JASON TACKER (AKITA PREFECTURAL UNIVERSITY)

CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY USE: CHEATING WITH SMARTPHONES IN EFL CLASS : LANGUAGE LEARNING

Smartphones, which are indispensable for communication, were originally a medium for trying to enhance life, but in class, it could be seen as either enhancement or just cheating. In this presentation, I explain the reason why smartphones are used as cheating in Japanese culture, using the Cultural Dimension Theory's aspect of Uncertainty Avoidance. Uncertainty Avoidance is how a culture can cope with anxiety in an uncertain situation. The higher the number, the stronger the culture's tendency to avoid uncertainty. With the inclusion of technology like the smartphone, cheating can be measured with a combination of Uncertainty Avoidance and The Technology Acceptance Model (a system that collects information on how people accept and use science and technology). In cultures with high Uncertainty Avoidance, there is a great demand for technology to deal with uncertain situations. In Japan, where Uncertainty Avoidance is high, students use technology to deal with the unknown anxieties of the classroom.

Jason Tacker is an Assistant Professor of English as a Foreign Language at Akita Prefectural University in the department of Research and Education Center for Comprehensive Science. His main research interests are in education, technology, and culture studies. His most important classroom ideals are transparency, creativity, and critical thinking.