Congrats to the new Dr. Romaric Zongo!

Congratulations to the new Dr. Romaric Zongo, who defended his dissertation at LTML this week. His dissertation was titled “Integration of Emerging Learning Technologies in Secondary Schools: A Burkina Faso Case Study.” Dr. Zongo’s PhD advisers were Dr. Aaron Doering and Dr. Cassandra Scharber.
Education has become one of the biggest challenges in the African nation of Burkina Faso where teachers are routinely confronted with material shortages, lack of curriculum, lack of equipment, and lack of opportunity for professional development. To overcome these challenges, educators are using Emerging Learning Technologies (ELTs) to help improve the quality of teaching and to increase student access to these learning opportunities. The purpose of this dissertation is to document the perspectives and attitudes of secondary education teachers and administrators in Burkina Faso about the perceived benefits and challenges of integrating Emerging Learning Technologies (ELTs) in their classrooms.
This dissertation is an interpretive case study with interviews serving as the primary data source. Secondary data sources consisted of observations and resulting fieldnotes as well as document collection, including images of schools and classrooms. Grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1999) serves as the primary analysis framework. Data collection was completed during a visit to Burkina Faso that was partially supported by an International Thesis Research Travel Grant award sponsored by the Graduate School at the University of Minnesota.
This study is guided by three core questions that specifically focused on the capturing the views of education stakeholders about the challenges and benefits of ELTs and their perceptions about its future in secondary schools within Burkina Faso.

  • What are the perspectives of secondary level educators and administrators regarding the use of ELTs in Burkina Faso?
  • In the local educational contexts of cities and rural areas, how do educators and administrators experience the use of ELTs in education?
  • What are the benefits and challenges of using ELTs for educational purposes in Burkina Faso?
Study findings indicate that the pedagogical use of ELTs in secondary education have little impact on teaching and learning within secondary schools at this time. Analysis found that use of ELTs within secondary education in Burkina Faso is infrequent and not widely embraced by school administrators and teachers due to lack of access to the electricity, the Internet, and ELTs themselves. Future adoption of ELTs may someday impact educational practices in Burkina Faso, but it will take more than top-down political directives to achieve this outcome.