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Running head: THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 1

The Impact of Personal Technology on Students Engagement and Perceptions of Social Studies

Jon Wilson

University of West Georgia


THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 2

Abstract

The intent of this paper is to examine the impact of personal technology on high school students

engagement in social studies classrooms as well as how the use of personal technology devices

can affect their perception of the social studies content area. Previous research, as well as

resources from other districts, were explored to find possible solutions to the lack of student

engagement and negative perception of social studies. The findings of this research aided in the

development of surveys distributed to students and social studies teachers at Newton High

School in Covington, Georgia. These investigations were constructed to further explore a

possible correlation between the use of personal technology and engagement. Surveys were

designed and distributed among students and social studies teachers at Newton High School.

Additionally, interviews with students and teachers were conducted to gain further insight into

the climate of perception towards social studies and what can be done to improve it. These

studies yielded results worth discussion and analysis which will help educators in their design of

social studies curriculum.


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The Impact of Personal Technology on Students Engagement and Perceptions of Social Studies

One of the most shared sentiments held by high school students today is their lack of

interest in their social studies classes. Common complaints from students typically include that

the information is not relevant to their lives and that they will never use it in their future

endeavors. At Newton High School in Covington, Georgia these grumbles are daily issues faced

by teachers as they sculpt their lesson plans and build the curriculum based on the standards set

by the state and school districts. Newton is a Title I school with 73% of the student population

receiving free and reduced lunch. The demographics of the school comprise of 94% African-

American, four percent Caucasian, and the other 2 percent other. With each passing school year,

new forms of technology and digital resources become available which students always seem to

be on the cutting edge. As students have grown increasingly engaged with technology, school

districts such as Newton County have begun to try and find ways for teachers to incorporate

technology into their daily plans in order to bridge the gap that separates students from their

highest learning potential.

Social studies teachers at Newton have seized on the idea of integrating personal

technology into their lessons as a way of bridging the gap of student interest in their content area.

Student engagement in social studies classes at Newton High School has been a concern of the

administration for the last three school years and each year there has been a new area of

emphasis to improve the issues. This study aims to discover how using technology in social

studies classes at Newton High School could improve student engagement in the classroom as

well as shed the negative perception students have of social studies as useless and dull. It is

hypothesized that implementing technology into social studies classroom will improve student

engagement and the perception of the social studies content. Through the use of surveys,
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interviews, and research of previously conducted studies, a plan to approach and solve the issue

has been developed and ready to implement in the upcoming school year.

Literature Review

The issue of using technology to enhance student engagement and learning has been a

well-researched topic for the last two decades. As technology in schools have progressed from

large desktop computers in a single computer lab to iPad carts that can be checked out from a

media center by multiple teachers at the same time, students interests and learning methods have

progressed and evolved at the same time. This learning curve for both teachers and students as

to how to handle the ever-increasing presence of technology in the classroom has led to a depth

of research and studies as to how education has been affected by this revolution and the

guidelines that teachers should operate by in this new world of learning.

As technology has gained an increasing role in everyday society, a need has developed to

create guidelines for integrating technology in the classroom as well as establishing effective

methods and assessments in which to incorporate those guidelines. Mason et al. (2000) sought to

establish such guidelines for teachers to build into their lesson plans. These standards included

taking education past previous limits without technology, present new technology in the context

of the social studies content, introduce opportunities for learners to connect technology and the

world, create an environment which encourages students to engage in democracy, as well as help

in the growth of social studies and technology (Mason et al., 2000). The ability for learning to be

pushed beyond the walls of the school has made technology an essential piece of the modern day

social studies classroom with the capability to reach tools such as interactive guides and primary

sources as well as molding teachers into better and more competent educators (Mason et al.

2000). For true engagement to occur between students and social studies content, technology
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must take on a greater role in curriculum and take learning beyond the four traditional walls that

contain the school.

While Mason, et al. (2000) raises these points and attempts to set guidelines for

technological integration of social studies, work done by Crocco (2001) provides counterpoints

to balance the benefits previously mentioned. While the argument that technology expands the

classroom and creates a greater sense of community is appealing to many, it is argued that

minority groups are actually hampered by the further integration of technology in the classroom.

Statistically, minority groups do not have the same readily available access to personal

technology as majority groups, resulting in what is known as a digital divide (Crocco, 2001).

