Murray State Theses and Dissertations


The purpose of this study was to explore the use of personal technology devices during classroom instruction as learning tools by high school biology students. The study sought to determine how a classroom environment with a Bring Your Own Device instructional method in place affected student achievement and student perceptions about biology, as well as viewpoints about their devices as tools for learning. Technology in the hands of teenagers today is nearly ubiquitous and often distracting in the traditional classroom. As the literature indicates, different views exist about the efficacy of using personal technology for learning. This study intended to learn more about the benefits and barriers associated with deliberately employing hand-held personal technology devices in a traditional high school classroom setting.

In the data analysis, the results of the pre-test and post-test score data and pre-survey and post-survey score data reveal interesting information regarding the use of personal technology for learning in a high school biology classroom. Overall, the results of this study support the assumption that the presence of a personal technology device as a learning tool in a high school biology class makes no statistically significant difference in student achievement, nor do they significantly influence student perceptions about using their own device to learn or their attitudes about the subject of biology. Regardless of the effectiveness of the method, students participating in this study provided some interesting insights about their experiences using their own technology for educational purposes during a genetics instructional unit. Their responses provided some valuable information about their experiences and informs the researcher about how to improve future research endeavors. The intention of this research is that the results help to inform and complement the body of research about the emergence of personal technology in the lives of students.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

personal technology, smart devices, learning, perceptions, achievement, career readiness

Degree Awarded

Doctor of Education


Educational Studies, Leadership and Counseling


College of Education & Human Services

Dissertation Committee Chair

Teresa B. Clark

Committee Member

Dusty Reed

Committee Member

Yuejin Xu

Document Type