Digitalization is one of the issues changing the modern world. The use of new technologies in different spheres of human activity promotes radical alterations and new ways to perform traditional tasks. For this reason, this tendency acquires specific social importance, especially in terms of the educational sphere. The given research paper focuses on integrating technology into classrooms using the Technology School Beit Hanina as the background. Students broadly use laptops during their main activities as a way to digitalize the environment.
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The importance of the research is justified by the fact that today there are many opposing views on the impact technology has on students and their academic successes. For this reason, the results of the study can show the effects of implementing innovative methods and outline the barriers to the further digitalization of educational establishments.
The following research question is formulated:
- What effects does the use of laptops in Technology school Beit Hanina have on students and their academic successes?
The given research question is supported by the following objectives:
- to determine the role of technology in modern educational establishments
- to evaluate the main benefits of using devices in academic activities
- to outline risks linked to using technology in classrooms
- to collect and process information about students’ experiences of using laptops in the selected settings
- to conclude about the effects of using technology in the school
In such a way, by observing these objectives and answering the research question, it is possible to determine the role of technology in the current school setting and the problems lint to its integration.
The existing literature devoted to the problem has several perspectives on it. First of all, Boyle and Kennedy (2019) assume that various devices such as laptops, projectors, and smartphones are increasingly becoming popular in the educational sphere (Nikula et al., 2020). One of the central reasons for their integration is the ability to simplify some tasks and attain higher effectiveness (Nikula et al., 2020). For instance, teachers might use laptops and school networks to share homework, educational materials, and other resources needed for completing the course. Moreover, presentations using projectors and other interactive forms of work have become an integral part of schools today (Nikula et al., 2020). There is a focus on the gradual digitalization of most institutions existing today and the integration of new technologies into their work (Nikula et al., 2020). It is expected that this strategy will help to improve outcomes and prepare learners for future life in a highly digitalized society.
Moreover, technology can offer new opportunities for students with disabilities. Recent research shows that learners with numerous problems, such as autism spectrum disorders, learning disabilities, and emotional behavior disorders, can benefit from using digital devices in their learning activities (Boyle & Kennedy, 2019). First, it will help to overcome challenges caused by their specific status and become active learners. Second, by using innovative strategies, they can become more involved in the process and demonstrate better results not feeling isolated or depressed (Boyle & Kennedy, 2019). At the same time, technology can affect instructions for learners and the effectiveness of cooperation between teachers and students (Boyle & Kennedy, 2019).
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From this perspective, the extensive use of innovations is viewed as a beneficial process that should be supported at different levels to guarantee the creation of a digitalized environment and higher inclusion and diversity levels (Boyle & Kennedy, 2019). This perspective promotes the integration of technology into the classroom.
However, the existing body of literature also outlines several disputable issues associated with the further utilization of technology in schools. First, school teachers have little guidance on how to implement technology in practical and effective ways to foster the development of specific skills among learners and create effective instruction (Altavilla, 2020). It might deteriorate the results of using devices in school settings and precondition the emergence of challenges linked to their integration (Altavilla, 2020). Second, technology might precondition the emergence of new factors distracting students from learning activities and preventing them from being involved in the process (Altavilla, 2020). Under these conditions, further digitalization of the school setting should be followed by the development of correct guidelines on how to create the basis for the appropriate use of various devices to boos performance and attain desired outcomes.
Today, laptops are the most frequently used devices in schools. They provide learners and educators with multiple opportunities, including typing lectures, watching educational videos, and participating in conferences. For this reason, they are often viewed as a necessity in comprehensive schools, and almost all learners with a stable level of income have them (Awwada et al., 2013). However, the research shows that laptops can serve as the main distracting factor (Awwada et al., 2013). Awwada et al. (2013) state that students can use laptops both for academic and non-academic purposes, meaning that this device can precondition the lack of concentration among students. In such a way, the literature review shows that technology might have both positive and negative effects on educational establishments. To guarantee their successful integration, it is vital to provide clear guidelines and ensure that pupils are not distracted when using their devices.
Investigation of the given research problem and answering the research question demands collecting qualitative data from the major participants of the process. It means that information should be acquired from students using technologies, such as laptops, in Technology School Beit Hanina. Working with this data and processing it, it is possible to conclude about the effects devices have on learners’ activity and academic successes. Moreover, this approach will guarantee the credibility of findings as relevant data from the central participants will be acquired.
Qualitative research is viewed as the preferable research paradigm for the given project. First, it focuses on collecting non-numerical and personal data, which is vital for determining the effects of technologies on learners (Bryman, 2004). Second, qualitative methods provide investigators with an opportunity to evaluate the real-life experiences of participants and conclude about the nature of the phenomenon under the investigation (Bryman, 2004). For this reason, qualitative research methods combining interviews with focus groups are selected to conduct the study.
