Challenging perception and understanding modern teenage development and increased dependancy on mobile phones within the classroom.

Based upon recent experience and a new appreciation into teenage development and mental health; I will be investigating the perceived negative use of mobile phones in the classroom. Considered a component of negative classroom behaviour, I will aim to propose a new mindset for teachers to adopt in viewing this growing behavioural trait. My aim is to challenge the perception of it being a negative act and question the role of the mobile phone in our every growing technological dependent society. This will be a primary research-based investigation, where I am aiming to conduct a college wide survey and ask both learners and lecturers their views on mobile phones. I will tailor each survey, where there will be an emphasis on social networking and communication for the learners and with the lecturers, focus will be about their possible application of mobile phones in the classroom. This investigation will also be supported through the analysis of existing surveys and reports that examine teenage mental health issues arising through mobile phone use.

Although they will only be supportive, I will still devote some time in developing engaging illustrations and infographics, which will be built upon the data collected from the surveys.

Please see below my finished ‘Action Research’ paper, which examines smartphones within a college environment.

To conclude, this has been an interesting and engaging investigation, which has yielded some positive results. The topic of ‘Mobile phones in the classroom’, came about after my exasperated efforts to stop my studetns using them whilst they should be doing work. I was already aware of the addictive nature and the need to interact via social media, within a 16-19 year old demographic; but I wanted to know more. My premise for this research paper was to conduct two primary surveys within the college that I work at to gather data on both the studetns and the lectures mobile habits; so, one survey for the studetns, the other for the tutors. Through a basic understanding of statistical analysis, I had an idea of the narratives that I wanted to extrapolate from the data. However, to strengthen this, I read an interesting guide, titled ‘Approaches to the Analysis of Survey Data’, published by the University of Reading, it states that ‘The discussion is at a statistically simple level; other more sophisticated statistical approaches are outlined in our guide Modern Methods of Analysis.’ However it provided a wealth of information about structure, hierarchy and cross-tabulation. This provided me with some ideas on categorical questions, which could be used to propose some demographical statements about the respondents.

Upon reflection, the questions could have been developed further and perhaps supported with a focus group interview; however, the results from this paper support my initial notion that mobiles are part of our culture and they are here to stay. Moving forward, I would like to develop this paper into a nationwide study, where a more focused survey is sent to all colleges across the UK, which could be strengthen through anthropological studies at various colleges. My intention is to gather a much wider range and depth of data, which can be used to form a report that highlights the use of mobiles within education. There are numerous reports and statistics, which already confirm the high usage rate of mobile devices and social media within a teenage demographic, but it is the educational application that I wish to examine further to propose new strategies within 21st pedagogy. 


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