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One-to-one Chromebook technology and student engagement in the independent secondary school classroom: a case study

Falshaw, E. R. (2023) One-to-one Chromebook technology and student engagement in the independent secondary school classroom: a case study. EdD thesis, University of Reading

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To link to this item DOI: 10.48683/1926.00112904


This pragmatic, sequential, mixed methods case study research project examined the use of one-to-one Chromebook technology in one independent, co-educational, UK secondary school for 11-18 years old students. The purpose was to understand the perceptions of students and teachers regarding student engagement with one-to-one Chromebook technology in the classroom, and in so doing, recognise how the Chromebook is being used and the opportunities and challenges it presents when engaging students. This seems timely in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic (2020), where education came to rely heavily on mobile digital technology, such as Chromebook laptops. This research looks to fill gaps in current knowledge that exist regarding one-to-one Chromebook technology and student engagement in UK independent secondary school classrooms. Data was collected via student surveys (n=168), teacher surveys (n=43), four student focus groups (n=10) and four semi-structured interviews with teachers (n=4), which allowed the views of both groups to be analysed and compared. The research was conducted, not at the beginning of Chromebook use in the school, but at a time when Chromebooks had been established in a one-to-one format for over four years. Using the conceptual framework of affective, behavioural and cognitive engagement and a bioecological student engagement, theoretical framework, an understanding of Chromebook use in this secondary school setting materialised. Evidence shows that students and teachers perceive engagement using Chromebook technology differently but positively, and this is not by chance alone. The key differences in student and teacher perceptions, particularly of affective and behavioural engagement, help us to further understand engagement with one-to-one technology. Data revealed that students’ perceptions show they are more affectively and behaviourally engaged across what this research terms the A-B-C (Affective, Behavioural, Cognitive) engagement continuum when using their Chromebooks, and how teachers do not recognise the strength of their students’ engagement with the device. Teachers explained how they use the Chromebook with their students in a variety of ways, showing a new confidence founded on skills developed over time. Both students and teachers acknowledge and understand the dangers of technology as a distraction, with students willing and open to strategies to help them utilise the technology for the right purposes. Students and teachers also recognise the use of technology is contextually bound, appropriate to use for some tasks but not for everything, and that ultimately one-to�one Chromebooks need to be used judiciously. Through the discussion of the findings, implications for practice emerged for teachers and senior leaders in the school. For teachers, the implications are to consciously build their pedagogical practice starting with affective engagement, exploring the A-B-C engagement continuum, using personalisation as a key affective indicator on which to build. Teachers should also look to establish agreed routines, consistent across the school, to help mitigate against the ever-looming threat of distraction. For senior leaders, the implications are to lead from the front in helping to provide opportunities for teachers to share best practice and bring together students and teachers to establish a technology charter for all parties to agree and follow. Through teacher and student collaboration, stronger engagement can be achieved.

Item Type:Thesis (EdD)
Thesis Supervisor:Dimitriadi, Y. and Trakulphadetkrai, N. V.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:112904


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