Date of Award

Summer 2017

Access Restriction

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

Education

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Marta Baltodano, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Ernesto Colin, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Rebecca Herr Stephenson, Ph.D.

Abstract

The accelerated growth of 1:1 educational computing initiatives has challenged digital equity with a three-tiered, socioeconomic digital divide: (a) access, (b) higher order uses, and (c) user empowerment and personalization. As the access gap has been closing, the exponential increase of 1:1 devices threatens to widen the second and third digital divides. Using critical theory, specifically, critical theory of technology and critical pedagogy, and a qualitative case study design, this research explored the experiences of a middle school categorized under California criteria as “socioeconomically disadvantaged.” This study contributes to critical theory on technology within an educational setting, as well as provides voice to the experiences of teachers and students with economic disadvantages experiencing the phenomena of 1:1 computing.

Using observational, interview, and school document data, this study asked the question: To what extent do 1:1 technology integration uses and associated pedagogical practices foster Margins of Maneuver in an eighth grade comprised of a student population that is predominantly economically disadvantaged? Probing two key markers of Margins of Maneuver, student agency and participation, the study found: (a) a technology-enhanced learning culture; (b) a teacher shift to facilitator roles; (c) instances of engaged, experiential, and inquiry learning and higher order technology uses; (d) in-progress efforts to strengthen student voice and self-identity. Accompanying the progress in narrowing economically based digital divides, the data also demonstrated some tension with the knowledge economy. Nevertheless, sufficient margins existed, associated with one-to-one uses and practices, to result in micro-resistances characterized by assertion of student agency and democratization potential.

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