards to impact student engagement and discipline in the classroom. The administrators and teachers were also asked how Chromebooks and Smartboards improve teachers’ management in the classroom. The study was based on 42 participants implying that study findings will not be generalized to a broader context. Particularly, this study was limited to a suburban school, which further reduced chances of generalizing findings to a broader context but to the school setting only. This may be attributed to the other factors likely to affect the implementation and adoption of technology into classrooms. Finally, this research sought to examine the social phenomenon under study using qualitative data only and this limited the study to an in-depth understanding. In this regard, the study did not focus on causal-effective relationships associated with the topic of study. Summary
This study was aimed at identifying the effect of technology integration on learner’s engagement and discipline in classrooms using Chromebooks and Smartboards as case studies. The first chapter has highlighted that there is limited research associated with the integration of interactive technology into classroom settings and how it engages students to improve their management. Particularly, research on the use of technologies such as Smartboards and Chromebooks among others to engage students is not extensive as more focus has been directed to pedagogy, teacher use, and training needs (Godzicki et al., 2013). This leads to a gap associated with a limited understanding of how the implementation of technologies such as Smartboards and Chromebooks engage students to improve their management, what the current research study examined in length.
Chapter 2 discusses previous literature associated with interactive technology integration in classrooms to enhance student behavior and engagement. Chapter 3 of this dissertation presents procedures and methods of data collections to accomplish the research aim. Chapter 4 documents the study results and its discussion relative to the previous literature. Chapter 5 offers a summary of the findings and their implications, the study limitations, and recommendations for further research.
*Chapter 2* *Literature Review* Overview
Technological developments have greatly transformed classroom practices. Application of different technologies has helped improve learning through providing students with a conducive learning environment which is inquiry-based, learner-controlled, collaborative and interactive (Minshew & Anderson, 2015; Pittman, & Gaines, 2015). There is extensive literature on the general application of instructional technology although there is minimal research conducted targeting the application of interactive technologies in classrooms. In the 1990s, interactive technologies were developed to be employed by the corporate sector although recent years have seen their application in classrooms as additional educational instructional tools (Bebell & Pedulla, 2015). The available research on interactive technology application in classrooms provides more qualitative data than quantitative data. Also, in exploring interactive technology use, some of the features looked for include its functionality, teacher attitudes, teacher methods, usages and classroom applications for specific subjects. Many previous studies do not examine student issues such as motivation and engagement as the primary focus but rather the two were incorporated in general terms as by-products of research investigations. Previous research has been focusing on the application of interactive technology more so Smartboards, monitoring its integration and effectiveness in British schools considering their massive adoption across the country (Rodriguez Triana et al., 2017). In comparison to the number of research studies conducted in the United States, they are quite a few in number and their applicability is also limited. Various key components of interactive technologies relating to the concept of student engagement and behavior were consequently reviewed. These include aspects such as student motivation, middle-school students’ needs, learning styles, interactive learning, and social and constructivism learning theories. Search Description
The search terms utilized for this study include integration of technology in classrooms, effects of technology on student engagement, Chromebooks for improving student engagement, Smartboards for improving student engagement and use of Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom. The inclusion criteria for the literature review entailed inclusion of peer-reviewed articles and journals, newspapers, and books that have been published within the last ten years. Limiting the date of publication of the papers to be within the last ten years, it implies that these data sources have the latest and most updated information about technology and internet application in schools. Information from online journals and school testimonials used were verified for their authenticity to ensure that the results and conclusions drawn at the end of the dissertation can be considered reliable. One-to-One Initiative in Education
In the field of education, one-to-one (1:1) initiative encourages the utilization of different devices besides classroom instruction. Some of the school districts or individual schools utilize multiple devices to supplement education based on the desired outcomes, grade level, and academic discipline. According to Williams and Larwin (2016), common 1:1 computing devices include tablets, Chromebooks, laptops, and Smartboards among others. However, as smartphones continue advancing, there is an increased likelihood that they will play a fundamental role in classroom instruction as noted by Scheninger (2014). On the same not, Murphy (2011) pointed out that post-PC devices (PPDs) denoting current novelties in the field of personal computing including iPads, Samsung Galaxy, Lenovo, Sony tablet, tablet-laptops, and Asus Nexus, all play a major role in 1:1 learning environment. The adoption of PPD 1:1 program has been utilized in the US, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Norway, Australia, and South Korea and most of them have similar characteristics. These include wireless connectivity, touch-driven interfaces, a variety of apps, high-resolution touch screen, and mobile operating systems (OS) (Murphy, 2011). Some of the schools as noted by Williams and Larwin (2016) use e-readers including Sony e-reader, Nook and Amazon’s Kindle. Clark and Luckin (2013) found that for such devices to be successfully integrated into schools, stakeholders are required to have an inclusive understanding of specifics of the devices as well as specific needs and goals of school programs.
Some of the PPDs vary in usage from Chromebooks that initially had a limited application as a result of lacking hard drives and its overreliance on the internet to operate. By the end of 2012, Akerman (2013) reported that Chromebooks had increased its revenues and profitability due to increased application in the educational setting. According to Vaughan-Nichols (2012), Chromebooks run on Chrome OS and are used with internet connections although some of the applications can store data while in an offline mode. As of 2013, Chromebooks surpassed Apple’s MacBook line as a result of its increased application in the educational sector. Also, their low costs and a strong link to Google apps including Google docs and drive led to its increased preferences among users in the educational sector (Gray et al., 2010). Some people have argued that Apple is good at data consumption but lacks a keyboard that bars users in creating content more so in the education context (Kelly, 2013). Application of Chromebooks varies in a 1:1 environment as some may use it in writing or taking notes, communicating with peers/teachers, completing homework and doing research. However, many teachers have found themselves in the initial stages of technology adoption, in which they are using technology to do previous activities including note taking but now in an improved way (Gray et al., 2010). Scheninger (2014) said that the innovative application of the Chromebooks is associated with creativity, communication, global awareness, video conferencing, collaboration and mobile technology, gaming and, massive online courses.
Smartboards are 1:1 new technology devices utilized by educators in classrooms as additional instructional strategies for improving the learning environment by facilitating student engagement in instruction (Johns, Troncale, Trucks, Calhoun, & Alvidrez, 2017; McKnight et al., 2016). Yang et al. (2015) argued that Smartboards are economical compared to the provision of computers to each learner and are normally intended for promoting whole class teaching and learning. Similarly, Smartboards permit the learner to have peer interactions as well as teacher-learner interactions but they do not allow relocation of students to the computer lab. According to Önal (2017), Smartboards support interactive as well as collaborative learning and teaching and promote learning controlled by the students. Tertemiz et al. (2015) supported interactive learning as a way of engaging students to promote higher problem-solving and thinking skills, specifically among middle school learners. The use of Smartboards for teaching the whole class integrates technology, attention to student needs, and interactive learning in a way that engages students physically and mentally during classroom instruction (Gurbuzturk, 2018; Kibirige & DePalo, 2017; Kirbas, 2018; O’Flaherty & Phillips, 2015; Shams et al., 2016*; *Van Hoorn et al., 2016).
Use of the 1:1 computing strategy has been increasing since the start of the 21st century and large school district including Cobb County Georgia, Henrico County Virginia, and states such as Maine and Texas have invested heavily on 1:1 program (Weston & Bain, 2010). The Education Week report of 2011 highlighted that most early programs were based on practices of evaluating program outcomes. Moreover, some of the schools have been left behind on the use of interactive technology which has increased the digital divide as a result of limited internet accessibility (Education Week, 2011). As schools are continually adopting the 1:1 initiative program, the concern associated with the effect/impact of 1:1 computing programs on student learning is yet to produce a clear answer (Harper & Milman, 2016; Schindler et al., 2017). Theoretical Literature
Different critical learning theories have supported the use of instructional technology in the classroom to examine diverse outcomes such as discipline and engagement of students. Relevant to this study, educational theories such as constructivist paradigms of learning and social cognitive theory were applied. According to Bandura (2001), the social cognitive theory postulates that learning is filtered through the culture of a child, both in its style and content of thinking. According to this theory, learning best occurs when learners are in the company of peers and as such, there is a great influence played by groups in the development of one’s learning behavior. From the pedagogical angle, facilitation of learning is achieved through peer interactions, problem-solving and guided instruction (An & Meaney, 2015; Cook & Artino Jr, 2016; Devi, Khandelwal, & Das, 2017) and all these are aimed at enhancing student engagement on classroom activities. Compeau and Higgins (1991) argued that if people have to only depend on impacts of their own actions to tell them of what they should do, then learning would be an extremely laborious activity if not hazardous. Further, humans acquire their learning behavior by observation through modeling. In this regard, one observes what others do and this informs them how behaviors are performed and this coded information later acts as a guide for their actions.
This reiterates the important role social interactions play in teaching and learning as noted by Devi et al. (2017). Devi et al. (2017) have a belief on the importance of social exchanges in teaching and learning that pushed them to advocate for a curriculum design that emphasizes the dynamic role played by students in learning activities. They further noted that engagement of students in classroom activities require the provision of a suitable learning environment that enhances the efficiency of instruction. This is also enhanced through the provision of necessary guidance which is mediated by additional tools.
