Integrating cell phones into the secondary Montessori classroom
Cynthia M. DeWitte, Walden University, United States
Walden University . Awarded
A disconnect exists between how students communicate using their mobile phones outside of school and how they use them in the classroom. Many high schools across the United States ban their use, even though numerous mobile learning strategies are available. Although research pertaining to m-learning has been conducted at the collegiate level, a need exists for increased understanding of m-learning at the secondary level. This qualitative case study documented how secondary Montessori classroom teachers' and students' attitudes toward m-learning changed as a result of their experience with using a cell phone in the classroom. The Montessori method and connectivism provided the theoretical foundation. This study identified the limitations and advantages associated with m-learning, the 21st-century skills secondary students demonstrated when using a cell phone, and how students used cell phones to connect to their learning ecology. Data were collected using pre and post interviews of teachers and students, student blog entries, text messages, and 3 observations. Data were analyzed using NVivo 8 to code preliminary categories, and open coding was used to generate themes. The findings revealed the majority of students had a favorable attitude toward m-learning. M-learning strategies supported learning; increased student productivity; reduced classroom disruption; and provided opportunities for “anytime, anyplace” learning. They provided a vehicle to demonstrate 21st-century skills and connect to their learning ecology. This study affects positive social change by enhancing learning through m-learning. The findings of this study can be used to guide educational administrators in making technology policies that best serve the needs of their stakeholders and provide teachers with m-learning strategies that can be integrated successfully into the classroom.
DeWitte, C.M. Integrating cell phones into the secondary Montessori classroom. Ph.D. thesis, Walden University.
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