However, as funds become more readily available to low-income school districts such as Newton

County through government grants and distribution programs, the divide can shrink as schools

purchase technology for students to use in the classroom and teachers incorporate in their lessons

(Bennett, 2005). Laptops, iPads, and multiple computer labs are beginning to have more of a

presence in schools for students to utilize via the media center. Additionally in her work, Crocco

(2001) argues that instead of building relationships around the world and helping students engage

in the democratic process, technology actually could push students away from engagement in the

local community and deplete the local areas of organizations and undertakings which have been

the fabric of communities such as Newton County. These are certainly troubling issues that must

be considered on the long-term scale when designing social studies curriculum, which has long

been a content known for promoting citizenship and community engagement through its

teachings of civics.

While Croccos points are worth considering and must be weighed heavily as social

studies teachers attempt to increase engagement with students through the use of technology,
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Bennet (2005) in her work refines some guidelines to alleviate such issues. In her work, she

makes the case that the use of technology in a social studies classroom can bridge the diversity

gap while giving students from multiple backgrounds power while supporting their diversity

(Bennet, 2005). As previously mentioned, the technology gap between majority and minority

groups exist away from the classroom, but through the use of the growing presence of school

technology resources, the gap shrinks once a student enters their class. Additionally, diverse

groups of learners can have their backgrounds and experiences affirmed through the integration

of technology in social studies as teachers learn how to incorporate various electronic resources

into their curriculum which provides learners of different backgrounds opportunities to engage

different viewpoints and have an open discussion and dialogue (Bennet, 2005). While there are

potential pitfalls of students using technology in their social studies classes on a frequent basis

(Crocco, 2001), Bennet (2005) points out that with proper planning and research, the

incorporation of personal technology into an educational setting can have tremendous

advantages.

Planning and research have always been a part of the social studies curriculum from both

the teachers and students perspective. As programs are developed and new technological

resources considered, it is important that educators do their due diligence in researching the

ideology of these tools. With the increasing popularity of YouTube and other multimedia outlets

which students immerse themselves in, each resources viewpoint must be analyzed to determine

its message and appropriateness for the classroom and how it impacts students. In a piece

written by Rose and Fernlund (1997) for the National Council for the Social Studies, they noted

the importance of understanding the lens through which electronic resources in the classroom

presents information to students and how consistent the message it demonstrates is with the
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content taught in the classroom. For technology to be used appropriately in the classroom, it is

important that students be allowed to see and interact with multiple perspectives of the content

and develop their own opinions. However, the message being delivered by these resources does

need to be ultimately rooted in the standards set forth by the state and local school district. As

Rose and Fernlund (1997) point out in their work, one of the advantages of utilizing multimedia

tools developed by companies such as National Geographic and Scholastic is that these firms

often work in conjunction with educators and districts to build their digital resources for

distribution to schools. These tools allow the teacher to use as much of the programs as they

wish while allowing students to explore different perspectives on issues related to the standard

(Rose and Fernlund, 1997). This is another example of how using technology in the classroom

can affirm cultural diversity, as students interact with different worldviews, and engage the

students on a new level as they interact with new resources and build their opinions.

For students to successfully use personal technology in the classroom to interact with

different worldviews and utilize the full benefits of their diversity, they must first grow familiar

with how to use various types of technology in the classroom, a setting in which they may never

have had the opportunity to use these types of resources. As Crowe (2004) points out in her

work, the teacher must model early on in the school year how to use different modes of

technology in various settings in for students to gain familiarity with the resources and

understand how to use them appropriately. Using her personal experience, she explained how

she incorporated technology from the very first day of the school year in her social studies

classroom order to help students become technologically literate. On the first day of the school

year, she checked out laptop carts from the schools media center and used them to guide

students through the course schedule and expectations while modeling for them how to navigate
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the classroom site via a projector screen at the front of the room (Crowe, 2004). Additionally,

she allowed them to use one of the schools computer labs to experience working in a different

setting with technology outside of the traditional classroom and take advantage of the resources

the lab had to offer. Throughout the first months of school, Crowe (2004) used multiple

educational settings throughout the school to allow students to interact with different types of

resources. These digital tools include internet research, online tools, engaging WebQuests, and

electronic presentations to help students develop a level of comfort using resources they may

never had used before as well as engaging them in the social studies content in a manner that was

new and exciting for them. Through her study, Crowe (2004) discovered that for students to

