Defense Date


Graduation Date

Spring 5-14-2022


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Educational Studies (General Education)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Amy Olson

Committee Member

Dr. Rick McCown

Committee Member

Dr. Julia Williams


Mobile Technology, Early Childhood, Rural School District


This dissertation explores the use of mobile technology with young children ages 2 to 5 in a small rural school district in southwestern Pennsylvania. Grounded in an understanding that family-child relationships are central to children’s development and school readiness, this study seeks to understand the ways families engage with children around technology use, how young children use technology, and how these habits compare to national data. The data also led to ways the school district might support families and young children using mobile technology in developmentally appropriate ways. Thirteen families that live in the Mountain Valley School district completed the Young Child Technology survey answering the questions based on one child in their home between the ages of 2 to 5. Using the results produced by Qualtrics software, the survey data were analyzed for frequencies and comparison to national data collected by the Common Sense Media survey (2020). Many of the Mountain Valley School District trends were like national trends. Young children now use mobile devices at a higher rate independently than before. However, families are looking for support from teachers to help them guide them on what apps to use and how to use mobile technology with their young children to support their development. It is important to note that the data was collected almost two years after the Covid-19 pandemic changed access and use of mobile technology for many people.