Chapter

Girls and Their Smartphones: Emergent Learning Through Apps That Enable

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the author.

Abstract

In “Girls and Their Smartphones,” Forget addresses the question: Could a girl’s mobile device be integrated into an educational framework that promotes more active engagement with creativity and digital technology? Drawing from MonCoin interview data, Forget examines smartphone apps through the lens of complexity thinking and a student-based, constructivist teaching approach. She identifies a parallel between “constraints that enable” (Castro, 2007) and “apps that enable learning” (Gardner & Davis, 2013) through a critical examination of mobile app functionality. The qualities of “enabling apps” dovetail with the ways girls learn best, and they may also create an access ramp to digital technology and the STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), an arena where women and girls are currently underrepresented.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the author.

ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Smartphone usage is a hot topic in pervasive computing due to their popularity and personal aspect. We present our initial results from analyzing how individual differences, such as gender and age, affect smartphone usage. The dataset comes from a large scale longitudinal study, the Menthal project. We select a sample of 30, 677 participants, from which 16, 147 are males and 14, 523 are females, with a median age of 21 years. These have been tracked for at least 28 days and they have submitted their demographic data through a questionnaire. The ongoing experiment has been started in January 2014 and we have used our own mobile data collection and analysis framework. Females use smartphones for longer periods than males, with a daily mean of 166.78 minutes vs. 154.26 minutes. Younger participants use their phones longer and usage is directed towards entertainment and social interactions through specialized apps. Older participants use it less and mainly for getting information or using it as a classic phone.
Article
Full-text available
For girls there is a distinct loss in interest, lack of confidence, and decline in positive attitudes toward STEM subject areas that begins early on in their academic experience and increases with age. According to the National Academy of Engineering, students need to begin associating the possibilities in STEM fields with the need for creativity and real world problem solving skills. Recent research has focused on the necessity of emphasizing the use of creativity and design in attracting girls to STEM academic and career fields. Many extra and after school activities (e.g., State Science Fair, math club, environmental club), provide girls with experiential learning that incorporates problem solving and/or creativity and design skills as well as providing investigative opportunities into academic areas that may not be part of the regular school day. Through hierarchical regression analyses, this study examined the extent to which middle and high school girls' (n = 915) age, and interest and confidence in a) problem solving and b) creativity and design predicted their interest in four STEM subject areas. A follow up analysis identified the extracurricular activities in which girls with higher interests in problem solving and creativity and design were involved. Results revealed that interest in problem solving was a positive predictor for interest in all four STEM subject areas; whereas, interest in creativity and design was a positive predictor for interest in computers and engineering, but a negative predictor for interest in science.
Chapter
Full-text available
People believe they do not need to seriously weigh the pros and cons of many choices before deciding, that their identities provide a meaning-making anchor. They know who they are and who they are directs their choices. In that sense, choices large and small feel identity-based and identity-congruent. As we will outline in this chapter, this feeling of knowing oneself is important even though the assumptions on which it is based are often faulty. Feeling that one knows oneself facilitates using the self to make sense and make choices, using the self as an important perceptual, motivational and self-regulatory tool. This feeling of knowing oneself is based in part on an assumption of stability which is central to both everyday (lay) theories about the self and more formal (social science) theories about the self. Yet the assumption of stability is belied by the malleability, context-sensitivity, and dynamic construction of the self as a mental construct. Identities are not the fixed markers people assume them to be but instead are dynamically constructed in the moment. Choices that feel identity-congruent in one situation do not necessarily feel identity congruent in another situation. This flexibility is part of what makes the self useful. In the first section (Setting the Stage), we briefly operationalize what is meant by self and identity, drawing on other reviews from both sociological and psychological perspectives In the second section (Understanding Process), we consider what the self is assumed to be – a stable yet malleable mental construct, and what gaps remain in how the self is studied. In the third section (Thinking is For Doing), we address the basis for future research, outline in the fourth section (Dynamic Construction) with predictions about what the pragmatic, situated, experiential and embodied nature of mental processing imply for self and identity. Our final section (Wrapping Up and Moving Forward) provides a bulleted summary and highlights what we see as important new directions.
Article
Full-text available
This article aims to report the perception of mobile devices – in particular mobile phones - and the impact on education. Mobile phones are common 21st century tools, offering functions as a storage medium, media player, navigation system, encyclopedia, digital camera, game console, appointment book, news portal and last but not least a communication platform. The study offers insights to the intersection of gender, mobile phones and education in different parts of the world. Mobile communication technologies have revolutionized social communication and chances for informal learning, especially in the developing world, with some influence on negotiating gender issues. Based on literature reviews issues of using mobile phones and the implications on gender and learning are discussed.
Book
Full-text available
This book is an exploration of the power of apps to shape young people for better or for worse. No one has failed to notice that the current generation of youth is deeply, some would say totally, involved with digital media. The authors, both developmental psychologists, name today's young people the "app generation", and in this book they explore what it means to be "app-dependent" versus "app-enabled" and how life for this generation differs from life before the digital era. They are concerned with three vital areas of adolescent life: identity, intimacy, and imagination. Through innovative research, including interviews of young people, focus groups of those who work with them, and a unique comparison of youthful artistic productions before and after the digital revolution, the authors uncover the drawbacks of apps: they may foreclose a sense of identity, encourage superficial relations with others, and stunt creative imagination. On the other hand, the benefits of apps are equally striking: they can promote a strong sense of identity, allow deep relationships, and stimulate creativity. The challenge is to venture beyond the ways that apps are designed to be used, they conclude, and they suggest how the power of apps can be a springboard to greater creativity and higher aspirations. -- Provided by publisher.
