Date of Award

1-6-2017

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Learning Technologies Division

First Advisor

Laurie Brantley-Dias

Second Advisor

Brendan Calandra

Third Advisor

Jennifer Esposito

Fourth Advisor

Jonathan Cohen

Abstract

Digital safety concerns, socio-economic status, pedagogical beliefs, and religious beliefs can all impact technology decisions within a school. Despite the unique contextual factors that influence school technology decision-making, teachers and students are still charged with using technology for teaching and learning in order to be 21st century learners. The purpose of this study was to explore how one Bais Yaakov school community, an all-girls private Jewish school, navigated the tensions of context and technology innovation through their adoption of 1:1 Chromebooks. Grounded theory ethnographic methods and activity theory were employed for data collection and analysis. Technology use was limited, and participants explained that lack of time, fear, frustration, and pedagogical beliefs were reasons that some teachers did not use technology. Practical recommendations from this research include the importance of developing a technology plan designed by all stakeholders and targeted professional development for content areas. Theoretical recommendations include the discussion of culturally competent Internet use in schools and “media refusal” as a term to describe communities who chose not to integrate technology into educational curriculum.

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