Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Classroom Technology




Weinberg, Amie

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Students are beneficiaries of the educational system, yet little is known about their perceptions of the system. Furthermore, despite an increased focus on educational technology, many questions persist. Several previous studies about technology perceptions have focused on high school and college students. This study was designed to explore elementary students’ perceptions of educational technology. A qualitative study was conducted in a third grade and a fifth grade classroom, where 16 technology lessons were observed between November 2009 and February 2010. Both classroom teachers were currently enrolled in a Master’s degree program in Instructional Technology. In addition to the observations, 24 focus-group interviews were conducted with 3 students in each group. An inductive, grounded approach was used for data analysis. This study began with a conceptual framework consisting of three main parts: Technology and Its Affordances, Teachers as Designers of Curriculum, and Students’ Experienced Perceptions. The focus of this research was at the intersection of those three areas, that is Students’ Perceptions about Educational Technology. Specifically, the goal of the study was to find out what students like about technology, what they dislike about technology, and how they work with others during technology activities. Data analysis revealed that most of these students maintained a positive perception about educational technology despite some frustrations with issues of functionality. Furthermore, most of these elementary students believed that technology makes their school work more enjoyable as well as improving its quality. This study suggests that teachers take students’ technology perceptions into account when designing lessons. It also offers additional recommendations for classroom use.



Technology, Student voice, Elementary, Affordances, Perceptions