Teachers' and students' perceptions towards the use of mobile phones as a tool for teaching and learning in Tanzania


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Paper presented at the DEASA international conference in Dar es salaam

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Teachers' and students' perceptions towards the use of mobile phones as a tool for teaching and learning in Tanzania

  1. 1. TEACHERS’ AND STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONSTOWARDS THE USE OF MOBILE PHONES ASA TOOL FOR OPEN AND DISTANCELEARNING IN TANZANIA Ayoub C Kafyulilo Dar es salaam University College of Education & Petra Fisser University of Twente Paper presented at the DEASA International conference for open and distance learning, from 30th September to 2nd October 2011, in Dar es salaam, Tanzania
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Efforts to integrate technology in education in Tanzania started in 1997 This is the period when the first computer syllabus was introduced in schools However these efforts encountered some challenges:  Lack of technological tools in most of the schools  Lack of a policy for technology in education  Lack of skilled teachers  Lack of reliable supply of electricity in most schools  Limited access to internet
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION For a developing country like Tanzania where technology is not well embraced; a mobile phone becomes a vital ICT tool in schools Mobile phones are affordable to large community of Tanzanians in terms of both cost and usability. A mobile phone offers varieties of user options: internet, radio, video, audio, camera, mp3 etc. In addition, a mobile phone is handy; making it user friendly beyond the classroom walls.
  4. 4. PROBLEMS AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS Studies have shown that mobile phones use in education in Tanzania, is limited. Thus, our interest is to find out;  What is the level of accessibility of mobile phones to teachers and students?  To what extent are mobile phones used in both teaching and learning processes?  How do teachers and students perceive mobile phones as a tool for teaching and learning?
  5. 5. METHODOLOGY The present paper is an outcome of two independent studies carried out at DUCE in 2010 and Kibasila secondary school in 2011 At DUCE, the study adopted the action research design while at Kibasila a survey research design. 29 pre-service teachers and 4 instructors from DUCE; also 12 teachers and 40 students from Kibasila participated in the study. Data were collected by using teachers’ and instructors’ interview as well as pre-service teachers’ and students’ questionnaire.
  6. 6. FINDINGSAccessibility to various technological tools toboth pre-service teachers and school students Technological tool DUCE Kibasila M (SD) M (SD)Computer (PC or laptop) 2.34 (0.55) 1.89 (0.83)Radio 2.21 (0.86) 2.02 (0.74)Audio Equipment (Mp3) 1.34 (0.67) 1.04 (0.97)iPods 1.24 (0.58) 1.06 (0.98)Mobile Phones 2.73 (0.94) 2.48 (0.88)Digital Camera 1.40 (0.54) 1.25 (0.65)Television 1.97 (0.82) 1.71 (0.87)
  7. 7. USE OF VARIOUS TECHNOLOGICALTOOLS IN LEARNING AT DUCE ANDKIBASILATechnological Tool DUCE Kibasila M (SD) M (SD)Personal Computers 3.34 (1.72) 2.46 (1.43)Radio 3.17 (1.79) 2.23 (1.29)Audio equipment (Mp3) 2.16 (1.74) 1.64 (1.61)iPod 1.59 (1.38) 1.48 (1.08)Mobile Phones 2.03 (2.18) 1.25 (1.23)Digital photo camera 2.48 (1.72) 1.35 (1.42)Television 3.00 (2.20) 2.40 (1.92)
  8. 8. PERCEPTIONS OF PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS ONMOBILE PHONES USE M SDThe use of mobile phones in learning is interesting 4.62 0.50Design of the lesson with a mobile phone was of interest 4.38 0.57Mobile phones have enhanced my pedagogical competency 4.42 0.58Mobile phones have enhanced my technology competency 4.54 0.71The use of mobile phones enhance my thinking on how 4.69 0.55technology can transform learningIf I learn how to use mobile phones I will use it in my 4.50 0.65classroomMobile phones can replace computers 3.88 1.31Since I know about the use of mobile phone in teaching, I 4.46 0.65will use technology in teaching
  9. 9. PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOL STUDENTS ON THEUSE OF MOBILE PHONES IN LEARNING M SDI am interested to learn by using a mobile phone 4.05 0.97Mobile phones can make me more involved in learning 4.43 0.84Use of mobile phones can simplify learning 4.58 0.68Mobile phones can help me to learn beyond a classroom 4.10 1.01Through a mobile phone I can learn after classroom 4.32 1.07hoursMobile phones can help me to answer difficult questions 4.25 0.95A mobile phone can replace computer and other learning 3.63 1.50technologiesThe use of a mobile phone saves time 4.50 0.64I feel comfortable to learn by using a mobile phone 4.73 0.51
  10. 10. LECTURERS’ AND INSERVICE TEACHERS’PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS MOBILE PHONES INTEACHING  Both lecturers and inservice teachers admit to have not learned to use mobile phones in teaching  Lecturers were willing to use mobile phones if they learn on how to use them  School teachers on the other hand had serveral reservations over mobile phones use in teaching.  Some of these reservation were:
  11. 11.  I don’t know how I can use a mobile phone in teaching Teachers are not allowed to communicated with students through a mobile phone Our school laws prohibit mobile phones among students The government banned mobile phones in schools Mobile phones are the source of students’ misbehaviours Mobile phones draw away students attention to learning
  12. 12. CONCLUSIONS From the findings of this study, a mobile phone is the most accessible technological tool in Tanzania There is a limited use of mobile phones in teaching and learning in both university and in schools At university level, lecturers and preservice teachers are willing to use mobile phone as a learning tool At school level, students are willing to use a mobile phone for learning while teachers are still reserved.
  13. 13. CONCLUSIONS Despite its handy, accessibility and affordability, mobile phones are not accepted in schools for use in learning. Teachers are not allowed to communicate with students, this can hinder the opportunity for learning beyond the classroom walls The current teachers’ attitude towards mobile phone technology acts as a set-back towards the development of open and distance learning in the lower level of education
  14. 14. RECOMMENDATIONS  To bring the concept of open and distance learning in the lower level of education, a change should start at a government level  Teachers should also be exposed to the multitude of learning opportunities provided through the learning flexibility offered by a mobile phone.  For a country with poorly resourced schools like Tanzania, a mobile phone can be a solution at hand for technology development in education.