Adolescent Montessori Students’ Attitudes toward the Influence of Technology on their Individual Community Relationships
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Technology is growing rapidly in education. While many students enjoy using technology on their own, there is a constant push for using technology in the classroom. This study was designed to examine adolescent beliefs regarding technology in a Montessori classroom community. Students were asked to report their initial beliefs in regards to technology use in the classroom. They were then presented with a variety of fictional and nonfictional texts that portrayed technology in communities in which they were able to participate in open-ended question based discussions that aimed to discover if technology helps or hinders communities. After the discussions, students were asked again about their beliefs of technology use in the classroom. Student surveys, student responses to written questions, recorded seminars, and teacher observations were collected as evidence. Results showed that students were able to acknowledge how technology can be helpful and rewarding when used correctly, but were also aware that technology can be a distraction from learning and could have a negative impact on relationships within a community. However, the students’ ability to formally give reasoning to the benefits and disadvantages of technology became stronger and more clear after the four Socratic seminars. In addition to students’ competence in supporting their formal opinions, this adolescent Montessori classroom became a stronger community due to their responsibility in contributing to one another’s learning.