The interview is one of the most effective and frequently used approaches in qualitative research. It provides a researcher with a chance to collect relevant data provided directly by a person who possesses the needed experience. For this reason, it can be used in the proposed project. An in-depth interview from the position of an observer can be conducted (Murray, 2003). It presupposes communication and asking questions in conversation with a purpose (Bryman, 2004). The model helps to construct the knowledge about the social work in usual interaction (Bryman, 2004).
The choice of the qualitative research method supported by in-depth interviews helps to achieve the goal of the research. First, it is vital to understand what effects laptops might have on learners. It can be achieved only by communicating with them and collecting information about their real-life experiences. Second, a complete picture of the discussed issue can be created by conducting ethnographic research within the selected population. For this reason, by combining these methods, it is possible to attain success and provide credible conclusions.
The central advantage of the selected methodology is the opportunity to collect credible and relevant data about the phenomenon under research. The interview offers an investigator a chance to speak with participants and ask questions about their visions (Berger, 2015). However, the given tool’s major disadvantage is the limited number of participants and the need for the time devoted to every interviewee to ensure the in-depth and productive communication and discussion of all problems (Bryman, 2004).
The qualitative research paradigm presupposes using specific sampling techniques. Regarding the nature of the given research, a purposeful or judgment sample is considered the best option. It presupposes the inclusion of the most productive sample with the features needed for a researcher (Marshall, 1996). It means that students from the school using laptops should take part in the study. The sample size can range from 10 to 20 individuals needed to provide their personal information and conclude about the effects of technology on their academic performance.
Several challenges should be taken into account when using this approach. First, participants should be encouraged to take part in the research and provide their informed consent. Second, it is vital to avoid collecting biased data during in-depth interviews. Finally, there is a need for effective planning and schedule to avoid delays and confusion and gather data effectively. These challenges should be taken into account to ensure the high credibility of conclusions and findings.
Ethical Issue and Research Credibility
Although students can be viewed as an accessible source of information, there is still the need to observe the code of ethics and avoid violating their rights. Thus, any study presupposing the involvement of human beings presupposes the need to consider the rights of individuals (Clark & McCann, 2005). It is vital to consider the principal ethical issues associated with working with students, such as unequal power relationships, fair treatment, obtaining valid informed consent, and confidentiality of data (Clark & McCann, 2005). It means that by conducting research, it is possible to observe the major rules.
First of all, participation should be voluntary. All students should agree to provide their data during in-depth interviews and share it with the researcher. It also means that the informed consent form should be provided. It ensures that participants realize the nature of the project and are ready to take part in it. Second, confidentiality and anonymity of data should be guaranteed to all students. Their names should not be mentioned, and they should have the right to leave at any stage (Clark & McCann, 2005).
In such a way, observation of the given rules is vital for the project presupposing cooperation with students. It is essential to treat all interviewees ethically and observe the central principles of ethical research, such as social responsibility, human rights, and respect for dignity (ASA, 2018). It is also vital to avoid conflict of interest and disclose personal data (ASA, 2018). Altogether, the research presupposing human beings becomes a complex issue because of the need to avoid ethical conflicts. Observing these rules, it is possible to attain the desired outcomes and meet students’ demands for anonymity.
American Sociological Association (ASA). (2018). Code of ethics. ASA.
Altavilla, J. (2020). How technology affects instruction for English learners. Phi Delta Kappan, 102(1), 18–23.
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Awwada, F., Ayesha. A., & Awwadb, S. (2013). Are laptops distracting educational tools in classrooms. Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, 103, 154-160.
Berger, R. (2015). Now I see it, now I don’t: researcher’s position and reflexivity in qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 15(2), 219–234.
Boyle, J. R., & Kennedy, M. J. (2019). Innovations in classroom technology for students with disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic, 55(2), 67–70.
Bryman, A. (2004). Social research methods (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.
Clark, E., & McCann, T. V. (2005). Researching students: an ethical dilemma. Nurse researcher, 12(3), 42–51. Web.
Marshall, M. N. (1996). Sampling for qualitative research. Family practice, 13(6), 522–525.
Murray, S. B. (2003). A spy, a shill, a go-between, or a sociologist: Unveiling the ‘Observer’ in participant observer. Qualitative Research, 3(3), 377–395.
Nikula, E., Järvinen, T., & Laiho, A. (2020). The contradictory role of technology in Finnish young people’s images of future schools. YOUNG, 28(5), 465–484.