engage the content through the use of technology, it was vital for the teacher to model from a

very early point in the school year how to use technology and the different resources available in

digital formats. Through interviewing her students, she found that learners who were not very

comfortable using technology at the beginning of the semester were able to engage with the

social studies content effectively after early modeling by the teacher (Crowe, 2004). According

to a survey conducted by Crowe (2004), just over 90% of her students indicated that the

modeling of technology by the teacher in the classroom allowed them to feel more comfortable

learning and aided them in engaging the content through the use of technology. Additionally, it

was indicated that student engagement increased because of the greater differentiation that

technology allowed during the survey. Students were able to build a multitude of different tasks

and artifacts, such as PowerPoint presentations, WebQuests, and websites, at their choosing

which allowed them to connect with and engage the content in manners they were enthusiastic

about (Crowe, 2004). This piece of research demonstrates through a firsthand experience as well
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as survey results how productive technology in social studies can be in increasing student

engagement and perception of the content area.

However, if teachers are going to integrate and model engaging ways to use technology

in their classrooms to help familiarize students with new learning tools, they must first know

how to incorporate resources in a proficient manner which goes beyond traditional learning

methods and is transformative in nature. Swan and Hicks (2007) interviewed three social studies

instructors as to how they use technology in their lessons and how they view its role in

education. Of the three participants, two had been teaching for over a decade while the third was

in her second year in the profession. What Swan and Hicks (2007) found was that the first two

participants, who each had at least a decade more of experience than the third, readily used

technology in their classes and praised the internets usefulness. However, neither one of the

first two teachers integrated their resources in a manner that expanded student learning or carried

the experience beyond what traditional bound books and overheads had provided for decades

prior. Instead of researching primary sources in the library, they searched for them using search

engines on the internet. Rather than using a slide projector or overhead for students to take

notes, they typed them on PowerPoint slides and projected them on the wall. While a physical

component of education was traded in for a digital presentation of material, nothing changed in

the learning process or student engagement with the content. As Swan and Hicks (2007) point

out, this does nothing to transform or empower education as the National Center for the Social

Studies aims for in their mission. This statement falls in line with research conducted by

Whitworth and Berson (2003) which found that teachers are still using computers as an

information distributor instead of helping facilitate learning and discussion. They are modes of
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instruction and dissemination of information rather than engaging learning tools (Whitworth &

Berson, 2003).

The third participant in the survey did take a different approach to technology due to her

more in-depth training during her colleges education program. Instead of using the internet

solely for primary source research, she encouraged her students to explore topics online and

engage in WebQuests to gain a deeper understanding of the content while gaining familiarity

with digital resources (Swan and Hicks, 2007). Additionally, instead of using PowerPoint as

only a method of content delivery, the third participant in the study used it as a tool for students

to create artifacts and presentations to share with the rest of the class which helped them to build

their public speaking and communication skills (Swan and Hicks, 2007). Because the third

participant was more familiar and proficient with technology because of her more extensive

training, she was able to incorporate digital resources such as laptops and computer labs into her

lesson more effectively. Her training allowed her students to engage the content in new and

exciting ways (Swan and Hicks, 2007). Proficiency in technology and the ability to align

educational pedagogical beliefs with technology are crucial in the design of lessons that integrate

digital components which allow students to engage in the content like never before (Zhao, Pugh,

Sheldon, & Byers, 2002). As Zhao, Pugh, Sheldon, and Byers (2002) mention in their research,

the ability for teachers to view technology in the classroom as a means to an end rather than the

goal itself allows for teachers to use the resources to their full extent and students to experience

their full benefits. Educators who simply use technology marginally in their classrooms do not

reap the full benefit that can come from effective integration. So for effective modeling to be

done for the student by the teacher, educators must first understand how to incorporate

technology proficiently in a transformative manner that goes beyond replacing physical


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components of the classroom such as books and overheads as well as align their beliefs about

education with the benefits of using technology.

