Classroom Technology and Teacher-Student Interaction Perception

Subject: Tech & Engineering
Pages: 6
Words: 1767
Reading time:
7 min
Study level: Master


One of the defining characteristics of the modern age is the ubiquitous and irreplaceable presence of technology in people’s daily lives. Over the past decades, technological advancements have naturally led to changes in all areas of life, including education. Currently, there is an increasing trend towards the integration of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) into all classrooms, both in K-12 and tertiary educational environments. A lot of attention in educational research has been paid to the potential of ICT to change the classroom environment by allowing for individualization in larger classrooms. What it is reported to result in is a change in the manner of interaction between a teacher and their students. The digital environment is considered to improve student autonomy and enable students and teachers to establish closer ties.

However, much of the research on technology use in the classroom expands on teachers’ perception of this phenomenon. This means that most of the data on how technology integration affects teacher-student interaction is based on the interpretation of teachers’ responses. Meanwhile, the second party’s point of view – that is, students’ – is an area of interest for those who would like to consider the subject matter in its entirety and draw more definite conclusions. The purpose of this study is to contribute to filling in this gap and investigate how Texan eighth-graders evaluate the effect of technology on interaction between them and their teacher.


The integration of technology into education is becoming more of a norm with each passing year. According to Fatimah and Santiana (2017), it helps students get a new meaningful learning experience, which demands their engagement and transforms the environment into student-centered as opposed to teacher-centered. Moreover, it enables collaborative work between students and allows for easy access to information that complements one’s learning experience (Fatimah and Santiana, 2017). These benefits are an integral part of education of the 21st century, which is to be optimized to ensure a deep immersion into the learning process and improve the quality of students’ knowledge.

Technology has made available new ways in which teachers can upgrade teaching and learning. In spite of that, however, Li et al. (2019) state that the existing literature presents conflicting conclusions when it comes to teachers’ attitudes to the use of technology and their practice of it. On the one hand, interview and survey data from different social and pedagogical contexts indicates teachers’ contemporaneous positive attitude towards the introduction of technology in classrooms. On the other hand, many teachers are reported to evidence lacking competence and confidence in employing technological tools into their teaching processes. In addition to that, Li et al. (2019) report that most teachers adopt educational technologies only minimally or superficially. This can be attributed to, though not exclusively, technological generation gap: for people who have witnessed the rise of technology later in life it can seem too complicated to deal with and learn to use.

Evidently, this is not in line with the way modern students – representatives of so-called Generation Z – regard technology and interact with it. Having grown up with access to vast amounts of information within a click’s reach and having adapted to using gadgets by prepubescent years at most, they take full advantage of technology. According to Fatimah and Santiana (2017), technology is essential to accessing the skills of higher-order referred to as 21st Century Skills, which are integral to being productive in modern society. Therefore, no technology integrated into the educational process is to be rightfully considered by students as outdated and inapplicable in the outside world. In its turn, that may contribute to students losing motivation and interest as they see no intrinsic value in what they learn. Moreover, the implementation of technology in the classroom is reported to influence the nature of teacher-student interaction by allowing students to feel more connected to their teacher. However, data on students’ perception of this phenomenon is lacking, which calls for research prioritizing their perspective on the subject matter.

Problem Statement

Data based on students’ classroom experience is needed to deepen the understanding of the potential of technological tools to influence teacher-student interaction from students’ point of view. To contribute to the body of knowledge on the topic, this paper presents a study featuring lesson plans of three Texan secondary school teachers who integrated technology into their teaching practice. By analyzing interaction in the classroom, this study seeks to explore the extent to which technologies influence teacher-student interaction from students’ perspective. The following research questions are to guide the study:

  1. What are some of the patterns of teacher-student interaction in class?
  2. Is there an impact that technology exercises on the nature of teacher-student interaction in class? If no, why might that be?
  3. If yes, how does it differ from the nature of interaction in classrooms with low-level technology use?

Rational for the Study

This study is conducted to not only evaluate the influence of classroom technology use on teacher-student interaction, but also to contribute to possible changes in the interaction process based on the analysis of students’ answers. Findings from this study will be found useful by a number of audiences. They will be beneficial for local education boards, school administration, and teachers. Each group on their own level is responsible for curriculum implementation, and this study might provide these groups with data on how to ensure that technological tools in class are effective for teacher-student interaction.

Literature Review

Much research has been devoted to understand why some teachers willingly integrate technology in their practice and others do it reluctantly or do not do it at all. Denizalp and Ozdamli (2019) reported that teachers’ personal beliefs can be linked to or even predict successful implementation of technology. Fatimah and Santiana (2017) asserted that philosophy that a teacher adhered to – teacher-centered or student-centered – affected their ability to effectively use technological tools in class, in that student-centered individuals had more success. Other factors influencing teachers’ functional technology use were their confidence and willingness to adapt.

