Engaging K–12 Students in the Management of Educational Technology in Schools

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Abstract

Initiatives that have brought information and communication technologies into classrooms across the world often struggle to engage the school community to effectively use them. At the same time, involving students in extracurricular activities at school has been demonstrated to bring benefits in student motivation and academic achievement. This paper explores how Colombian K–12 students experience their participation in networks created—both at school and city level—to manage educational technologies in their schools through the lens of self-determination theory. The results suggest that student participation in these networks supports the development of the three psychological needs supporting intrinsic motivation: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Students feel competent after participating in workshops and learning activities designed to support their responsibilities as members of the network; students feel the need to investigate and become more competent to be able to support teachers, other students, and their own families; students demonstrate autonomy by proposing activities within the network that may benefit their school and the school community; finally, students report changes in their relationship with teachers and other students as they become recognized as providers of technological support to their communities.