Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

John W. Billings

Committee Member

Susanne Flannelly

Abstract

The purpose of this proposed phenomenological study was to investigate the perceptions and experiences of teachers, administrators, and instructional technology professionals during integrations of social networking platforms for educational purposes to enhance classroom instruction focused on improved academic achievement and digital literacy. Specifically, the study focused on understanding the experiences of teachers, administrators, and instructional technology professionals within K-12 public school districts responsible for having implemented 21st-century technology skills into classroom instruction with the use of online interviews. This study was grounded on Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation Theory as a framework with social networking platforms being the innovation.

The study followed a qualitative phenomenological research design. Data were collected using online interviews and analyzed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) methodology. The four female participants were educators in K-12 public schools responsible for implementing social networking platforms with ages ranging 40-60. Data were analyzed to answer the central question supported by four subquestions: (1) How do K-12 educational professionals’ experiences influence personal beliefs on the integration of social media learning platforms in the classroom?, (2) What are K-12 educational professionals’ experiences of professional development received directing the safe and effective application of social media learning platforms?, (3) What are K-12 educational professionals’ experiences in the use of social media learning platforms as a tool for digital literacy instruction?, and (4) What are K-12 educational professionals’ experiences on the development of safe and appropriate educational use of social media learning platforms policies? The study resulted in nine themes: improving learning experiences, safe social media use, professional development advantage, shift in focus, educator role, development of higher-order skills, digital literacy development, level of educator involvement, and legal and ethical considerations.

This study is important because it promotes discourse in the K-12 educational system to prepare globally competitive adults with appropriate academic and digital literacy skills. The study can serve as a source of information and motivation for K-12 public education professionals to adopt and implement social learning platforms as an educational tool while ensuring the safety of students through development and implementation of clear policies.

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