As mobile devices become more and more ubiquitous among teens, such devices have also been fighting their way into the educational landscape. In this digital world where people are constantly entertained, educators have found it difficult to capture their students' attention and motivate them to stay engaged in formal class. Rather than focus specifically on types of devices as education has historically done, this study focused on ways in which those tool could be used. Using a TPACK framework (technological, pedagogical, content knowledge) allows educators to pull the attention from specific types of devices and focus on how those devices could be used academically. This exploratory study surveyed how undergraduate students and higher education instructors at two small faith-based universities in Southern California used mobile devices in and outside of the class for academic purposes. The researcher cross-referenced the results from the 2 groups to make correlations. The results of this study showed that nearly all instructor participants had multiple devices and almost half of the student participants had 2 or more devices as well. Those devices are being used in and outside of formal class for academics in very basic and emerging way that are just touching the surface of their capabilities. This study found that students use their devices in class to read, reference, or search materials. Faculty reported using their devices as presentation devices most often. Both groups, students and teachers, reported a few unique mobile devices using special purpose applications. Those special purpose uses are beginning to move in the direction progressive mobile learning and beginning to touch the surface of TPACK integration. This study aimed to integrate the current uses of mobile devices by students and faculty with the TPACK educational framework. It connected current mobile device usage to advanced device usage to integrate TPACK teaching strategies for educators to integrate those devices into their future instruction.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Learning technologies; Mobile communication systems in education; Educational technology; Pedagogical content knowledge; Blended learning

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Polin, Linda;