Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Shelly Fransen

Second Advisor

Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Tara Roberts


Technology in the classroom has educators asking the question of whether technology engages students on a deep cognitive level or whether technology is holding students back. Educational technology has the potential to increase student engagement (Norris & Coutas, 2014). Wexler (2019) found technology is holding students back because they prefer the virtual setting to a real-world setting. The purpose of this mixed-methods research study was to determine if there is a connection between student cognitive engagement and excessive technology use. Developed by Antonetti and Stice (2018), the four components of Powerful Task Design were identified as the conceptual framework that guided this study. A target population of seventh and eighth-grade certified core teachers and seventh and eighth-grade students were selected from a middle school in southwest Missouri. The Pearson Product-Moment Correlation Coefficient (PPMC) analysis of students showed a correlation between excessive technology usage for middle school students and classroom engagement. Perceptions of seven certified core teachers showed excessive technology use does negatively impact student cognitive engagement and relationships with peers; however, educational technologies provide valuable ways to organize information, assess student work, and provide a way for students to stay connected to learning during absences. Implications of this study include completing an educational technology curriculum audit, introducing preventative measures for excessive technology usage, engaging students in extracurriculars, and implementing educational technology effectively and strategically within the classroom.

Included in

Education Commons