Article
Full-text available
he philosophical problem of identity has a long history, dat- ing back to ancient times of classical Greece. Quite early in the history of philosophy questions about the problem of identity arose in tandem with the recognition of change: If there is no change the problem of identity does not arise, since a static thing that undergoes no alterations is simply taken to be what it is—and can clearly be identified as such. Questions concerning sameness and dif- ference arise, however, as soon as the thing in question changes. Is it the same thing (as before)?—an ontological question. By what criteria do we tell if it is or isn't?—an epistemological question. So questions of identity often suggest the presence of difference, and differences in time—that is, change—occasion the even more difficult philosophical question of time. With the rise of modernity and its concern with the person, the ques- tion "Who am I?" became an even more pressing philosophical issue. Interested not so much in the issue of what makes my body the same as that of the baby I once was (which after all would be the problem of iden- tity that arises with anything), the question "Who am I?" comes to be understood to mean "What makes me a person, indeed this person?" In turn, this question elicits other troubling ones such as "What is the rela- tionship between me (qua person) and my body?" and "What is the rela- tionship between me as a person and my circumstances, my history?"—along with related epistemological puzzles, such as "How do we identify and/or re-identify persons despite their psychological changes?" The moral implications of these questions are too numerous— and obvious—to mention.
Article
Full-text available
Recently, the study of gender has focused on processes by which gender is brought into social relations through interaction. This article explores implications of a two-sided dynamic—gendering practices and practicing of gender—for understanding gendering processes in formal organizations. Using stories from interviews and participant observation in multinational corporations, the author explores the practicing of gender at work. She defines practicing gender as a moving phenomenon that is done quickly, directionally (in time), and (often) nonreflexively; is informed (often) by liminal awareness; and is in concert with others. She notes how other conceptions of gender dynamics and practice inform the analysis and argues that adequate conceptualization (and potential elimination) of harmful aspects of gendering practices/practicing will require attention to (1) agency, intentionality, awareness, and reflexivity; (2) positions, power, and experience; and (3) choice, accountability, and audience. She calls for incorporating the “sayings and doings” of gender into organization theory and research.
Article
Full-text available
Although the gender gap has dramatically narrowed in recent decades, women remain underrepresented in many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This study examined social and personal factors in relation to adolescent girls' motivation in STEM (math/science) versus non-STEM (English) subjects. An ethnically diverse sample of 579 girls ages 13-18 years (M = 15) in the U.S. completed questionnaires measuring their academic achievement, ability beliefs, values, and experiences. Social and personal factors were hypothesized to predict motivation (expectancy-value) differently in math/science (M/S) and English. Social factors included perceived M/S and English support from parents and peers. Personal factors included facets of gender identity (felt conformity pressure, gender typicality, gender-role contentedness), gender-related attitudes, and exposure to feminism. In addition, grades, age, parents' education, and ethnicity were controlled. Girls' M/S motivation was positively associated with mother M/S support, peer M/S support, gender-egalitarian beliefs, and exposure to feminism; it was negatively related to peer English support. Girls' English motivation was positively associated with peer English support as well as felt pressure from parents; it was negatively related to peer M/S support and felt peer pressure. The findings suggest that social and personal factors may influence girls' motivation in domain-specific ways.
Article
Full-text available
This study uses the ‘logic’ of emergence to rethink the practice and purposes of modern Western schooling which, conventionally, is organized around a representational epistemology and aims to enculture the student into a particular way of being. The idea of ‘planned enculturation’ is, however, problematic for contemporary multicultural societies for it raises the question of which or whose culture should be promoted through schooling. The authors argue that emergentist challenges to representational epistemology have not released schooling from its problematic function of planned enculturation. However, if the logic of emergence is applied not only to knowledge but also to human subjectivity then the educational problem of planned enculturation disappears. When emergentist logic is applied in this double sense, it becomes possible to understand the primary responsibility of the educator not as a responsibility to promote a particular way of being, but as a responsibility to the singularity and uniqueness of each individual student. If this is what counts as ‘educational responsibility’ then this would distinguish ‘responsible’ educational practices from unguided learning on the one hand and practices of planned enculturation/socialization (training) on the other.
Article
If educators want to engage girls in learning, they must align teaching practices with girls' specific needs. In a study modeled after Reichert and Hawley's study of boys, the authors learned that lessons with hands-on learning, elements of creativity, multimodal projects, and class discussions all worked to stimulate girls' interest in the classroom; relationships, while central to both genders, seem to be particularly influential for girls and their educational engagement; and the relevance of the classroom material to girls' lives is key to sustaining girls' interest.
Article
The "development of human intellectual functioning from infancy to such perfection as it may reach is shaped by a series of technological advances in the use of mind. Growth depends upon the mastery of techniques and cannot be understood without reference to such mastery. These techniques are not, in the main, inventions of the individuals who are growing up; they are, rather, skills transmitted with varying efficiency and success by the culture—language being a prime example. Cognitive growth, then, is in a major way from the outside in as well as from the inside out." The "growth of symbolic functioning links a unique set of powers to man's capacity." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Visualizing solutions: Apps as cognitive stepping-Stones in the learning process
  • M Stevenson
  • J Hedberg
  • K Highfield
  • M Diao
Mathematics apps and mobile learning
  • B Bos
  • K Lee
Enabling artistic inquiry
  • J C Castro
  • JC Castro
Teens, social media & technology
  • Pew Research Center
The touch-screen generation. The Atlantic
  • H Rosin
How technology hijacks people’s minds-From a magician and Google’s design ethicist
  • T Harris
Said and done” versus “saying and doing” gendering practices, practicing gender at work
  • Yancey Martin
  • P Yancey Martin
The weaker sex; gender, education and work
  • Anonymous
Children and parents: Media use and attitudes report
  • Ofcom
Have smartphones destroyed a generation? The Atlantic
  • J Twenge