BY KAITLIN PHILLIPS
2012 CSUSM Student Research Competition Finalist

My research provided me with a deeper understanding of the Communication discipline by allowing me to be hands-on with the material I was learning within the Communication 390: Research Methods course taught by Professor Rivera. I took what I learned in class and applied it to a real-life situation.
Quote by Kaitlin Phillips
I believe service learning-based research is very important because it allows students to fully engage theories by observing real-life communication, putting into action the concepts they are learning and demonstrating them by participating within their community. My experience with ethnographic research has led me to want to conduct more ethnographic research in the future.

About my Research
My research exploring communication in elementary school classrooms is important because it creates awareness about how technology is used within the learning environment and how students and teachers talk about it. In my ethnographic research study, I specifically looked at how technology is implemented in the classroom, and the challenges and opportunities that it can pose for both students and teachers.

The study allowed me to observe the use of technology in classrooms on a daily basis, and to interview fourth grade students and teachers about their experiences with that technology. Since children in this generation are so engrained in and rely on technology throughout their lives, the significance of this topic to communication scholars and the general public is evaluating the ways in which the implementation of technology into classrooms has a positive or negative outcome on the student’s learning.

After researching this topic, I am able to contribute my findings to the academic body of literature, as well as to the teachers and academic advisors of San Marcos Elementary and the community.

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Kaitlin Phillips is among the twelve finalists representing CSUSM at the 26th annual statewide Student Research Competition held at CSU Long Beach on May 4-5. Hear firsthand how her research is leading to new discoveries, positively impacting her education and propeling her toward her future aspirations.

Graduate Studies and Research