To achieve the goal of social studies education becoming transformative, students must

learn how to evaluate the information they gather via technology and understand how to take this

information from different perspectives to shape their ideas and views. According to Crowe

(2006), this is a manner in which learning transformation can take place and students begin to

engage with the democratic process through their social studies classroom and technology. For

the student to be able to evaluate information and consider multiple viewpoints, it must first be

demonstrated by the teacher just as how to use the technology has to be modeled in the

beginning days of the school year. To model this evaluation, Crowe (2006) uses the example of

creating website validity guidelines for students to use as they search the internet. These

guidelines included searching for authorship of the site, potential biases held by the writers,

where the site got its information, and how current the information is (Crowe, 2006). As with

modeling how to use technology, teachers should model how to test the validity of sites early in

the semester as a class. Crowe (2006) suggests that teachers walk students through sites they use

for instruction and model how they tested those sites for validity. Modeling gives students a way

of seeing how to check for validity as well as helping them distinguish between credible and

unsound sources. Once students have been taught to find sufficient resources, they can then be

taught how to synthesize multiple worldviews and begin to develop their point of view as

encouraged by the National Council for the Social Studies (Crowe, 2006). Through interacting

with different outlooks from around the world, which are engaged in through the use of

technology in the classroom, students can start to assess different ideas for themselves and begin

to formulate their beliefs. As Crowe (2006) mentions, this is a significant step in becoming
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involved in the political process of democracy in the United States. Helping to foster

involvement in the democratic process is a cornerstone of social studies education.

Previous research regarding the effects of technology on student engagement and

perceptions of social studies detail the possible benefits and pitfalls of digital integration into the

learning environment. It is important to note that teachers must be ardent in their pursuit of

technological proficiency and development of curriculum that utilizes the full benefit of

technology rather than marginalizing it to an information distribution system. Effective use leads

to students engaging in the content in new and exciting ways which leads to the development of

multiple perspectives and engagement in the democratic process. It takes active modeling to

help students reach this point, but the possibilities which can stem from such work are endless.

Method

Participants

Students. Students of Newton High School were an active part of the survey conducted

for this research. Due to school being out for the summer, members of the football team who

were at the school each day were surveyed for their thoughts regarding the use of personal

technology in the classroom. These students were all male and ranged from rising freshmen to

rising seniors. Their ages ranged from 14 years old to 17 years old. Surveys were distributed to

65 students over the course of June and July with additional copies available for students who

misplaced their original. Of the 65 surveys distributed, only 21 were returned for a response rate

of 32.3%. Demographically, responses came 100% from African-American students with an

average age of 16.


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Teachers. Social studies teachers at Newton High School were also surveyed to gauge

their temperament towards the student use of technology in their classrooms and how the

incorporate it into their lesson plans. Surveys were distributed to six teachers in the department

with only three returned for a response rate of 50%. The reason only six teachers were surveyed

was due to the large amount of turnover in the department since the end of the 2015-2016 school

year in May. Since the conclusion of the previous school year, eight teachers have left the

faculty and are no longer in contact with the rest of the department. Demographically, these

teachers are all Caucasian, all female, have been teaching on average for five years, and have a

mean age of 28. The researcher withdrew himself from the survey to eliminate any potential

source of bias.

Measures

A ten question anonymous survey was designed for both teachers and students that

contained multiple choice selections as well as short response questions. An example of the

student survey can be found in Appendix A while an example of the teacher survey is found in

Appendix B. Both surveys were designed to gauge the opinions of educators and students alike

about their outlook regarding technology in social studies as well as how it impacts student

engagement. Teachers were asked about their experience and professional development

regarding technology and how they view its role in the classroom. Additionally, they were asked

about what electronic resources they already use in the classroom and what type of feedback they

receive from the students regarding the utilization of the sources. Interviews were attempted

with teachers but due to the high turnover rate and teachers leaving the area for summer

vacation, no interviews were successfully conducted.


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Students were surveyed as to their opinions of the social studies content area and how the

opportunity to use technology such as laptops, iPads, and cellphones would impact their view of

the class. In addition to that, students were also asked what electronic resources their teachers

use the most and how engaging those resources are. Interviews were conducted with four

students and their answers registered. Due to the interviewees being minors, their names were

not recorded and instead are identified as students A, B, C, and D.

Procedure

Surveys were created and distributed to teachers and students on June 23, 2016, for the

initial survey window. Student participants took the surveys home, and if given permission by

their parents or legal guardians, they were to return the completed survey as soon as possible. If

a student lost his survey, he was to request a replacement copy from the researcher at any point

between June 23 and the closing window of July 13. Redistribution dates were set for June 27

and June 30, two of the collection window; however no students requested a replacement survey.

