Dr. Solen Feyissa recently defended his dissertation — Congrats to this new PhD in Learning Technologies / Curriculum and Instruction!
Dr. Solen was co-advised by Dr. Angelica Pazurek and Dr. Aaron Doering. His dissertation was titled, “Living in Wait: The Learning Lives of Ethiopian High School Students in the Age of the Internet.”
This research sought to examine how students in a developing country such as Ethiopia appropriate ICTs in their learning lives and how social contexts influence their ICT use for learning purposes. Working within the tradition of interpretive research, this study employed a multiple case study approach. Four students attending secondary schools in Addis Ababa were participants. Participant interviews were collected and were triangulated with participant observation, student journal entries, and ICT curriculum analysis. The data were analyzed using within-case analysis and cross-case analysis. The six stages of inductive thematic analysis proposed by Braun and Clarke (2006) were used during both stages.
Drawing from the learning lives of participants, this dissertation research adds to a growing body of research (Dombrowski, Harmon & Fox, 2016; Maryam & Imran, 2016; Ames, 2016) that focus on low-income communities and that suggest a multitude of interrelated, multi-faceted and complex factors that influence technology appropriation for learning while often amplifying existing inequalities and exclusions. These influential factors include differential access to ICTs, teacher absenteeism, standardized high-stakes exams, as well as cultural, religious and social norms.