Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

David Lee

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Richard Mohn

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Ann Blankenship

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research


Youth continue to make up the largest share of the cell phone market in the United States. In 2010, 58% of all 12 year olds owned their own cell phone. By 2015, 88% of teenagers owned a cell phone. Today’s teenagers are constantly on cell phones, using them to text, talk, access the internet, and take pictures. Technology is such a part of teenagers’ lives that they have been labeled by Marc Prensky and others as digital natives (2001). They have always had technology and cannot conceive of a world without it.

School systems have faced challenges with the new technology and its adaptation for school use. Administrators and teachers have attempted to define the role of cell phones in schools. The purpose of this study was to compare the attitudes of administrators and teachers on cell phone use as an educational tool in classrooms. The attitudes of the participants were examined based on the educational role (administrator or teacher) of the participants by age, gender, years of educational experience, level of professional training in technology, cell phone ownership, and type of phone. Participant attitudes regarding perceived challenges to successful cellular technology integration were collected to bring richness to the study.

The statistical analysis of the survey results revealed no significant differences in


the attitudes of educational administrators and teachers regarding the use of cell phones

in the classroom. Demographic attributes of the participants also revealed no significant differences. The research was hampered by the relatively low number of administrator responses (n=18) versus the responses from teachers (n=382). A larger collection of responses from administrators could have impacted the results of the study.

While the survey results revealed no significance, the open-ended question revealed nine different themes regarding the use of technology. The most prevalent theme emphasized the importance of adequate professional training for educators in the use of cellular technology. It seems possible that the concept of cell phone use in the classroom is evolving. Educators may feel that cell phone use is inevitable, so more training is needed in how to use them for educational purposes. Further research could evaluate the effectiveness of cell phone use training and how usage could impact student achievement.