Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Special Education


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, Sydney J.

Second Advisor

Accardo, Amy

Third Advisor

Shuff, Midge


Computers and children; Distraction (Psychology)


Secondary Education | Special Education and Teaching


The purposes of this exploratory investigation were to (a) determine if students are able to identify when and how often they become off task while using computers, (b) if middle school aged students are mature enough to self-regulate their technology use, and (c) which strategies teachers could incorporate to limit students' technology distractions.

The researcher broke this study into three phases to study reward strategies designed to keep students on task while using their devices. The first step was to gather baseline data from students and teachers using two surveys. After the educator surveys were evaluated, teachers in the social studies department in seventh and eighth grade decided which intervention strategies implemented by the students minimized students' distractions, as students tracked the frequency of their distraction in all of their classes and utilized their own self-regulation strategies. To conclude the study, the ten participating students were surveyed about what they thought about rewards and consequences, the district's computer one-to-one initiative, and which strategies worked best to limit their distractibility.