65 surveys were distributed to students as they received their lunch after football workouts and

practice. While surveys could be returned anytime between June 23 and July 13, there were

specific collection dates set for June 27, June 30, July 11, and July 13. The reason for the gap

between June 30 and July 11 was due to the state mandated dead week in which student-athletes

were not allowed to be at the school or have contact with their coaches. Interviews were

conducted with students who volunteered during the day of June 30.

Teacher surveys were sent by e-mail to all teachers in the social studies department on the

same date. As mentioned previously, the amount of turnover in the department coupled with

summer break did not allow for a broad response to the teacher survey. Teachers were to

complete the survey in a Microsoft Word Document and respond back electronically. Reminders
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and redistributions of the survey were sent out again on July 1 and July 11. Included in the e-

mails and the reminders were the offer to interview any volunteers regarding their thoughts on

technology in the social studies classrooms. Of the three teachers to respond to the survey, none

were available to interview.

Once the survey collection was closed for both students and teachers on July 13, the data

for both sets of participants were analyzed and results recorded (see Appendix C for student

results of the survey and Appendix D for teacher results). Answers to short response were

summarized while multiple choice responses were tallied and averaged to see the most frequent

responses.

Results

At the beginning of the research, it was hypothesized that the use of personal technology

in social studies classrooms would increase student engagement as well as change the often

negative perception of the subject help be learners. As data was collected, multiple choice

selections were tallied to see the distribution of responses across the selections to see the most

frequent choices. Short answer questions were summarized and grouped into areas of

similarities. Due to the limited returns of the survey, the depth and breadth of responses were not

as high as initially hoped.

Among the 21 students who returned the survey, it was found that on average they had a

less than favorable view of the social studies content area. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1

representing the least interested and 5 being the most interested, the average reply for students in

this study was a 2.1. When asked to identify factors that led to their opinion of the subject

matter, students commonly referred to the perceived tedious nature of the subject area. In an
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interview with Student A (personal communication, June 30, 2016), the interviewee indicated

that the reason he knew most of his colleagues found social studies boring was because they did

not see any future value in their lives for the content as it would not help them secure

employment. This response was a common reply on most of the surveys. Additionally, students

indicated that they did not like the typically heavy reading and writing workload associated with

social studies.

Next, students were asked to identify what types of technology they have access to at

home and how using that technology in the classroom could impact their engagement in social

studies. Students were asked to select from some examples of technology and to circle all that

applied. 19 of the 21 students (or 90%) responded that they had access to cellphones while 15

stated they had laptops or desktop computers with internet access at home. 13 students marked

that they have a video game system at their residence while only 5 of the 21 (24%) possessed

iPads or tablets. No student who returned a survey possessed all forms of listed technology. With

Newton High School being a Title I school and 75% of the student population receiving free or

reduced lunch, it was expected that no student would have access to all of the modes of

technology listed. Even less surprising, when asked if being allowed to use a form of personal

technology as listed above in the classroom would cause their interest in social studies to rise, all

21 students responded yes. On a new scale of 1-5 to rank how interested they would be in social

studies if allowed to use technology, the average climbed from 2.1 to 4.2. This jump represents

an increase of 100% interest in the content area based on the use of technology and gathers

support by the data from the next question which asked if students were more interested in

classes which they were allowed to use technology as opposed to regular classroom settings. All
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21 students responded that classes which use technology were more interesting than a class that

does not engage students through digital formats.

All of the students who participated in the survey indicated that at some point in one of

their social studies teachers had used some form of technology to help them learn. The most

commonly used resources were laptop carts and the online review quiz game Kahoot. As found

later in the teacher surveys, Kahoot is a favorite tool used to review for quizzes and assessments

in which teachers can build multiple choice timed reviews in which students compete against

each other to earn points. Students B and C (personal communication, June 30, 2016) reported

that Kahoot was extremely popular among the student body because it was competitive in nature

and teachers often awarded prizes (such as candy or extra credit) to students who won during the

class period.

With this level of excitement surrounding technology in the classroom and games such as

Kahoot, it was not surprising that 100% of students who participated in the study reported that

they look forward to class with more enthusiasm when they know resources such as laptops carts

or digital review games are used during class. Student D (personal communication, June 30,

2016) stated in his interview that he makes sure not to skip class (Student D is a chronic class

skipper) when he knows that the teacher will be using laptops or iPads in class. According to the

survey, 17 of the 21 students felt as though they paid more attention to class and had an easier

time recalling material from days in which technology was incorporated into the lesson. These

statistics demonstrate an increased engagement of the content when technology is introduced as

well as a better perception of social studies. However, due to the small sample size and

homogenous demographic of all males (which is not indicative of the school demographics) the

accuracy of these results may be skewed.