Computer-supported interactive whiteboards (Smartboards), Chromebooks, and IPads among others are among additional tools which can be used for implementing cognitive strategies. Arman (2017) pointed out that using computer-supported teaching enhances awareness of teachers on the nature of interactions and their stimulation as the foundation for cognitive understanding and conceptual development. This is consistent with earlier research by Tertemiz et al. (2015) that evaluated the views of teachers and students on interactivity and collaboration. Study findings revealed that the application of interactive whiteboards enhanced collaborative and interactive learning which minimized disruptive behaviors and increased engagement on different classroom activities. This is also similar to the model suggested by Bandura (2001). Ornstein and Hunkins (1988) argue that technology supports the development of critical thinking skills to more enlightened abilities to process information. This is usually achieved through discussions and collaborations during which students are engaged in exploring concepts from different social backgrounds and perspectives. As a result, their disruptive behaviors are reduced.
The constructivist approach also embraces the important role played by technology and more so the use of interactive technologies in the classroom setup (White, 2018). Based on this approach, children construct new understanding and meaning from synthesizing new information and past experiences through social interactions, inquiry, and exploration. When using computer-supported learning approaches, constructing knowledge is done by discourse and collaboration (Osu, 2017). Considered as a philosophy of learning, constructivism is an amalgamation of tenets as postulated by Bada and Olusegun (2015). The scholars emphasize learner involvement and initiation during the learning process. In the view of the constructivist theory, the role of a teacher is that of facilitating knowledge construction by learners through self-reflection, guided learning activities, questioning and dialogue. Focus is thus given to the active learner who participates in the learning process in meaningful experiences (Anderson, 2016). Students then have the ability to apply concepts and create connections between new information and past knowledge.
Adding a voice to this debate, White (2018) noted that the use of interactive technologies was emphasizing more on the constructivism approach where students are active participants learning with real-world inferences. This is likely to minimize disruptive behaviors of the students. Constructivism instructional design just like social cognitive theory emphasizes learner control and collaboration while making it personal responsibility for creating and understanding. In another study by McKnigh et al. (2016), it was found that the manipulation of technology in classroom permitted students to have control of their learning pace. Other than chiefly being used for whole class interactions, interactive technologies such as Chromebooks, iPads and Smartboards encourages dialogues and exchange of ideas. Additionally, they permit access to various educational sources thus contributing to the learning of new concepts and knowledge among students. These diverse sources, therefore, enable the students to construct meaning (White, 2018). The constructivist theory and the social cognitive theory of learning encircle the needs and context of teaching and learning. The theories house the different attitudes of the learners, their developmental stages, and the diverse learning styles within a group. Different concepts within the context of empirical literature review were checked and they include student engagement, elementary and middle-school students, learning styles and interactive and collaborative learning. Empirical Literature
There is a need for schools to make key decisions in regards to the acquisition of computer hardware since most of the infrastructure is done to integrate new technology. Yockel (2017) argued that as is a common challenge with every technology, there are factors which must be taken into consideration including hardware functionality in the classroom and in different locations. For instance, particular school districts use different technology hardware for different schools. In some schools, each student has a laptop or an iPad while in other schools, teachers or students share them amongst themselves in the classes. Also, some of the schools use Chromebooks while others utilize Smartboards s. As of 2012, the school districts started the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program to enable learners to use their own Wi-Fi ready and smart devices such as Notebooks, iPads, Chromebooks, and laptops during teacher-guided and approved instructional time (Montes, 2016). The majority of the schools so far have different hand-held and portable devices together with computer desktops which have access to Ethernet or Wi-Fi (Montes, 2016).
*Classroom technology integration. *Research associated with the introduction of technology into classrooms commenced recently after a lot of research had been done on the subject of lesson planning (Montes, 2016). As a result, there is a scarcity of available research with much of it being just speculative in nature. Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Sadik, Sendurur, and Sendurur (2012) argued that educators have the capacity to determine whether technology will be integrated and how that will be achieved since they are the primary movers that transform teaching, and consequently the learning process.
*Factors affecting classroom technology integration. *Factors such as time constraints, lack of support and limited access to technology cause some of the teachers to struggle with technological integration thus discouraging their use at the initial stages (Carver, 2016; Kilinc, Tarman, & Aydin, 2018; Pittman, & Gaines, 2015; Vongkulluksn, Xie, & Bowman, 2018). Barriers such as fear of change, classroom practices, and negative beliefs associated with the integration of technology and teaching have affected successful adoption of interactive technology into classrooms (Hur, Shannon, & Wolf, 2016; Palak & Walls, 2009). As such, Hur et al. (2016), pointed out the importance of enhancing educators’ knowledge on the use and integration of technology so as to alleviate their reluctance and improve their success in integrating technology in their classrooms. According to Pittman and Gaines (2015), there are different important factors which substantially affect the success level of classroom technological integration. These factors can fall in any of the following interactive domains; context, innovation or project and the teacher or innovator. Minshew and Anderson (2015) also reported that there are three important attributes to be possessed by the teacher or innovator during technology integration. These include pedagogical compatibility (degree to which instructional strategies used match the technology to be adopted), social awareness (being aware of the problems associated with technology adoption), and technological proficiency (understanding technology and environment of adoption to facilitate software and hardware adoption for various purposes) (Minshew & Anderson, 2015).
A common factor that greatly affects technology integration in classrooms is the level of computer proficiency by the educator (Inan & Lowther, 2010). This makes pedagogical compatibility an important area of focus, in this case, there is a need to maintain consistency between educators’ instructional practices and the best-suited technology for their content and instructional style. When there is a convergence between teaching style, content, and technology, there is a high likelihood that the implementation of such technology will be successful (Yerrick & Johnson, 2009). Rodriguez Triana et al., (2017) describe social awareness as the ability of educators to understand the school’s social aspects such as culture. Moreover, having successful social awareness during technology integration will increase the chances of implementing a technological project. In the case of school or context, the success of innovation is dependent upon three important factors including social support, in other words, the level of support that colleagues offer or discouragement that they give the teachers; infrastructure to support the desired technology such as software, hardware and human infrastructure, that is responsive and flexible staff who are communicative and knowledgeable to help teachers understand and use the technology (Rodriguez Triana et al., 2017). Howard and Thompson (2016) also identified important elements that influence technology integration into the classroom. These include support, motivation, social climate, learning based technology integration, teaching models available, personal use, training on the basics, and the educator’s fear of change. Often considered to be more important are software/hardware, technological platforms, development of dynamic plans and funding that contribute to the success of technological integration even though they are often overlooked (Howard & Thompson, 2016).
Further, in their research, Inan and Lowther (2010) concluded that for educators, a positive influence on technology integration is achieved through teacher’s readiness, positive beliefs, and computer proficiency. Regarding the school, success will be determined by available technology, technical support and the general support which influences positively teacher’s readiness and beliefs to integrate technology. Pittman and Gaines (2015) argued that before technology brings a positive change in classrooms, educators must learn how to adopt technology and allow it to make changes to the current teaching paradigms. Moreover, it may be inappropriate for one to make an assumption that students know how to apply technology for learning since they are surrounded by technology. For schoolchildren to be able to effectively utilize digital tools for learning and collaboration, guidance of teachers is very important (Montes, 2016). Some of the ways through which the teachers can provide guidance include ensuring they provide students with opportunities to put technology into practice at any given time, set attainable as well as reasonable goals in regards to the levels of integration, and by ensuring students have basic technology operating skills. With these, Montes (2016) said that students will be able to have a detailed comprehension of concepts which might have been difficult or impossible to attain without the use of technology. Availability of technology tools for learners and their number highly dictate the effectiveness of technology integration. For instance, technology integration will be effective when every student has access to a portable device compared to when the whole class relies on one computer or a Smartboards (Yang et al., 2015).
While examining the level of technology integration from technology-rich elementary classrooms, Beeson (2013) explored how the content, pedagogy and knowledge and beliefs of the teachers impacted their decisions when planning for technology integration. The study revealed that decisions on technology tools, learners and content and desired outcome were made by the teachers. Some of the beliefs the study found regarding technology integration include students’ use of technology to expose them to technical skills, students’ exposure to content by technology and students’ engagement when employing technology (Beeson, 2013). A study by Cox (2014) explored constructivism in a 1:1 program promoting the use of Google apps and Chromebooks. Cox (2014) found that learning opportunities and collaboration were greatly enhanced among students when Chromebooks and other Google apps were adopted. The study also revealed that Chromebooks and Google Apps enable students to engage in continuous as well as constructive communication with teachers and other students. This was in line with (Weston & Bain, 2010) who found that there was an improvement in student involvement even though student engagement was not dependent upon the Chromebooks. According to Cox (2014), parents believe that the intrinsic need to learn was the motivation to learn even though the Chromebooks enhanced their learning.
*Impact of technology integration in the classroom. *Research has found technology integration to impact classroom outcomes. For instance, Kulow (2014) carried out a research study using both qualitative and quantitative tools. Treatment and control groups were used for determining whether student achievement and engagement were impacted during the use of Chromebook technology in first grade and kindergarten during math and reading. In the control group, teaching was done with the application of traditional lesson teaching models and some of the learners were allowed to practice what they had learned in small groups. The educator helped students in small groups to cultivate practices of doing math, writing, reading and independent working. Those in the treatment group used Chromebook technology and integrated educational websites and apps during both independent and group work. There were only nine Chromebooks and therefore there was sharing amongst students. Data was collected using a Likert-type survey to measure student’s engagement. The data was analyzed using MANOVA and *t-*tests. The study’s independent variable was treatment group whereas the dependent variables were cognitive, behavioral and emotional engagement. The study results indicated statistically significant differences between control and treatment groups in October for 1st graders when variables were combined, F = 4.93, p = .01 and Wilks Lambda = .71. In addition, there were statistically significant differences between the study groups in November when examining combined variables = 6.8, p = .00, and Wilks Lambda = .63. Finally, there was a statistically significant difference between the treatment and control groups in January for 1st graders when variables were combined, F = 15.13, p = .00, and Wilks Lambda = .43 (Kulow, 2014). Kulow (2014) concluded that students become more engaged when using additional instructional strategies such as Chromebooks compared to traditional teaching methods.
