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Trust and Mobile Media Use in Schools

1080/00131725.2012.707566# Garcia, A. (2012). Trust and mobile media use in schools. Educational Forum, 76(4), 430-433 KEYWORDS: Cell phones K-12 Mobile media

Texting Trust Urban schools

QUOTATIONS: “Tension, conflict, and pushing against adult disciplinary policies occur, likely, because teachers and students are fundamentally viewing mobile use in diametrically opposing ways” (Garcia, 2012, p. 432). “For students, it is not merely that they are choosing to text instead of participate in academic work. Instead, students see these two areas as overlapping and occurring concurrently” (Garcia, 2012, p. 432). “ Simply put, if students do not feel that their teachers trust them, as reflected in classroom structure and pedagogy, mobile use will often be in opposition to teacher goals” (Garcia, 2012, p.432). “However, in seeing the ways these devices have shifted school culture, this study has reminded me that the culture-shifting role of mobile devices calls for a renewed focus on mutual classroom trust and an increased responsiveness to the collective student voice” (Garcia, 2012, p. 432-433). “The benefits of opening my teaching practice to include student phones and iPods meant my classroom became more student-centered; these students were able to produce, communicate, and receive individualized feedback from me at their own pace” (Garcia, 2012, p. 433). SUMMARY: Over the course of a year Garcia conducted research and collected qualitative data within the urban high school where he teaches by taking field notes in various educational spaces and through focus group interviews with students. His intent was to discover how and why students used their mobile devices in school and also their rationale for doing so. Garcia discovered that the student mobile phone usage in his high school closely mimicked his own mobile phone usage as an adult and professional. Students refrained from using their mobile devices at the time/places where this usage was allowed because this block of time was also when they were allowed to be social with their peers (i.e. lunchtime, passing time between classes). Just as Garcia admits that he will check his phone for a text message or scan his email quickly while in a meeting, he found that this is what his students were doing in class as well. Additionally, Garcia reflects on his own teaching practice and determines that allowing students to use their mobile devices in his classroom helps to build the mutual trust within the teacher-student relationship and also aids in keeping the classroom student-centered. Garcia sees many benefits to allowing his students to use their mobile devices in school.