Intermediate and high school students spend a large amount of time using mobile devices (Lauricella, Cingel, Blackwell, Wartella, & Conway, 2014), and such devices are increasingly being integrated into our school system. We conducted a series of student-led focus groups, with this early adolescent cohort, in order to better understand their experiences of the recent technological shift. Four main ideas emerged from a thematic analysis of three focus group discussions: restrictions, student-led technology use, bypassing the restrictions, and connectivity as a need. Direct quotes from students and our analysis of these themes suggest that young people should be included, to a much greater extent, in discussions about the evolution of teaching practices in today’s digital age. Clear benefits and risks linked to greater use of mobile technologies were evident in our discussions, the implications of which are discussed along with limitations of the current study and proposed future research.
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