Elizondo (2018) examined 1:1 device (Chromebook) effectiveness in promoting engagement and achievement of students in the middle school context using mixed method research. Data collection for this study utilized questionnaires, surveys, mini-interviews, and observations as well as websites from CAASPP and MyData. The descriptive analysis method was utilized in examining the collected data to determine how 1:1 computing devices improve engagement of students. Descriptive statistics using percentages indicated that there was an average increase in students engagement in grade seven by 55% and grade eight by 14%. Particularly, student engagement in the 7th-grade classroom without Chromebooks was 45% whereas it increased to 100% with the integration of Chromebooks. Also, student engagement in the 8th-grade classroom without Chromebooks was 95% but increased to 100% once Chromebooks were integrated into the classroom (Elizondo, 2018). The qualitative results indicated that with technology integration in the classroom, students display disruptive behaviors as a result of technology distractions. Also, Hamilton-Hankins (2017) conducted action research on participants from an elementary school serving over 710 students who are K-5 th graders. The study aimed at determining the impact of technology integration impact on the engagement level of students in the classroom. Focus group semi-structured interviews, observations and pre-and-post interviews were used in collecting qualitative data while questionnaires were used in collecting quantitative data for this action research. Google Spreadsheets were used in analyzing quantitative data using descriptive statistics. The results after analysis of quantitative data showed that integration of technology such as Chromebooks in the classroom improves student engagement (Hamilton-Hankins, 2017).
Lyons (2018) also examined 1:1 device effects on engagement, communication, and behavior using quantitative methods. Specifically, the study was examining the effects of Chromebook use in promoting student engagement. The study was conducted in one of the suburban schools with one junior, one middle and nine elementary schools besides an adult school. The sample for the study was 18 students from an English language development class, and 30 students from each of the freshman English classes. Participants were taught using Chromebooks on some occasions and without Chromebooks in another. Data for the study was collected using surveys, observations and follow-up interviews. Quantitative data was analyzed using SPSS v.23 using the chi-square test of independence. The results of the study indicated a statistically significant difference between the groups on item reporting that students get inspired to finish assignments when using Chromebooks, χ2 (30, 4) = 9.97, p = .04. Although not significant, the study revealed that students find units taught using traditional approaches more engaging and interesting (M = 2.71) than when taught using Chromebooks (M = 2.17) (Lyons, 2018). Banitt, Theis, and Van Leeuwe (2013) conducted action research to examine the effects associated with the integration of technology in secondary classrooms. The study sample involved 200 students with three teachers from one metropolitan and one rural district. Data was collected using pre-and-post intervention surveys, teacher journals, brief questionnaires and assignment completing rates. The study results revealed that when technologies, particularly, Chromebook laptops and Smartboards were integrated into the classroom there was an overall 5-10% increase in student engagement and desired behavior compared to traditional instructional methods (Banitt et al., 2013).
In addition, McDowell Jr. (2013) investigated how student engagement is impacted by technology based on student, administrator and teacher perspectives in selected urban high schools. The study applied a qualitative approach in guiding the research to collect relevant data. Focus group data including administrator commentaries and student self-reporting and teacher interviews were used in collecting data. Thematic analysis was utilized in examining the data to conclude on the impact of technology on student engagement. Study results based on student views highlighted that technology use in the classroom makes classroom learning more engaging since they are involved in every classroom activities thus minimizing disruptive behaviors. *(*McDowell Jr., 2013*) *Also, teachers argued that specific technological tools such as Smartboards s, video-based technology, tablets, and laptops have the greatest effect on the engagement of students in classrooms. Finally, administrators argued that technology influences engagement of students reducing their disruptive behaviors in classrooms (McDowell Jr., 2013).
Another study by Swayne (2017) applied the quantitative approach to examine student achievement and engagement following the integration of technology. Data was collected using observational methods and analyzed using cross-tabulation methods. The variables of this study included technology integration frequency and student engagement level. Cross-tabulation results indicated p-values of 0.34 and 0.29 respectively when comparing technology integration and student engagement frequencies which were more than 0.05. This implied that the null hypothesis postulating that the two variables relative to ELA classrooms did not have a statistically significant relationship was not rejected. Similarly, the study also found that the p-values when comparing the frequency of student engagement and technology integration were 0.16 and 0.16, which were also more than 0.05 implying the null hypothesis was not rejected. From the study, when comparing the relationship between student engagement and technology integration in the classroom, ELA had high levels of student engagement due to technology integration of 4.
*Research Propositions *
Based on the discussion of the impact of integration of technology on classroom outcomes, the following propositions were postulated:
Proposition 1: Technology integration in the classroom impacts student engagement.
Proposition 2: Technology integration in the classroom impacts student disruptive behavior.
Proposition 3: Technology integration in the classroom impacts teachers’ classroom management.
[image: Text Box: Impacts engagement of students in the learning process within the classroom][image: Text Box: Impacts management of classroom by teachers]
[image: Oval: Embracing the use of technology in the classroom]
[image: Text Box: Impacts discipline levels among learners]
(Source: Author, 2019)
The aim of the current research was to explore perceptions of teachers about the impact of adopting interactive technologies such as Smartboards and Chromebooks on 1st-8th-grade learners’ engagement and discipline in the classroom. The literature review was aimed at examining previous literature on the use of 1:1 computing devices which include iPads, tablets, Chromebooks, and Smartboards among others in the classroom to determine how their engage students as well as affect their behavior. The literature review highlighted the application of the 1:1 initiative in education to examine how it has improved student engagement and discipline in classrooms. From the review, some of the technologies that have been used in the 1st -8th grader classrooms include post-PC devices such as iPads, Samsung Galaxy, Lenovo, Sony tablet, tablet-laptops and Asus Nexus (Murphy, 2011), e-readers including Sony e-reader, Nook and Amazon’s Kindle (Williams & Larwin, 2016), Smartboards, MacBooks and Chromebooks (Gray et al., 2010). The literature review also examined the theoretical literature to highlight the theories associated with the integration of technology into the classroom. Two theories have been utilized in understanding technology integration in learning and they were used as a foundation for this research. These include constructivist learning and social cognitive theories. Using the social cognitive theory, it is assumed that effective learning requires an interactive learning environment that is supplemented by additional tools including the above 1:1 computing tools (Arman, 2017). Similarly, the constructivism theory of learning supports the role played by computer-based technologies in the interaction of students-students and teacher-students, which is key in getting students engaged (White, 2018).
In addition, the literature chapter examined empirical literature associated with the integration of technology into the classroom and the effects of technology integration in the elementary and junior or middle school students’ engagement and behavior/discipline. There was a consensus among the studies that technology integration increases student engagement and minimizes indiscipline cases (Banitt et al., 2013 Elizondo, 2018; Hamilton-Hankins, 2017; Kulow, 2014; Lyons, 2018). Regardless of the potential impacts of technology integration in the elementary and junior school classroom, there is minimal research in this area to highlight the effect of technology integration on student engagement and behavior specifically in 1st-8th-grade classrooms. This implies that educators and administrators’ views/perceptions on the effect of integrating interactive technology such as Smartboards and Chromebooks into 1st-8th-grade classrooms are lacking. This research, therefore, was aimed at examining the effect of integrating interactive technology such as Smartboards and Chromebooks into 1st-8th-grade classrooms based on the perceptions of educators and administrators to fill this gap.
Similarly, most of the studies conducted have utilized descriptive statistics to examine the impact of interactive technologies on student engagement and discipline (Banitt et al., 2013; Elizondo, 2018; Hamilton-Hankins, 2017). This indicates that there is a minimal in-depth understanding of the negative or positive impacts of technology integration in the classroom setting. Therefore, this study was aimed at utilizing the qualitative approach in examining the impact of technology integration into the classroom focusing the study on 1st -8th classroom setting. The next chapter explores the procedures as well as methods of data collection and analysis.
*Chapter 3* *Methodology* Introduction
This chapter examines the research design, methodology and method employed in the study. The section describes the actions that were taken by the researcher in investigating the phenomena of interest. It provides the rationale for application of the selected research approach, design and procedures. The main objective of the methodology chapter is to describe how data was collected and analyzed; to achieve the research aim and answer the research questions (Arthur, 2017).
The purpose of this study was to find, from teacher’s perspectives, if implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom impacts learner engagement and discipline among 1st-8th graders. Achievement of this aim answered to the central question of the research which was: In what ways does implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom engage students and enhance class management?