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In regards to the teacher survey, only three of the six remaining teachers in the

department responded to the questionnaire. While this 50% return rate is higher than the student

return percentage, the massive difference in quantity creates a deceiving rate. The returned

surveys discovered that the social studies teachers at Newton High School deemed themselves as

quite comfortable using technology in the classroom as they all three rated their comfort level as

a 4 out of 5 on the technology scale. When asked to explain what led to the rating they gave, the

teachers responded that they had undergone extensive training through either their undergraduate

and graduate programs or professional development offered by the Newton County School

System. One was even a member of schools technology team which requires frequently

continued learning programs for members so they may assist the rest of their departments in any

issues ranging from computer and equipment matters to electronic grade book issues.

While being comfortable using technology in the classroom is a major issue, the ability to

use it in transformative manners to engage students is another major matter. As was

demonstrated in the review of previous literature, the style in which technology is implemented

has a large impact on student engagement and growth. Some educators use technology only as a

replacement for physical components of a classroom while others use it to help students engage

the world and become involved in society through new and exciting ways. Teachers were asked

in the survey how they view the role of technology in the classroom. Possible answers they

could choose from ranged from options which were simple replacements of physical materials

(like overheads for the distribution of information) to more advanced transformative methods

such as helping students develop different perspective and worldviews. What the results of the

questionnaire found were that Newton social studies teachers use technology in their classrooms

for a multitude of reasons. While they do use digital formats to distribute information that would
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 19

otherwise be done with notes, the teachers also all responded that they integrate technology into

their lessons to help facilitate learning, develop well-rounded learners, and aid students in

developing worldviews based off of multiple perspectives.

Additionally, teachers were asked what modes of technology they most often incorporate

in the lessons. The results were in line with the responses received by students asking which

electronic resources teachers use in their classes. Laptops and Kahoot were the top choices for

both teachers and students while resources such as Quizlet, Weebly, and Quizziz were rarely if

ever used. Also in line with the student results regarding enthusiasm for class periods with

technology, teachers noted an increase in student engagement and excitement on days that they

had planned on using technology. Finally, the survey also yielded that student achievement

increased on assessments for units in which technology was incorporated into the lesson plans.

Discussion

After analyzing the results of the survey, it appears as though the hypothesis that student

use of technology would bolster engagement and the perception of social studies is supported.

However, due to the small sample size, this cannot be accurately determined for the entire

school. Newton High School is a setting of approximately 2500 students and well over 100

teachers. When at full staff, the social studies department contains 14 teachers of varying levels

of experience and education. With only 21 students participating in the study (all of whom were

male) and just three teachers providing responses, the data produced by this study is just a small

snapshot of a gigantic painting. In the future, implementation of a survey of this nature would be

much more effective if done during the school year when the setting would be at full capacity

with all of the students in class and an entire staff hired. Additionally, if the study were to be

conducted during the school year, more interviews could be conducted to allow for follow-up
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 20

and clarification. Observations could also be done to see the implementation of technology in

practice and student engagement in different settings with and without technology.

While the sample sizes were small and only provided a snapshot of the school and social

studies department, useful information was gathered that should be considered in the design of

curriculum and lesson plans. One striking observation is the similarity in teacher and student

responses regarding student engagement on days which technology is implemented in the

classroom. Both groups observed a raised level of enthusiasm and engagement in the classroom

when teachers provided opportunities to use digital sources. Students noted they were less likely

to miss classes that used technology and teachers stated that student achievement increased with

the incorporation of technology. One example of this is the use of the internet-based quiz game

Kahoot. All three teachers who responded to the questionnaire indicated that they used Kahoot

in their classrooms. These results match the student survey where 100% of participants indicated

that one of their social studies teachers had implemented the game at some point in time.

Furthermore, interviews conducted with students indicated that Kahoot is a popular choice for

the student body and that the competitive nature of the game enhances their learning experience.

