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Title: Learning in the Age of Distraction: Assessing the efficacy of technology integration on adolescent learning
Contributor(s): Sebire, Karl (author); Gregory, Sue  (supervisor)orcid ; Bannister-Tyrrell, Michelle  (supervisor)orcid ; Nye, Adele  (supervisor)orcid 
Conferred Date: 2020-06-10
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Technology permeates daily life to the extent that, in modern western civilisation at least, its prevalence is tantamount to society's dependence on electricity or running water. Its ubiquitous role has significant implications for how society functions and interacts, and this is no more evident than in the ever-evolving landscape of education. If educators are to cater to an audience that has developed a diet for rich, interactive, and engaging technology use as part of their learning experience, a range of considerations must be afforded to its integration.
This mixed methods research sought to identify how varying levels of access to technology affect retention of lesson content and how the key educational stakeholders in parents, teachers and students perceived the efficacy of technology for learning. The mixed methods research uses quantitative measures to provide an insight into how Australian secondary school retain lesson content under different conditions of technology use within the Year 10 science classroom. The three procedures, or instructional methods, from the traditional pen and paper method of note-taking, to an unrestricted approach where students were permitted to use their device for whatever purpose they saw fit, were implemented in a naturalistic quasi-experimental design. Students were presented video content as part of their lessons, with a subsequent test used to measure their content retention under the varying conditions. Quantitative analysis found that students at School A (all boys) and School B (all girls) were not impeded by any technological distraction to a statistically significant extent. Qualitative semi-structured interviews gathered insights on the perceived efficacy of ICT integration from the three key educational stakeholders in parents, teachers, and students. Whilst opinions varied between individuals across all groups, the recurring theme of perceived distraction proved to be the greatest concern for learning. The incongruity between the quantitative results and the qualitative responses highlighted that negative perceptions can often skew how ICT's efficacy is valued as a learning tool. Harnessing the educational benefits of ICT integration, whilst attenuating the distractive allure that so often impedes the ability to focus on content, proves to be a significant challenge presented to both teachers, parents, and students alike.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Fields of Research (FoR) 2008: 130106 Secondary Education
130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy
130306 Educational Technology and Computing
Fields of Research (FoR) 2020: 390306 Secondary education
390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy
390405 Educational technology and computing
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 930101 Learner and Learning Achievement
930203 Teaching and Instruction Technologies
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 160304 Teaching and instruction technologies
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
Appears in Collections:School of Education
Thesis Doctoral

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