The central research question was divided into various related sub-questions that were addressed separately. These helped in answering the main question and were as follows:
1. In what ways do Chromebooks and Smartboards impact student engagement in the classroom?
2. In what ways do Chromebooks and Smartboards impact student discipline in the classroom?
3. How does the use of Chromebooks and Smartboards impact teachers’ management in the classroom?
The chapter is organized into various sections and sub-sections. The first section introduces and explains in detail the research design chosen for this study. In the following section, the research setting/context for the study will be described. In the third section, the participants who were involved in the study as both the research sample and sources of data are introduced. The section will also detail the sample size, sampling procedures and ethical considerations employed in the study. In the fourth section, the instruments and procedures in this qualitative study are elucidated.
The data collection methods and procedures used in the study are presented in the following section. A justification is offered explaining the choice of data collection methods. In the fifth section, qualitative data analysis techniques adopted in the study are described. Finally, a summary will be provided emphasizing the main points of the chapter will be provided as the last section. Research Design
A systematic and rigorous inquiry was designed to collect, analyze, interpret and use appropriate data and information with the aim of understanding the educational phenomena of classroom use of Chromebooks and Smartboards and learner engagement and discipline. To achieve this, the researcher adopted appropriate research design. Many authors have suggested that to ensure proper flow of research and for future replication, it is important that the various concepts and terms used in research design and methodology are enunciated and defined (Arthur, 2017; Creswell, 2014; Gaudet & Robert, 2018).
Research methodology refers to the systematic, scientific analysis of the research methods applied with the aim of efficiently addressing the problem under investigation (Denzin & Lincoln, 2017). Research method, on the other hand, refers to the strategy or tool adopted by a researcher to implement the plan outlined in the research design (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013). According to Creswell (2014), three key terms are used in methodological traditions of research, namely: research approach, research design, and research method.
These three terms exemplify the entire successive research process from the broad assumptions and constructions to the narrow and detailed procedures and techniques of methods of data collection, analysis, interpretation and presentation (Creswell, 2014). The following framework (Figure) was adopted from Creswell (2014) to describe the interaction and interconnection of the components of research paradigms, approaches, designs and methods of research.
*Figure **3**‑**1**: Research Framework*
*Source: Adopted from Creswell (2014)*
Creswell (2014) has defined the broad research approach as the plan or proposal to undertake a research inquiry, further stating that it involves an intersection of worldview, design and method. According to Creswell (2014), the overall decision made by a researcher involves selection of the approach that is most appropriate for the topic being studied. Creswell (2014) further explains that the decision to settle for a particular research approach is informed by the philosophical standpoint of the researcher conducting the study, the research design, and the research methods.
In addition, according to Braun and Clarke (2013), the nature of the research issue under investigation, the researcher’s perceived experiences and competencies, as well as the audience of the study also inform the research approach adopted. Denzin and Lincoln (2017) posit that the overall direction of research methodology and method is provided by the selected research design. The approach, design, and method adopted in this study are next introduced and defined. Research Approach
Creswell (2014) differentiates between three main approaches to research by methods of data collection, namely, qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods. Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2016), on the other hand, categorized research approaches into two main categories by method of data analysis and reasoning, namely, inductive and deductive approach. Figure 3-1 presents this categorizing and is followed by detailed definitions and rationale for the research approach selected for this study.
*Figure **3**‑**2**: Components of Research Approach*
*Source: (Creswell, 2014; Saunders et al., 2016)*
Creswell (2014), argues that qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research approaches are not rigid, discrete, distinct categories as they are often presented, but rather signify disparate positions on a continuum. The author argues that a research inquiry can only be more qualitative than quantitative or vice versa, with mixed methods research incorporating elements of both qualitative and quantitative approaches and hence taking the middle position (Creswell, 2014).
In many sources of literature enunciating research methods and methodology in education, the definitions given to distinguish between qualitative and quantitative research approaches are framed in terms of using textual data or worded information to explore or describe the quality of phenomena (qualitative) (Aurini, Heath, & Howells, 2016; Maxwell, 2013; Merriam & Grenier, 2018); rather than counted or numbered data or information exploring or describing the quantity of phenomena (quantitative) (Arthur, 2017; Cohen et al., 2013; Saunders et al., 2016). Mixed methods involve both textual and numbered data (Creswell, 2014).
This study adopted the *qualitative research approach*. This was because the researcher did not intend to objectively test theory and/or examine the relationship, prediction or impact between implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards in classrooms for Grade 1-8 (as independent variables) and learner engagement and discipline (as dependent variables), and teacher activity (as mediating variables). These variables would need to be collected and measured numerically typically using instruments such as closed-ended questionnaires, so that numbered data would be processed and analyzed using statistical techniques (Arthur, 2017).
Instead, the researcher was interested in exploring and understanding the meaning teachers and learners ascribed to the application of technology, namely, Chromebooks and Smartboards in relation to learner engagement and discipline in the classroom. In line with the description given be Maxwell (2013) about qualitative research process, this study involved exploring emerging questions and procedures about this novel form of learning with data collected in the classrooms, that is, the setting of the participants. Worded or textual data was collected.
Focusing on the perspective given by Saunders et al. (2016) on research approach as an analysis strategy, the concepts of inductive and deductive research were enunciated. Saunders et al. (2016) explain that the main difference between these two approaches is that whilst the former attempts to generate new theory following the findings deriving from current data collection and analysis, the latter (deductive approach) aims at testing theory deriving from extant research literature.
This study adopted the *inductive approach*. This approach was appropriate because according to Denzin and Lincoln (2017), the researcher did not intend to scan for extant literature and derive a theory or hypothesis with the aim conducting tests to confirm or reject them, as in deductive approach. Rather, the researcher developed research questions that helped narrow the scope of the inquiry such that new theories and/or generalizations were generated and built (Denzin & Lincoln, 2017).
The researcher was interested in exploring new phenomena and/or examining documented ones from a different perspective and therefore, the approach of causality employed in deductive approaches was not the goal of this research inquiry (Arthur, 2017). The researcher inductively built and analyzed data and generalized themes from specific to general while making interpretations on the meanings of the findings. Data was used to explore the phenomena of classroom technologies and class management, and identified themes and patterns were synthesized into a conceptual framework (Manen, 2014).
Figure 3-2 shows the pattern that the researcher followed in this inductive research approach.
*Figure **3**‑**3**: Inductive Process in Research Approach*
*Source: (Creswell, 2013, 2014)* Research Philosophy
Creswell (2014) emphasizes that in planning a research inquiry, the philosophical assumptions, also known as worldviews, beliefs or paradigms that the researcher considers influential and appropriate take a central role. Also, according to Creswell (2013), the research design and the specific methods relate to this worldview. Mertens (2010) has defined a paradigm as a philosophical assumption, view point or perception about the world that influences the direct thinking, behavior and action of an individual. Creswell (2014) explains that philosophical ideas may not be explicit in research, but will influence the researcher and/or research practice or action nonetheless.
Creswell (2014) advises that a researcher should specify the larger philosophical viewpoint or idea they adopt for the study, and discuss its implications of the research methodology in general and the choice of research methods in particular. Other authors have indicated that a research philosophy helps explain why the researcher chose a particular research approach or design (Mertens, 2010).
Four major philosophical paradigms are identified in education research literature, namely, positivism, realism, interpretivism, and pragmatism (Pernecky, 2016; Saunders et al., 2016). These paradigms represent a researcher’s beliefs about the procedures and techniques through which data about the phenomenon under investigation should be collected, processes, analyzed and applied (Saunders et al., 2016).
Positivism involves creation of research questions and hypotheses to be tested scientifically and quantitatively. Realism doubts the scientific approach adopted in positivism and advocates revision of theory (Saunders et al., 2016). Interpretivism argues that people construct multiple meanings of phenomena based on how they understand their own and others’ actions. It tests phenomena qualitatively (Pernecky, 2016). Pragmatism is practical. It picks elements of both positivism (quantitative) and interpretivism (qualitative) in mixed research (Pernecky, 2016; Saunders et al., 2016).
Mertens (2010), Pernecky (2016) and Arthur (2017) have discussed the four basic belief systems that have largely been used in research to define a research philosophy: axiology, ontology, epistemology, and methodology. According to these three authors, ethics, reality, knowledge, the researcher and the participant in a study are important.
Axiology is the viewpoint of the nature of ethics while ontology espouses the nature of reality (Pernecky, 2016). Epistemology is a belief on the nature of knowledge and the relationship between the researcher and their subjects or participants (Mertens, 2010). Lastly, methodology is about how the researcher plans and conducts a systematic inquiry to gain knowledge and understand what they desire (Arthur, 2017).
Saunders et al. (2016) have argued that a research philosophy should be the first to be elucidated before any other research process. They introduce a ‘research onion’ (Figure 3-4) where research philosophy is positioned in the outermost layer, where it is shown to have an overall influence of all the stages of the research process (Saunders et al., 2016).
*Figure **3**‑**4**: Research Onion*
*Source: (Saunders et al., 2016)*
The practical implications of the current study influenced the adoption of the *interpretivist research philosophy*. The current study adopted a qualitative research approach, which according to Saunders et al. (2016) is traditionally an interpretivist research approach. Interpretivism, also constructivism was appropriate for the study as it does deal with facts and numbers but on observable qualities of the study phenomena (Creswell, 2014; Mertens, 2010).
Epistemologically speaking, the researcher opted for a more interactive method of data collection that involved interaction with the research participants to generate findings. Inferences drawn from the data were supported by direct quotations from teachers who participated in the study (Mertens, 2010). In terms of ontology, the researcher believed that the phenomena of learner engagement and discipline are socially constructed and allowed the concepts of their importance and effects to be derived as they had been constructed by the teachers (Mertens, 2010).
