Gifted Students in Poverty's Perceptions of Blended Learning

Darren Chase Crutcher, Walden University

Abstract

Students who are raised in poverty and are not adapted to technology use have less positive learning experiences with technology usage than other students. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore students' perceptions of blended learning among gifted students who are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program in a public high school district in the southeastern United States. Davis's version of the technology acceptance model was used as the conceptual framework. The research questions explored the perceptions of these gifted students when they are taught using blended learning in terms of their attitudes, perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and behavioral intentions. For this exploratory case study, interviews were conducted with 10 gifted high school students. After manual and digital coding, the emergent themes were an overall positive perception of blended learning. The participants had a positive attitude toward educational technology and also an overwhelmingly positive outlook on behavioral intentions of using education technology. The participants also felt that the perceived usefulness and the perceived ease of use of blended learning platforms were attainable for them. This research may encourage positive social change by providing a needed resource for teachers, parents, and technology coordinators who work in low socioeconomic areas because there is very little research on gifted students in poverty and their use of blended learning. The results of this study indicate that students in poverty could use blended learning for gifted programs and advanced courses that might not be available at their local school in a low-income area.