While the data was not a significant enough sample size to draw definitive conclusions, it

does support results gathered from previous researches and studies on similar topics and provides

a glimpse into how technology can be used to better a students learning experience in high

school. Through new avenues and windows that digital resources such as the internet and

WebQuests provide, students can begin engaging the world from their classroom and develop

new perspectives on topics from around the world. This in turn can help them engage in the

democratic process, allowing them to take on new roles in society and be effective members of

their community. The transformative experience that technology in social studies can allow
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 21

helps students and teachers to develop the next generation of leaders for their city, state, and

country.
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References

Bennet, L. (2005). Guidelines for using technology in the social studies classroom. The Social
Studies. Retrieved from
http://iowacoresocialstudiescurriculum.pbworks.com/f/GuidelinesforUsingTechnologyin
SSClassroom.pdf
Crocco, M.S. (2001), Leveraging constructivist learning in the social studies classroom: A
response to Mason, Berson, Diem, Hicks, Lee, and Dralle. Contemporary Issues in
Technology and Teacher Education, 1 (3). Retrieved from
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Crowe, A. (2004). Teaching by example: Integrating technology into the social studies education
courses. Journal of Computing in Teacher Education, 20 (4). Retrieved from
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ876868.pdf
Crowe, A. (2006). Technology, citizenship, and the social studies classroom: Education for
democracy in a technological age. International Journal of Social Education, 21 (1).
Retrieved from http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ782135.pdf
Mason, C., Berson, M., Diem, R., Hicks, D., Lee, J., & Dralle, T.(2000). Guidelines for using
technology to prepare social studies teachers. Contemporary Issues in Technology and
Teacher Education, 1 (1). Retrieved from
http://www.citejournal.org/volume-1/issue-1-00/social-studies/guidelines-for-using-
technology-to-prepare-social-studies-teachers-2
Rose, S. A., Fernlund, P. M. (1997). Using technology for powerful social studies learning.
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ng.pdf
Swan, K. & Hicks, D. (2007). Through the democratic lens: The role of purpose in leveraging
technology to support historical inquiry in the social studies classroom. International
Journal of Social Education, 21 (2). Retrieved from
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ782146.pdf
Whitworth, S. A., & Berson, M. J. (2003). Computer technology in the social studies: An
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Zhao, Y., Pugh, K., Sheldon, S., & Byers, J.L. (2002). Conditions for classroom technology
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LiveBinder Link: http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=2025684&present=true
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 23

Appendix A
Student Survey
1. Age/Race:
2. Grade (2016-2017):
3. On the scale below, please circle your interest level in social studies classes with 1 being the
least interested and 5 being the most interested.

1 2 3 4 5
Least Somewhat Interested Most

4. What factors led to your selection?

5. What forms of technology do you have available to your house? (Circle all that apply)
-Cellphone -iPad/tablet
-Computer/laptop -Video game system
-Internet access

6. Would being able to use personal technology (as listed above) in your social studies class
cause you to change your rating of social studies on the line in question #3? If so, how?
Yes/No
Explain:

7. Are you more interested in classes which you are allowed to use technology? Yes/No

8. Below are some examples of electronic resources used by teachers. Please circle all that you
have used in class.
-iPad carts -Kahoot -ProProfs -Prezi
-Laptops -Quizlet -Quizizz -Weebly
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 24

9. On days you know that you will be using a form of technology (like listed in question #8) does
it change your perception of the class that day? In other words, do you look forward to the class
more than you typically would?

10. Does the use of technology help you pay attention in class and remember information you
may otherwise not recall through traditional methods such as notetaking? Why do you feel this is
the case?
Yes/No
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 25

Appendix B

Teacher Survey
1. Age:
2. Gender/Race:
3. Years experienced:
4. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the least and 5 being the most, how comfortable are you using
technology in the classroom?

1 2 3 4 5
Least Somewhat Most

5. Can you please explain why you gave the answer you did for question #4?

6. Which of the following do you see as the role of technology in your classroom? Circle all that
apply.
-Distribution of information -Research tool
-Facilitate learning -Help students develop perspective and worldviews
-Engage the democratic process -Develop well rounded learners
-Help review material -Introduce students to new ideas and ways of learning

7. Over the course of a school year, how often do you participate in professional development
regarding the use of technology in the classroom?