The Chromebook and Smartboard practices used to engage learners from 1st to 8th grade were studied and analyzed as conceptualized by the participating teachers and not the researcher (Mertens, 2010). Mertens (2010) posits that as the study was qualitative in design and approach, and since interpretivism is a qualitative research paradigm, methods that are predominantly espoused in the paradigm namely interviews, observations and open-ended questionnaires. Multiple perspectives were sought to yield better interpretation of technology use and classroom (Braun & Clarke, 2013).
In terms of axiology, the researcher adhered to the *ethical considerations* and principles of qualitative research which included the most fundamental ethical considerations of beneficence (do good) and non-maleficence (do no harm) (Gluchman, 2018; Resnik, 2018), where the researcher ensured protection of the rights and autonomy of the participants to willingly reject, accept or withdraw from participation without giving reasons or feeling compelled to do so (Gluchman, 2018).
It was the belief of the researcher that by being balance, fair, caring, just, respectful of the relationship with the participants, and ensuring inclusive representation of participating teachers in the research process, social justice would be furthered from the research (Resnik, 2018). The principle of ontological, educative, catalytic, and tactical authenticity was also observed (Creswell, 2014; Denzin & Lincoln, 2017; Mertens, 2010).
This included raising awareness of the research objectives and processes among the participating teachers, and educating them on the risks and benefits of participation such as time consumption and evidence-based recommendations for policy and pedagogical improvement (Mertens, 2010). Informed consent meant that the participants were furnished with adequate information about the research, fully comprehended the information, and had free choice, rights and power to consent or decline participation on their own volition (Gluchman, 2018; Manen, 2014; Resnik, 2018).
A further ethical consideration in this constructivist research entailed assurance of the participating teachers’ confidentiality and anonymity including where there was a face-to-face interaction (Resnik, 2018). In this regard, data use and reporting did not identify the source or divulge details that could be tracked back to the source (Gluchman, 2018). Measure to ensure this ethical principle was upheld included protection of data by securing its storage using passwords for soft copies, using lockable boxes to store completed questionnaires, and coding to protect individual participant identity, and assurance of and actual destruction of audio tapes on completion of the study (Denzin & Lincoln, 2017).
The researcher also ensured the authenticity of data by describing the teachers’ experiences in the use of Chromebooks and Smartboards for learner engagement and discipline faithfully without misrepresentation (Gluchman, 2018). Resnik (2018) articulates the concept of ‘bracketing’ where the researcher did not let own beliefs about the phenomenon of technology in the classroom to influence data collection and analysis (Denzin & Lincoln, 2017).
Lastly, in line with constructivist axiology and consistent with the ethical principle of research governance, the researcher sought and gained consent and permission to proceed with the research from the supervisor and university ethics committee, as well as consent to gain access to the research site from the school administration and the participants themselves (Denzin & Lincoln, 2017). This helped ensure that the research project was accepted by all the key stakeholders, namely, the university ethics committee, study population participants, and research site administrators (Gluchman, 2018; Manen, 2014; Resnik, 2018). Research Strategy
In addition to choosing the qualitative approach to conduct the study, the researcher selected one type of study within the qualitative choice. Creswell (2014) call these study types research designs, and describe their importance in giving meaning and direction to the research. Denzin & Lincoln (2017) refer to research types as strategies or procedure of inquiry. Maxwell (2013) and Arthur (2017) have defines a research design as the blue print, plan, or framework that outlines the methodology, methods and techniques for addressing the research problem, achieving the research aims or objectives, and answering the research questions.
Many authors posit that a research design describes how to conduct a research inquiry using a certain approach or methodology. It refers to the set of methods and procedures adopted by the research to plan the research, collect, process and analyze data, and present and interpret the findings as measured by the variables specified in the research (Arthur, 2017; Maxwell, 2013). Creswell (2014) states that research strategies are either qualitative, quantitative or mixed research designs. Just like in methodological choices (research approaches), the difference between these three is that a qualitative research strategy will use text, word or narrative forms to collect, analyze and interpret data while a quantitative strategy will use numbers or counted measures (Creswell, 2014).
This study adopted the *qualitative research strategy* for the obvious reason that both the interpretivist paradigm and qualitative research approach generally and specifically support qualitative methodologies and methods of data collection and analysis (Cohen et al., 2013; Maxwell, 2013; Merriam & Grenier, 2018).
Books and research articles have now emerged describing and summarizing the different types of qualitative research strategies and offered complete procedures on how to conduct qualitative inquiries using specific qualitative strategies and methods (Giorgi, 2012; Groenewald, 2004; Manen, 2014; Paley, 2016; Vagle, 2016). Research literature presents a categorization of the most used and important qualitative strategies, namely, phenomenology, grounded theory, case study, ethnography, and narrative research (Creswell, 2014; Saunders et al., 2016). The most appropriate and viable strategy to conduct the current research was *phenomenological research*.
Manen (2014) and Creswell (2014) have both given a similar definition of phenomenology as a research strategy; that a phenomenological research strategy is a type of inquiry design that derives from the field of psychology and philosophy, in which the researcher describes qualitatively the lived experiences of the subjects of study (participants), as described by themselves about a specific phenomenon. The description of given by individual participants culminates in the essence of a large group of individuals with similar characteristics and who have all experienced the event, activity or phenomena. Generalization is done from specific to general as in inductive reasoning in logic and psychology (Creswell, 2014; Giorgi, 2012; Groenewald, 2004; Manen, 2014).
Padilla-Díaz (2015) argued that developing an accurate framework and procedure of phenomenology requires understanding of the different types. Citing many authors, Padilla-Díaz (2015) summarized the different types of phenomenological research as: eidetic (essence) or transcendental phenology that analyzes the essences of given phenomena or experience in light of its components; “Egological”, genetic or constitutional phenomenology referring to meaning attached to self; and descriptive or hermeneutical phenomenology focusing on exploring, describing, and interpreting the personal lived experiences and meanings attached by others to a given phenomenon (Lincoln & Guba, 2013; Padilla-Díaz, 2015; Paley, 2016).
*Descriptive or hermeneutical phenomenology* was adopted in this study. This phenomenological research has a strong underpinning in research philosophy (Paley, 2016). In the field of educational research, particularly focusing on the lived experiences of teachers, many studies have found phenomenology as the most viable and appropriate qualitative research strategy to employ (Boorang, Fard, Sharahi, & Khodabandelou, 2018; Bryant, 2018; Hall, Chai, & Albrecht, 2016; Yuksel-Arslan, Yildirim, & Robin, 2016).
The procedure in phenomenology, like in all qualitative studies, does not start with formulating a hypothesis or theory from extant literature (Creswell, 2013). In this study therefore, the procedure involved developing research questions and conducting interviews using semi-structured open-ended interview schedules, and administering semi-structured open-ended questionnaires that collected a sufficient database of qualitative datasets from which emerging themes and patterns were gleaned and participant involvement applied to validate the findings (Groenewald, 2004; Manen, 2014; Paley, 2016; Vagle, 2016). Research Setting/Context
The study was carried out at Samuel P. Massie Academy. Address: 3301 Regency Pkwy, Forestville, MD 20747, USA. Research Sample and Data Sources (Participants)
Some key terms are first distinguished before describing the research sample and data sources. First, a *population* refers to the complete set of persons possessing the characteristics defined by the research, in the case of this paper; teachers (Cohen et al., 2013). Two types of population are defined in the literature: one, the *target or theoretical population* refers to the whole universe or entire group of persons to which the researcher wishes to generalize the findings such as all teachers regardless of region, race, gender, or age (Cohen et al., 2013); and two, the *accessible or study population* to which the researcher intends to apply the conclusions and can actually generalize the findings because it is the actual sampling frame. In this case, the teachers at Samuel P. Massie Academy, who are limited by school (Cohen et al., 2013).
A *sample* is the sub-set of selected people to participate in the study. A sampling procedure is used in determining how (technique, procedure) and how many (sample size) people can participate (Vagle, 2016). Random sampling procedure is probabilistic where all members of the study sample have an equal chance of being selected to participate; while non-random sampling in non-probabilistic where members do not have an equal chance. The latter technique was adopted in this study, and it has many types (Braun & Clarke, 2013).
*Purposive sampling* was selected for this study as it enables selection of information-rich samples related to the phenomenon under study (Denzin & Lincoln, 2017). Criterion purposive sampling was picked from the various strategies of purposive sampling. It is used largely in qualitative and phenomenological research because only those individuals or groups that bear the sought-after characteristics (Paley, 2016). Teachers in the school were selected because they were especially knowledgeable and experienced with the phenomena of interactive technologies specifically Chromebook and Smartboards, in class room learning.
*Criterion purposive sampling* identified the inclusion and exclusion criteria for teachers that met the predetermined and specified criterion to participate (Palinkas et al., 2015). An eligibility form was used to screen teachers. Teachers who met the inclusion criteria were that: (1) taught grade 1-8 students, (2) used Chromebooks and Smartboards, (3) had taken professional training and development courses on use of interactive technologies in the classroom, (4) were trained on the adoption of 1:1 initiative, and (5) have implemented the Chrome books and smart boards for a period of more than three years.
