|Keywords:||Biology; Computer Science; Education; Science Education; Teacher Education; Teaching; student engagement with technology; rural; device divide; experience sampling; high school students; computer; student training with computers; cyber bullying; biology class; student view of text books; teacher view of student skills; student interviews|
|Full text PDF:||http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ohiou1426713813|
The purpose of this study was to examine the student lived experience when using computers in a rural science classroom. The overarching question the project sought to examine was: How do rural students relate to computers as a learning tool in comparison to a traditional science classroom? Participant data were collected using a pre-study survey, Experience Sampling during class and post-study interviews. Students want to use computers in their classrooms. Students shared that they overwhelmingly (75%) preferred a computer rich classroom to a traditional classroom (25%). Students reported a higher level of engagement in classes that use technology/computers (83%) versus those that do not use computers (17%). A computer rich classroom increased student control and motivation as reflected by a participant who shared; “by using computers I was more motivated to get the work done” (Maggie, April 25, 2014, survey).The researcher explored a rural school environment. Rural populations represent a large number of students and appear to be underrepresented in current research. The participants, tenth grade Biology students, were sampled in a traditional teacher led class without computers for one week followed by a week using computers daily. Data supported that there is a new gap that separates students, a device divide. This divide separates those who have access to devices that are robust enough to do high level class work from those who do not. Although cellular phones have reduced the number of students who cannot access the Internet, they may have created a false feeling that access to a computer is no longer necessary at home. As this study shows, although most students have Internet access, fewer have access to a device that enables them to complete rigorous class work at home.Participants received little or no training at school in proper, safe use of a computer and the Internet. It is clear that the majorities of students are self-taught or receive guidance from peers resulting in lower self-confidence or the development of misconceptions of their skill or ability. Advisors/Committee Members: Machtmes, Krisanna (Advisor), Weade, Ginger (Committee Chair).