8. What type of technology do you try to incorporate into your classroom on a regular basis?
Circle all that apply.
-Laptops -Kahoot -ProProfs -Prezi
-iPads -Quizlet -Quizziz -Weebly
9. Do you notice a change in student engagement or enthusiasm on days you incorporate
technology? Yes/No
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 26

10. Do you notice a change in student achievement when you incorporate technology in your
lesson plans? Yes/No
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 27

Appendix C

Student Survey
1. Age/Race: 16/African-American
2. Grade (2016-2017): 10
3. On the scale below, please circle your interest level in social studies classes with 1 being the
least interested and 5 being the most interested. Average-2.1

1 2 3 4 5
Least Somewhat Interested Most

4. What factors led to your selection?


Common responses:
-Boring subject -No need to learn about the past
-Dont like notes -Dead people do not affect my future
-Wont need it late in life -Cant help me earn money
5. What forms of technology do you have available to your house? (Circle all that apply)
-Cellphone (19) -iPad/tablet (5)
-Computer/laptop (15) -Video game system (13)
-Internet access (15)

6. Would being able to use personal technology (as listed above) in your social studies class
cause you to change your rating of social studies on the line in question #3? If so, how?
Yes/No Yes: 21 No: 0 New Average-4.2
Explain:
Common responses:
-I like getting to use computers and the internet in class
-We can do more interactive things with computer and the internet
-There are a lot of resources online that I cant access anywhere else
-We can play review games with iPads and laptops
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 28

-Anything is better than taking notes


7. Are you more interested in classes which you are allowed to use technology? Yes/No
Yes-21 No-0

8. Below are some examples of electronic resources used by teachers. Please circle all that you
have used in class.
-iPad carts (15) -Kahoot (21) -ProProfs (0) -Prezi (9)
-Laptops (21) -Quizlet (12) -Quizizz (2) -Weebly (0)

9. On days you know that you will be using a form of technology (like listed in question #8) does
it change your perception of the class that day? In other words, do you look forward to the class
more than you typically would?
Yes-21 No-0
Common Responses:
-I dont get to use computers or the internet at home so if I know I get to use it at school I
wont miss that day.
-The technology teachers use is more interactive than regular notes-I can do stuff with the
computer
-Its a lot more fun than when we have regular class
-I think the teacher uses it as a reward
10. Does the use of technology help you pay attention in class and remember information you
may otherwise not recall through traditional methods such as notetaking? Why do you feel this is
the case?
Yes/No Yes-17 No-4
Common yes responses:
-Its new and exciting so anything we do with technology Im going to remember
-Im more likely to go back and look at things we did on the computer than read my
notes. I can just e-mail it to myself
-Its not as boring as taking notes
Common no responses:
-Its no big deal to me to use a computer
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 29

-I remember better by writing. It helps me learn


-Im not very good using a computer so it is easier for me to write.
-I dont know, it just doesnt help as much.
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 30

Appendix D

Teacher Survey
1. Age: 28
2. Gender/Race: Female/Caucasian
3. Years experienced: 5
4. On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the least and 5 being the most, how comfortable are you using
technology in the classroom?

1 2 3 4X 5
Least Somewhat Most

5. Can you please explain why you gave the answer you did for question #4?
-I went through extensive technology training in my undergrad program
-I am on the technology team here at NHS
-I have always been interested in technology and am always trying out the latest ideas
6. Which of the following do you see as the role of technology in your classroom? Circle all that
apply.
-Distribution of information (3) -Research tool (3)
-Facilitate learning (3) -Help students develop perspective and worldviews (3)
-Engage the democratic process (1) -Develop well rounded learners (3)
-Help review material (3) -Introduce students to new ideas and ways of learning (3)

7. Over the course of a school year, how often do you participate in professional development
regarding the use of technology in the classroom?
-Whenever it is offered by the school
-I attend mandatory meetings every month as a member of the tech team
-Once or twice a year. Typically whenever I can
8. What type of technology do you try to incorporate into your classroom on a regular basis?
Circle all that apply.
THE IMPACT OF PERSONAL TECHNOLOGY 31

-Laptops (3) -Kahoot (3) -ProProfs (0) -Prezi (2)


-iPads (3) -Quizlet (1) -Quizziz (0) -Weebly (0)
9. Do you notice a change in student engagement or enthusiasm on days you incorporate
technology? Yes/No Yes-3 No-0

10. Do you notice a change in student achievement when you incorporate technology in your
lesson plans? Yes/No Yes-3 No-0