As indicated earlier, the *study population* and data sources for the study were teachers at Samuel P. Massie Academy. The researcher sought permission from the school superintendent and the school principal. The teachers and administrators in the school have been afforded training for both the smart board and chrome books. Teachers were recruited using kind announcement that were posted in the teacher staff room, the teachers’ lounge, and in google classroom. Before and during the study, the study target teachers were furnished with information and details about the academic objective of the study and how the study would benefit them by deriving policy implications and giving recommendations for management and practice (Resnik, 2018).
On the *sample size*, Creswell (2013) argued that compared to quantitative research, qualitative analyses require a smaller sample size, only large enough to answer the research questions and describe the phenomena being explored. Guetterman (2015) posited that once saturation is achieved, that is, when inclusion of additional participants does not yield new text, content or information, then the sample size is good.
A number of studies have given recommendations for an estimated sample size that is most ideal in qualitative research based on evidence-based saturation analyses. A sample size of 30-50 is recommended for ethnographical studies; 20-50 for grounded theory; and 5-25 for phenomenological studies (Creswell, 2013; Giorgi, 2012; Guetterman, 2015; Kim, Sefcik, & Bradway, 2017; Palinkas et al., 2015). Based on this recommendation, the research found a sample size of 31 safe and ideal to work with. Instruments and Procedures
Both secondary and primary data was collected and used in the study. Secondary data was that derived from extant literature and research while primary data was collected first-hand from the participants (Lincoln & Guba, 2013). This phenomenological research collected data on two instruments or tests; *semi-structured open-ended interview schedules and semi-structured open-ended questionnaires* (Lincoln & Guba, 2013).
A phenomenological study is qualitative and therefore it could not use closed-ended questions that measure quantitative hypotheses; rather it used open-ended questions to measure qualitative outcomes. Open-ended questions produced rich qualitative data that provided in-depth knowledge about the implementation and use of Chromebook and Smartboard technologies and their effect on learner engagement for students in 1st grade through 8th grade as experienced and described by the teachers (Kim et al., 2017).
The researcher also used a behavioral checklist to help gather additional in-depth information about the subjects of inquiry, namely, the teachers implementing Chromebook and Smartboard technologies for learners from grade 1 to 8 (Manen, 2014; Paley, 2016; Vagle, 2016). Studies have demonstrated that the phenomenological research design has a strong underpinning in collecting data using open-ended questions, interviews, and observations (Boorang et al., 2018; Bryant, 2018; Hall et al., 2016; Yuksel-Arslan et al., 2016).
The researcher was limited from spending an entire lesson, or day, observing or interviewing teachers and therefore printed self-administered questionnaires were provided to be collected later but not longer than a week. Those that preferred soft copies were supplied the questionnaires via email. No identifying information was required on the printed or soft copies. Informed consent was received before collecting data including audio and video (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005). Data Collection
The third major element of the research design framework adopted in this study was the research methods employed in phenomenological qualitative research. This refers to data collection, data analysis, data interpretation and presentation of findings. According to Manen (2014), phenomenology aims for a more personal and interactive mode of collecting data. Following the advice given by Creswell (2014) and Manen (2014), the researcher considered the continuum of options of data collection in qualitative and phenomenological research.
The researcher also organized the phenomenological method by the full range of criteria provided by Creswell (2014) to consider the possibilities and shape of a qualitative study. The criteria included: pre-determined nature of the method; choice between closed-ended and open-ended interview or questionnaire instrument-based questions; type of data; statistical analyses; and statistical interpretation (Creswell, 2014).
For this particular phenomenological study, emerging methods and (as opposed to pre-determined quantitative methods) were adopted. Open-ended questions were used on both the semi-structured interview and semi-structured questionnaire instruments (Creswell, 2014). Data were collected and stored by means of interview, questionnaire, observation, document, and audiovisual techniques (Creswell, 2014; Denzin & Lincoln, 2017; Groenewald, 2004; Saunders et al., 2016).
Data collection involved visiting the research site, interviewing participants, administering the questionnaire and making observations and asking emergent questions where teachers talked openly about Chromebooks and Smartboards and their experiences on the effect of these interactive technologies on learner engagement and discipline. This was done before formally conducting the interviews and administering the questionnaire and the interactions were recorded on audio with full consent. The objective was to create a researcher-researched relationship with the teachers (Manen, 2014; Paley, 2016). In addition, this procedure allowed for flexibility where information collected emerged from the teachers themselves following the guidelines of the semi-structured instruments (Lincoln & Guba, 2013). Data Analysis
Although content analysis in qualitative research is often recommended compared to thematic analysis, *thematic analysis* was found appropriate and selected for this study. Thematic analysis involves identifying themes and patterns that are important in describing a phenomenon (Maxwell, 2013); while content analysis starts with theory or relevant literature to guide creation of codes and themes for the current primary data, that is, categories derived for coding are obtained right from the text data (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005).
As indicated in the earlier sections, inductive analysis was used to generalize data from the specific to the general. The independent variable for the study was implementation of Chromebooks and Smartboards in the classroom and the dependent variables were student engagement and discipline in the classroom. The Creswell (2014) criteria aforementioned in the foregoing text helped specify that the type of data analysis needed to be in textual information recording. Reporting of the findings was done in the voice of the participating teachers (Boorang et al., 2018; Groenewald, 2004; Yuksel-Arslan et al., 2016).
Interpretation of the results from the study involved coding of text into themes or patterns that emerged from the participating teachers (Vagle, 2016). The goal of data and information analysis was to describe the lived experiences of teachers in relation to classroom technologies and learner engagement; rather than quantify them in any way (Lincoln & Guba, 2013). The analysis followed the typical steps espoused in the literature as follows.
The first step involved the researcher bracketing or phenomenological reduction, that is, checking own beliefs, opinions and notions about use of technologies in the classroom and learner engagement. This helped separate what the researcher already knew or thought about Chromebooks and Smartboards from the current focus on the phenomenon (Giorgi, 2012). The next step was intuition where the researcher maintained an open mind to understand and analyze the phenomenon from the perspective of the description given by the participants who experienced it (Groenewald, 2004).
Third, the researcher coded and categorized the rich descriptive data into themes that described the experience of teachers who had lived use of the identified classroom pedagogical technologies (Boorang et al., 2018; Lincoln & Guba, 2013; Yuksel-Arslan et al., 2016). The last phase was description where the researcher used own understanding of the rich data and information from participant descriptions to describe and define the phenomenon of technology use in the classroom and learner engagement and discipline. Summary
This chapter discussed in length the methodology and methods that were used in the study. The chapter found that research philosophies, research designs, and research methods contribute to the selection of a research approach from among the three most common approaches, namely, quantitative, qualitative, or mixed. Given the nature of the problem under investigation and the questions the researcher sought to answer, a phenomenological qualitative study strategy or design was chosen. Phenomenological research helped explore the lived experiences of teachers implementing Chromebooks and Smartboards and the effect on class engagement and discipline. The objective of the study was to establish this effect from the views of teachers.
*Chapter 4* *Findings* Demographic Characteristics
Forty-two respondents participated in this study. Out of the 42 teachers, the overwhelming majority had been using chrome books and smart boards for 3 years and above (see Fig. 1). Almost fifteen percent (14.29%) of the respondents had used for 3 years, 30.95% had a 4-year experience, 21.43% had a 5-year experience, and 9.524% has used chrome books and smart boards for 6 years. Only 2% had used the technologies for 1 year. In addition, some teachers had used classroom technologies for only 7 years (11.9%) or 2 years (9%).
Figure 1. Number of years teachers had been using Chromebooks and SMART boards
The participants were asked to state their level of skills in chrome books and smart boards. Figure 2 shows 21.4 % of the teachers were expert users of the technologies (use technology for assessment, collaboration, use multiple apps) while a similar number (21.4 %) were advanced users (regularly use technology and can/ have helped other staff members). Most of the participants (30.9%) were intermediate users (create class materials, assign projects to use some apps) of chrome books and smart boards. A significant number (2.381%) of teachers were still learning and 23.81%) were using the device as beginner (use some apps, access the Internet) or novice.
Figure 2. The level of teachers’ skills in chrome books/smartboards
The participants were asked to rate how the use of technologies in the classroom helped students to be more engaged or interested in the learning process. Table 1 shows that generally, the use of chrome books/ smartboard helps the students to be more engaged and interested in the learning process (21.4% of the teachers agreed and 53% strongly agree).
*Table 1:** The use of the chrome book/ smartboard helps the students to be more engaged and interested in the learning process*
Furthermore, students who use chrome book/ smartboard are more motivated to finish their assignments than those who do not. Table 2 shows that the overwhelming majority of the respondents thought classroom technologies enhanced the learners’ motivation to complete their assignments. Out of the 42 participants, 23.8% of the agreed while 52.4% strongly agreed that students who use chrome book/ smartboards are more motivated to finish their assignments.
*Table 2:* *Students who use chrome book/ smartboards are more motivated to finish their assignments*
Also, the participants noted that students who use the Chrome book/ SMART board tend to enjoy the activities that are part of the unit they teach. 38.1% of the participants stronly agreed while 23.8% agreed with the opinion that students who use technology in the classroom enjoy learning activities (Table 3).
