TECHNOLOGY, INCLUSIVITY AND CULTURALLY RELEVANT PEDAGOGY: HOW EDUCATORS USE MOBILE APPLICATIONS IN SOCIO-CULTURALLY DIVERSE CLASSROOMS
University of Toronto (CANADA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2020
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Today’s unprecedented growth of the mobile applications industry and its accessibility for educators and students presents exceptional challenges and benefits to the education system. This study is an account of how seven K-12 educators from Canada, United States, Saudi Arabia and Thailand evaluate, select and use mobile apps in their classrooms, taking into account relevant criteria including: cultural, social, and developmental/age appropriateness of each app. It also addresses a gap in the literature around how and why K-12 educators are using mobile apps. Lastly, the study highlights the perceived benefits and challenges faced by educators in their efforts to ensure digital apps are relevant and inclusive for diverse student needs.
This study is an account of how seven K-12 educators from Canada, United States, Saudi Arabia and Thailand evaluate, select and use mobile apps in their classrooms. The study looks at how these educators take into consideration relevant criteria including: cultural, social, and developmental/age appropriateness of each app. The study also reports on some of the benefits, challenges and areas for further research, contributing to ways in which educators can continue to be critically conscious with regard to the use of new and emerging digital technologies in diverse classrooms. Drawing on Ertmer’s (1999, 2012) and Tsai’s and Chai’s (2012) technological integration frameworks, this study examines the use of mobile apps in physical education (PE) classrooms in particular. Key questions that lead the study were: how are physical educators using mobile apps in their practice? What are the cultural, social, and developmental considerations physical educators take into account when using technology in their classrooms?
This is a mixed-methods study driven by the motivation to better understand how educators select and evaluate apps based on their pedagogical considerations for maintaining inclusive classrooms, ensuring representation of all students, as well as the correct age and developmental range of tools for the PE classroom. Participants for the study included seven male and female K-12 educators in either publicly funded or private schools across the United States, Canada, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. Criterion sampling (Patton, 2001) was used to select participants that met three predetermined criterion of importance. The criteria were: educators’ current use of mobile applications in pedagogy and practice; demonstration of leadership in technology integration in PE; certification and current practice as an elementary teacher with no less than five years of experience. All participants had access to WiFi in their schools and used either tablets or iPads in their classes.
Keywords: Mobile apps, culturally responsive pedagogy, information communication technology, physical education, applications (apps), mobile devices.