טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentAbuhatsira Eitan
SubjectThe Relationship Between Smartphone Use and Learning
Achievement by Israeli High School Students
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisors Professor Michael Moore
Professor Miriam Reiner
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

The swift technological progress does not skip schools and classrooms. The technological tools, especially smartphones, add to the class environment an additional and significant variable, which gives students access to almost infinite information about any subject and discipline studied. In addition, it enables extensive, immediate and varied social communication, which is being enhanced during school day as part of the social connections arises at this age and indeed very important for the students.

The education system and its teachers claim that the smartphone is an obstacle to the learning process, and therefore the procedures and instructions emphasize the removal of the smartphone completely from the learning process, especially from the disciplinary point of view .

The goals of this research were to examine these attitudes among teachers and students from state high schools, to measure and compare teachers and students smartphone usage and finally to examine whether extreme smartphone usage can be correlated with students' poor academic achievements .

The data collected  has been analyzed using qualitative and statistical tools providing 4 categories which describe the interactions between teachers, students and the learning process: smartphone passion, the smartphone satisfies needs, disrupting teaching or learning? and teacher's role in the classroom. There was consent between teachers and students that the smartphone can cause damage to learning process but still, the students can't stop themselves from using it while studying.

In the teachers' opinion, the smartphone is perceived as a too much important tool by the students. However, a statistical analysis has found that there is no significant difference between the attitudes of teachers and students regarding the importance of the smart phone in their personal lives, so that our sages of the Mishna and the Talmud expression "invalidating others - invalidates because of his own imperfection" is being revealed in this case.

Another finding of this research showed that the students smartphone usage is indeed, and like similar researches have shown, greater than teachers' smartphone usage.

In this study, the relationship between the extent of smartphone usage and the students' academic achievements was also examined. It was found that there was no correlation between the students' achievements, measured by the average annual grade, and their smartphone usage. In order to sharpen the findings of the study, the achievements of the students defined as "light users" and the achievements of students defined as "heavy users" were compared. The results of this test also showed no correlation between the degree of use and the average annual grades.

Since we can predict an increased penetration of technology into our lives and into classrooms in the future, the main contribution of this study is the advancement of teachers and the educational system attitudes to a deeper understanding of the educational, personal and social importance of the smartphone in students' eyes. They should integrate it wisely into educational and value-based methods that support learning and treat the smartphone as an integral part of students and teachers lives.