*Table 3:* *Students who use Chromebook/ SMARTboard enjoy the activities that are part of the unit you teach*
*Table 4. *Descriptive Statistics
Chrome books and SMART boards enhances students’ participation in class
Chromebooks and SMART boards enhances students’ attendance
Chromebooks and SMART boards enhances student’s motivation
Chromebooks and SMART boards enhances student’s interaction with teachers
Chrome books and SMART boards enhances students’ ability to work in groups
Chrome books and SMART boards enhances students’ interaction with the other students
Valid N (listwise)
The respondents felt strongly that chrome books and SMART boards often enhance students’ participation in class (Mean = 4.21), enhances students’ attendance (Mean = 4.02), and enhances student’s motivation (Mean = 4.19). Also, Chrome books and SMART boards enhance student’s interaction with teachers (Mean = 4.10), students’ ability to work in groups (Mean = 3.57), and interaction with the other students (Mean = 4.10).
The participants were also asked to rate on a scale of 1 – 5 (1 being none and 5 the highest) the effect of using chrome books/ smartboard on various aspects of student engagement. A mean value above 3 indicates a rating in favor of the aspect while that below 3 is an unfavorable rating (see Table 5 below). The results show that the use of chrome books/ smartboard has a great impact on the willingness to take part in-class activities, communication with the teachers, asking and answering questions in class, and willingness to work with other students.
*Table 5. **Descriptive Statistics*
Willingness to take part in class activities
Communication with the teachers
Asking and answering of questions in class
Willingness to work with other students
Valid N (listwise)
Figure 3. Technology leads to a reduction
Figure 4. Technology leads to an increase in disruptive behavior
*Table 6. **Descriptive Statistics*
The use of chrome book/ smart board helps the students to be more engaged and interested in the learning process
The use of Chromebooks and SMART boards is important in the management of student behavior
The use of Chromebooks and SMART boards keep the students motivated and engaged in class tasks and helps to reduce behaviors issue.
The use of Chromebooks and SMART boards does not help to address the behavior issues among the students.
The use of Chromebooks and SMART boards reduces case of defiant acts by students.
The use of Chromebooks and SMART boards reduces fights among students.
Valid N (listwise)
Results of open-ended questions
Open-ended questions were asked to gain insight into other aspects of classroom technology. All the participants in this study used technology one way or the other in the classroom. However, their level of skills varied greatly depending on the number of years they have been implementing the technologies in the classroom. Also, the use of these technologies depends on the extent to which the school has integrated the use of technology in the teachers’ respective schools. The participants indicated that they used various technologies (Figure 7) to enhance learning in the classrooms. Responses from some teachers indicated that they used a combination of various digital tools to enrich the learning environment while others used a limited number of tools. The variability in terms of the tools teachers used points to the different extents to which schools have integrated technology in their classrooms.
Figure 5. The technologies in use in schools
The Prince George County Public Schools have integrated different types of technologies in the classrooms. The participants mentioned that they use electronic whiteboards (smart boards), desktops and laptops, mobile learning, flipped learning, projectors, computer networking, television, and video conferencing. These technologies are used to enhance collaborative learning in the classroom. According to one participant,
“*classroom technologies have been a game-changer in the sense that it has become easier to teach in the classroom. For example, interactive electronic boards help in advancing the ideals of learner-centered pedagogy. Students can interact with each other and with their instructors* .”
Teachers are using classroom technologies to engage students as well as to offer more diverse platforms for students to work with new ideas and demonstrate understanding. Most of these tools also allow teachers to obtain real-time data that saves time and more critically offers students immediate feedback that is often easier for them to interpret than nebulous teacher feedback. Moreover, chrome books and smart boards among other technologies offer unique advantages over the traditional methods of instruction. One teacher said,
“*Well, my students find science as an interesting subject. Mostly they like the practical activities like experiments. I use various teaching techniques in my lessons like group work, role play, jigsaw, and games. Also, the students are taken into field trips. …… What I can say is, the science curriculum includes a combination of science subjects. That is biology, physics, and chemistry. Many practical activities are there for different topics. For the practical activities group work is given to students where students do experiments and explore to get more ideas. For example for the topic magnet, students work on their own to identify attract and repeal poles…… I like to give group works and PowerPoint presentations. The students are more interested when I use PowerPoints in the class as well as they like group works. Especially they like to compete with other groups*.”
However, another participant suggested that he does not have any particular methods he prefers to teach students. He said, “*I am adopting the teaching methods according to the nature of the content in the lesson. If we use the same method the students feel repetition and they cannot concentrate*.” Nevertheless, the teacher felt that the experimental oriented teaching of content provides direct experience to the students.
The participants confirmed that the use of classroom technologies such as chrome books and SMART boards plays a significant role in managing student behavior in class. As an example, some teachers addressed the issue of using technology for real-time feedback from students. Thus technology mediates the evaluation of student performance in the fastest way possible. A teacher can ask students a quiz and receive feedback in real-time, which saves time and allows the class to cover more content. The use of Chrome books and SMART boards are increasing used by teachers to keep the students motivated and engaged in in-class tasks.
Despite the positive impacts classroom technologies have on the learning environment, the integration of technology in the classroom appears to have its share of challenges. Most of these challenges appear to be more administrative than technical. This is confirmed by some of the participants’ sentiments on the various issues they encounter while using technology in the classrooms as follows;
“*Teachers are facing some challenges in the classroom because all levels of students are in the class including learning disability students. They cannot follow the lessons successfully. So, they need additional support from the teacher and peers…… The students are responding together at the same time. Also, some students show personal challenges in group work. Some of the students tend to take leadership in the work. These lead to some problems in the classroom….. Handling the overactive or hyperactive students during learning activity is also difficult*.”
In the above case, it can be concluded that using technology in the classroom leads to positive competition amongst the students. However, the teachers face some problems dealing with student issues that might arise during the classroom (e.g., how to deal with students when all of them are responding at the same time). Also, the various student characteristics compel teachers to adapt to whichever tools they are using to ensure that the needs of each student are addressed. The following excerpts indicate some of the challenges and how the teachers navigate through them;
“*I used the lecture method in teaching some topics. What I found is, the students are not really into learning. Most of the students will not give attention after some time listening to the explanation. For example: if the same lecture method is used every day, the students start hating the subject. So, my opinion is using different student-centered teaching approaches in science…… Some of the students are not cooperative. Especially when we give group works and other activities, some students will set aside not involving in group work. And sometimes, I found that they discuss unnecessary things while in the activity*.”
To overcome these problems, teachers seek different solutions to ensure that learning takes place smoothly in the classroom. For example, some suggested that they approach the students personally to solve any problems that may arise in between them as well as seek the help of other teachers.
*Chapter 5* *Discussion*
This study explored the effects of technology implementation on student engagement. Educators need to apply pedagogical practices evolving out of best practice theories in teaching. Grounded upon constructivism and cognitive learning theories, student-centered teaching has immense potential to help educators to design enjoyable, interactive, engaging, and interesting lessons for their learners (Nie & Lau, 2010). The present research findings suggested that conventional teaching methods make for boring and uninteresting lessons that force teachers to switch to learner-centered pedagogy. This is consistent with the view that a student-centered instructional approach leaves students more motivated and inspired to actively engage in classroom discussions and problem-solving activities (Burguillo, 2010). Thus, the use of instructional technology in the classroom is well-grounded in educational theories such as constructivist paradigms of learning and social cognitive theory.
Collaborative learning is anchored on the principle of social interactions. The findings in this study provide empirical evidence that technology such as chrome books, smart boards provide the medium through which this collaboration occurs. Students learn from each other through collaboration in which digital tools play an integral role. This is consistent with previous studies that found that engagement of students in classroom activities requires the provision of a suitable learning environment that enhances the efficiency of instruction that is also enhanced through the provision of necessary guidance mediated by additional tools (Devi et al., 2017).
Prince George County public schools have integrated a diverse range of technologies such as Smartboards, Chromebooks, and mobile learning mong others as additional tools meant to implement cognitive strategies. Educators are using these tools to enhance awareness of the nature of interactions and their stimulation as the foundation for cognitive understanding and conceptual development. Previous studies emphasized that the application of instructional technologies enhanced collaborative and interactive learning which minimized disruptive classroom behaviors and increased engagement on different classroom activities (Tertemiz et al., 2015). The participants in the present study stressed the view that instructional technologies had positive impacts on classroom behavior and collaborative and interactive learning. The general argument is that chrome books and smart boards support the development of critical thinking skills to greater abilities of processing information. This is usually achieved through discussions and collaborations during which students are engaged in exploring concepts from different social backgrounds and perspectives leading to reduced disruptive behaviors.
The findings of this research show that teachers encounter various challenges and dilemmas in using instructional technologies. Several problems associated with the implementation of constructivist learning have been explored in the literature (Zhu, Ennis, & Chen, 2011). However, the problems identified in this study are twofold; organizational and social or classroom-based. These challenges are similar to those enumerated by Siraj-Blatchford and colleagues (2002). Previous studies have discussed the challenge of teachers implementing active-learning, learner-centered pedagogy when working with poor facilities and inadequate instructional resources (Altinyelken, 2010; Gravoso, Pasa, Labra, & Mori, 2008). Inadequate supportive resources in the classroom undermine the teacher’s ability to advance constructivist principles and practices. In this case, teachers may be forced to come up with alternative measures to ensure that learner-centered practices take place in their classrooms (Altinyelken, 2010). For example, the present study highlights an example where a teacher has to use a personal computer for PowerPoint presentations because the school cannot provide one. In some schools, each student has a laptop or an iPad while in other schools teachers or students share them amongst themselves in the classes.
