Publication Date

Spring 2021

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Robert Gliner


cellphone policies, Cellphones, Cyberbullying, Education, Educational technology, Sexting

Subject Areas

Education; Educational technology; Educational leadership


Cell phones, ubiquitous in many high schools, are often credited with helpingstudents connect with people and learn new concept. However, literature indicates that problematic cell phone and social media usage are negatively associated with student academic performance and mental well-being. As cell phone technologies continue to evolve, they become an integral part of today’s learning environment. Through the use of the documentary exploratory research method, this dissertation investigates stakeholders’ perceptions of the influence of cell phone and social media usage on high school students’ academic performance. Additionally, this study explores the current policies and practices regarding cell phone use in the classroom, the effectiveness of these policies, suggestions for future improvement of those policies, and helpful strategies students used to mitigate some of the negative impacts. Due to a limited sample size, the findings in this study provide only a snapshot of the participants’ perspectives regarding the impacts of cell phones in school. Daniel Kahneman’s cognitive load theory is deployed as a theoretical framework for this exploratory study. When Cell Phones Come to School is a supplemental documentary film used to portray findings from the study. The documentary highlights participants’ perspectives regarding the benefits and drawbacks of cell phones and their impact on students’ learning; additionally, participants’ personal experiences with the current school cell phone policies and their recommendations are provided.