The Nature of Student-Teacher Interaction in the Classroom

Online and offline classroom interactions are evaluated to differ in nature, which might be one of the reasons why some teachers prefer the latter. Li et al. (2019) stated that one of the most common offline classroom interaction models is the Initiation-Response-Feedback model (IRF). It works in the following way: the teacher proposes questions or directions, students respond according to the prompts, and then the teacher assesses students’ responses and provides feedback. This pattern is considered to restrict student’s freedom to participate in meaningful interactions due to the teacher’s role exercising control over interactions’ form and amount. However, when it comes to online communication forms, Camas Garrido et al. (2021) noted that researchers generally agree that these facilitate interpersonal connection. The type of collaborative relationships established when technological tools are used for educational purposes is more egalitarian and equitable, as they provide equal opportunities for all students to participate in interaction.

Teachers’ Perception of Classroom Technology Use on Teacher-Student Interaction

Researchers determined that teachers noticed the difference in teacher-student interaction when classroom interaction happened online as compared to offline. For one, Higgins and BuShell (2018) in their study reported that teachers strongly believed in one-to-one technological environment allowing them to give more individual attention to students, which was not possible offline. Fatima and Santiana (2017) cited the argument about learning platforms making for a better learning environment due to students being able to directly interact with their peers and teachers through classroom activities. Moreover, Denizalp and Ozdamli (2019) noted that technology makes it possible for teachers to be constantly in contact with students. It is stated to improve communication and close the distance between them.


Literature review indicates that teacher perspective is the prevailing one in terms of classroom technology use discourse, even when it comes to teacher-student interaction evaluation. The question of whether technology facilitates student-teacher interaction from the point of view of students and how exactly remains under-examined. This paper presents a study of Texan eighth-graders’ perception of classroom technology’s influence on teacher-student interaction in their learning environment.



For this study, a sampling of secondary school students was used. The research sample consists of students from a secondary school in the northern area of Dallas, Texas. In March 2021, 68 eighth-graders – 35 female and 33 male – from three different classrooms participated in the study, which seems to be enough of people to provide for a variety of perspectives. The school chosen is an average secondary school, from an area with a median household income averaging the state of Texas’. This was done on purpose for the study’s findings to be as unaffected by specific factors as possible.

Research Design

To address the existing research gap, a case method was utilized. Case study research places emphasis on exploring and describing a phenomenon, which is why it was chosen for this study. Consequently, this is a qualitative study, providing narrative descriptions of people’s experience. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and observations were made for the data obtained to be later analyzed. Data were analyzed and coded in accordance with the research objectives. From these codes, a code that is qualified for similar cases has been created.

Data Collection

The data obtained was collected through semi-structured interviews and observations. The interview protocol was developed prior to the interview itself and tested before use. Classroom’s teachers presented their lesson plans with technology use integrated into practice, and observations were made to verify teachers follow the plans so that students could experience the ultimate technology experience. Moreover, observations were made to verify the authenticity of data obtained. These are the research questions students answered:

  1. What are some of the patterns of teacher-student interaction in class?
  2. Is there an impact that technology exercises on the nature of teacher-student interaction in class? If no, why might that be?
  3. If yes, how does it differ from the nature of interaction in classrooms with low-level technology use?

Question 1 is an open-ended question that everyone answered in their own way. Question 2 is a closed question that demands an explanation of a yes/no option in sub-question 2 or question 3.

Data Analysis

NVivo software program was utilized for the analysis of semi-structured interviews. The program was used to calculate the number of codes in regards to the yes/no questions and systematize the qualitative data. Tables and figures visually present the themes that were elicited and codified by NVivo in the process of data processing. Students’ direct quotations are also presented to provide contextualization for some of the answers.


Camas Garrido, L., Valero Moya, A., & Vendrell Morancho, M. (2021). The teacher-student relationship in the use of social network sites for educational purposes: A systematic review. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 10(1), 137-156.

Denizalp, H., & Ozdamli, F. (2019). Determination of student opinions on usage of social media and mobile tools in student-teacher, student-student communication. International Journal Of Emerging Technologies In Learning, 14(22), 19-28.

Fatimah, A. S., & Santiana, S. (2017). Teaching in 21st century: Students-teachers’ perceptions of technology use in the classroom. Script Journal: Journal of Linguistic and English Teaching, 2(2), 125-135.

Higgins, K., & BuShell, S. (2018). The effects on the student-teacher relationship in a one-to-one technology classroom. Education and Information Technologies, 23(3), 1069-1089.

Li, G., Sun, Z., & Jee, Y. (2019). The more technology the better? A comparison of teacher-student interaction in high and low technology use elementary EFL classrooms in China. System, 84, 24-40.