As such, there is a need for Prince George County public schools to make key decisions in regards to the acquisition of computer hardware due to its integral role in the implementation of new technology. As one study noted, some factors must be taken into consideration including hardware functionality in the classroom and different locations (Yockel, 2017). Moreover, it makes sense for schools to use standard technology hardware for all schools. As may be the case, different schools use different hardware which is likely to affect the integration of instructional hardware. Therefore, standardization of hardware and software is key to ensuring that students in all schools have access to the same information. Classroom technology integration
This study provides further insights into the factors affecting the integration of technology in classrooms. Teachers often struggle with the integration of technology in the initial implementation stages because of various reasons. The issues range from lack of time to lack of administrative support. Lack of administrative support is most serious because it is usually the school management boards that make the decisions to procure computer hardware and software. There is little a teacher can do if these tools are not availed to be used in the classroom. It also clears that technological change barriers exist among the teacher community; some especially the older instructors are more resistant to change than the younger teachers who were born and raised in the current technology era. Previous studies addressed the barriers of instructional technology integration in the classroom where negative beliefs affected the successful adoption of interactive technology into classrooms (Hur, Shannon, & Wolf, 2016). The barriers can be reduced by increasing awareness of the likely impacts the introduction of interactive technologies can have on the learning environment. The findings in the present study are consistent with Pittman and Gaines’ (2015) views that context, innovation, and individual teacher’s issues substantially affect the success level of classroom technological integration.
Effective teachers optimize the application of technologies to enhance the understanding, motivation, and proficiency of their students in learning activities. The level of tech skills that teachers possess is most likely to reflect on how they can use available tools to the benefit of their students (Turk & Akyuz, 2016). The same can be argued of learners; students need to be competent in using manipulative tools because most subjects require the student’s active involvement. Lack of sufficient skills in the use of technologies available in the learning environments could impede the full realization of the potential of technology in the classroom. Acquiring the essential skills for both teachers and students is thought to be an essential step to exploring the use of technology in the learning environment. The teachers must acquire the technological skills required to teach the various pedagogical content (Gemechu, Michael, & Atnafu, 2013). Previous studies provide empirical evidence that the level of teacher’s skills in technological matters relevant to the learning environment is associated with the quality of education (Rosenberg & Koehler, 2015). Other studies argue that learners must be taught essential skills on how to use the technological learning environment for more effective learning (Delgado, Wardlow, McKnight, & O’Malley, 2015; Drijvers, 2015; Gustafsson, 2017). Therefore, the integration of tech skills in a classroom is critical to improving both the teaching and learning experience. Moreover, having successful social awareness during technology integration will increase the chances of implementing a technological project. Howard and Thompson (2016) also identified important elements that influence technology integration into the classroom support, motivation, social climate, learning-based technology integration, teaching models available, personal use, training on the basics, and the educator’s fear of change.
The findings of this study are consistent with that of Inan and Lowther (2010) who found that a positive influence on technology integration in the learning environment is achieved through teacher’s readiness, positive beliefs, and computer proficiency. Success integration will be determined by available technology in the school, technical support and general support which influences positively teacher’s readiness and beliefs to integrate technology. Educators must learn how to adopt technology and allow it to make changes to the current teaching paradigms for technology to bring a positive change in classrooms. As mentioned earlier, the ability of students to use technology is critical to the effective integration of technology in learning environments. This places additional demands on the teachers to be more proficient in the use of technology and to train their students so that they can use it in the classroom (Montes, 2016). Not only are teachers required to provide guidance but also to provide students with opportunities to put technology into practice, set attainable and reasonable goals, and ensure students have basic technology operating skills to gain comprehension of concepts which might have been difficult or impossible to attain without the use of technology.
The integration of technology in the classroom will affect every student. For example, the introduction of mobile learning will affect all students regardless of whether they own a mobile device or not. Therefore, the accessibility of students to technology is a major factor influencing technology integration in most schools. Moving forward, the introduction of classroom technologies by teachers must take into consideration the different student abilities in accessing and using the said technologies. This observation is in line with that of Beeson (2013) who situated teachers at the center of development content, pedagogy, and knowledge which have major impacts on planning for technology integration. While making decisions on the technologies to use, therefore, teachers have to determine the technology tools, learners and content and desired outcome. Some of the beliefs the study found regarding technology integration include students’ use of technology to expose them to technical skills, students’ exposure to content by technology and students’ engagement when employing technology. Impact of technology integration in the classroom
This study demonstrates without a doubt that the integration of technology in the classroom is leading a transformation on how education is delivered to the learners. Instructional technology has increased learning opportunities and collaboration Cox’s (2014) reported that learning opportunities and collaboration were greatly enhanced among students when Chromebooks and other Google apps were adopted. Technology and digital platforms, in particular, have been found to enable students to engage in continuous and constructive communication in the classroom and involvement even though student engagement (Weston & Bain, 2010).
Instructional technologies appear to be of intrinsic value in the classroom. These findings demonstrate that chrome books and smart boards, for example, motivate the students to learn better than the conventional methods. Similar research indicates that technology integration has influential impacts on classroom outcomes. In Kulow (2014), it was found that students become more engaged when using additional instructional strategies such as Chromebooks compared to traditional teaching methods. Most of the teachers who participated in this study considered the use of technologies most useful in mathematics and science classrooms where interaction among students as well as teachers is most required. Technology plays an integral role in promoting engagement and achievement of students in terms of being able to transfer the knowledge. This is consistent with the notion of webbing and situated abstraction advanced by Noss and Hoyles (1996). Inspired by Papert’s work on constructionism (Papert, 1993; Papert & Harel, 1991), Noss and Hoyles (1996) introduced the idea of webbing in the book *Windows on mathematical meanings*. The authors in a clear departure from the conventional methods of learning view learning as a web of connections between various aspects such as relationships between classes of problems, relationships between objects, relationships between functions and situation-specific individual experiences. According to Noss and Hoyles (1996), interconnections occur in intellectual structures. These structures are individual and can be constructed or reconstructed by learners through teacher’s scaffolding and individually through the use of technology. The term webbing is used metaphorically to describe the process of building intellectual structures. It is synonymous with the weaving of material into a network of interwoven fabric. The flexibility of the interwoven product fits well with the notion of learning as described in Noss and Hoyles (1996): “the idea of *webbing* is meant to convey the presence of a structure that learners can draw upon and *reconstruct* for support – in ways that they choose as appropriate for their struggle to construct meaning” (p.108).
Noss and Hoyles’s conceptualization of webbing is thought to integrate with the situatedness of learning. The notion of webbing is drawn from Brown et al.’s (1989) theoretical work that did not address how learners might transfer knowledge to different settings or situations. In introducing the idea of ‘reconstruction’ Noss and Hoyles tackled the issue of learners building intellectual structures and making connections between the use of technology and learning activities within the situation. The authors argue that learning environments can be designed in such a way that webbing and situated abstraction become a congruent part of the learning process. The concept of situated abstraction has been defined by Hershkowitz, Schwarz, & Dreyfus (2001) as reorganizing previously constructed concepts into a new conceptual structure. The use of technology especially in mathematics and science classrooms can play a vital role in helping students to transfer the concepts they learned in the classroom to other contexts.
The use of technology in the classroom has positive impacts on student behavior. Teachers may use technology as one way of maintaining student interest. Indeed, the participant’s responses in this study appear to suggest that students might learn less without technology. The students might be less inclined to take additional classes from the instructor if instructional technology were not used. As much as technology increases interaction among students and in the teacher-student interactions, it appears that the use of other technologies (such as access to classes via the internet) harms class attendance. Therefore, in-class technologies such as smart boards might enable most students to prefer a greater appreciation for the teacher’s effort if the technology is used in the classroom. *Conclusion*
The study shows that Prince George County public schools continue to implement interactive technology into classrooms to supplement educational instruction. The effort is geared toward responding to the challenge of increasing student engagement in the classroom. It is beneficial that schools implement educational technology programs for students in elementary and junior high school years offering learning opportunities promoting interactive, as well as engaging environments. From the study findings, it is clear that teachers are using instructional technology to increase the desire and enthusiasm of learners to improve their engagement in learning activities. The integration of technologies in classrooms is one of the strategies applied in institutions of learning to help increase student-student or student-teacher interactions in the classroom. Because of this and other needs, there have been increased efforts in the development of hardware and software solutions to help increase the adoption of instructional technologies. Chromebooks, iPads, Tablets, and Smartboards are among the many computer-based learning strategies currently used in Prince George County public schools to attract the attention of young learners since teachers can adopt different teaching styles in the classroom to meet their needs.
Despite the positive impacts of technology on student engagement, some challenges need to be addressed. The extent to which interactive technologies may be implemented in a classroom or school depends on the skill levels of educators. Besides, the students must be conversant with the use of the technologies in question. The integration of the technologies becomes difficult when the relevant skills required are lacking or inadequate. Therefore, both the teacher and student training are essential to ensuring the optimization of technology use in the classrooms. All learners should also have access to the tools to create an all-inclusive interactive learning environment. This will give all the students a chance to interact with those technologies to increase their motivation and positive attitude. The availability of classroom technologies is the responsibility of the school; inadequate provision of the technologies limits the ability of the teachers and students to use them in interactive delivery of pedagogical content.
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