Background of the Study
Technology is rapidly changing and its applications continue to transform the lives of people across the globe. Besides, new forms of technological advancements including mobile devices, web and internet applications are currently applied to enhance the performance of political, economic and social institutions. Education is one of the social institutions that new technological advancements find wider applications and are expected to transform. As such, technological advancements in terms of both software and hardware should help in improving the manner in which learning and teaching are conducted in various educational institutions (Tsai & Chai, 2012).
Moreover, technology provides an opportunity through which inequalities currently experienced in the education system can be alleviated. The contributions of new technological advancements in education are numerous. Thus, the study tends to examine the impacts of the applications of mobile or wireless devices in improving teaching and learning processes in the modern education system.
Mobile devices such as android phones, iPad, laptops and notebooks are currently becoming an important part of people’s lives. In addition, the majority of the practitioners and researchers have integrated mobile technology in learning and teaching settings. As Tsai and Chai 2012 anticipated, mobile devices are the herald of future learning processes. Currently, mobile learning is described as the learning process where mobile devices are applied in the learning processes (Wachira & Keengwe, 2011). However, mobile learning is only applied in small areas such as distance learning. In other words, mobile learning should be applied in all learning procedures including classroom learning and field study.
Despite the wide applications and opportunities, mobile devices offer, applications in the learning process is still immature in terms of technical confines and pedagogical concerns (Wachira & Keengwe, 2011). Moreover, most of the education practitioners have not conceptualized the importance of mobile technology in pedagogical and learning processes (Wachira & Keengwe, 2011). Therefore, understanding the effects of mobile devices in learning and teaching processes is critical in the future application of mobile technology in classroom learning and field study.
Significance of the Study
Mobile learning has been applied in education to enable teachers, students as well as education administration to attain the learning needs (Park, 2011). In other words, education designers have acknowledged the perspective of mobile technologies as a critical instrument for teachers and students and have integrated them into learning settings. However, Hechter, Phyfe and Vermette (2012) observed that mobile learning has only been applied in some settings such as distance learning yet it should be incorporated in the whole of the learning and teaching processes. Essentially, emerging mobile technological advancements should be a significant component that enables educational institutions to attend to the current challenges facing classroom-learning processes.
As such, the study tends to identify the impacts that mobile technology has on the education system. The identification of the impacts is critical in the conceptualization of comparative benefits of mobile technology applications in teaching and learning processes, which eventually translate into the solutions of the challenges facing the classroom and fieldwork learning procedures.
The Purpose of the Study
The main purpose of the study is to identify the impacts of mobile technology in teaching and learning processes. In other words, the study tends to evaluate the contributions of mobile technology in the learning and teaching process. Besides, the study examines the manner in which mobile technologies have contributed to the improvement of teaching and learning processes. Various studies have indicated that there is a positive correlation between mobile learning and educational outcomes (Chang, 2010). However, the study will examine the impacts of this positive correlation.
The Scope of the Study
In this study, the qualitative approach will be applied. The qualitative study findings will be based on data collected through surveys and interviews (Chang, 2010). The surveys and interviews will be administered to the randomly sampled population of 120 respondents consisting of students and teachers across various fields in the education sector. Besides, 120 randomly sampled respondents are the most appropriate in the study to allow variability as well as easy data analysis (Chang, 2010). Moreover, the number of participants was selected to increase the validity and reliability of the conclusions made (Chang, 2010).
In the study, surveys and interviews will be the most suitable method of data collection since it is the best method of reaching the respondents within the target group (Chang, 2010). In addition, all the teachers and students are deemed viable for this study. However, through the application of the random sampling method, only 120 participants consisting of 70 students and 50 teachers will be selected depending on the frequency with which they have been using mobile technological applications in learning and teaching.
Objectives and Aims of the Study
The main objective of the study is to evaluate the impact of mobile learning in learning and teaching processes. However, the specific objectives include
- To evaluate the learning outcomes due to the applications of mobile technology devices
- To determine teaching outcomes due to the applications of mobile technology devices
- To determine the level of mobile technology applications in schools
Upon completion of the study, the following questions will be answered
- Do the applications of mobile technology in improving learning outcomes or academic performances?
- Is the application of mobile technology enhance the teaching outcome or overall school/class performances?
- How frequently mobile technology is used in teaching and learning processes in schools?
Limitations of the Study
The research scope is limited to a few selected participants or small sample size to result in reliable and valid conclusions (Wachira & Keengwe, 2011). Besides, there are limitations in terms of finances, time, research materials and the study of expatriates particularly where interviews techniques will be applied.
Definition of Terms
The most common term that is likely to be encountered in the study is mobile technology.
Mobile technology refers to modern mobile appliances or gargets such as android mobiles phones, IPad, notebooks, laptops that are commonly used for learning and teaching purposes (Chang, 2010). Besides, mobile technology refers to the modern software applied in mobile devices and is largely used for the learning process.
The other term likely to be encountered in this study is mobile learning. Mobile learning is the learning process that utilizes mobile devices as the major instrument for passing information (Chang, 2010). In other words, mobile learning is the education process where mobile devices are applied in both learning and pedagogical processes.
Another term is the transactional distance theory. The transactional distance theory describes the significant concepts applied in distance mobile learning. In other words, the concept presents the descriptions of learning processes where the learners and teachers are separated enabling the application of mobile devices (Chang, 2010).
The chapter provides a background of the study. Besides, the chapter highlights the scope of the study, the purpose as well as the problem statements. Moreover, the purpose and the problem statements provide reasons why the study needs to be conducted.
Institutions that use teaching technology utilize basic mobile devices including mp3 players, text messages, email messages and multimedia services (Beldarrain, 2012). However, specialists have developed a new technology that has provided efficient applications for mobile devices. Despite this technological evolution, researchers have concentrated on using the outmoded functions and neglected the upcoming technology. This has created a research gap that forces learners to uphold the old functionalities of mobile devices. Therefore, this proposal will investigate the possibility of using the most recent applications to supplement learning and teaching. The investigation will aim at determining the applications that can be used to facilitate education.
The Use of Mobile Technology in Schools
Ertmer, Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Sadik and Sendurur (2012) indicated that the application of technology in the education system could only be measured in terms of accessibility and the manner in which students and teachers have used the technologies in diverse settings. The application of technology in schools is widely supported by the infrastructure of various educational institutions (Ertmer et al., 2012).
Current and Future Applications of Mobile Technology in Education
According to Hughes, Guion, Bruce, Horton and Prescott (2011), new technological developments and increased awareness on how new technological gadgets can be used for educational purposes have a future impact on the processes through which knowledge will be imparted. One of the major contributors to future learning processes includes the technological tools that tend to reduce educational costs. In fact, researches indicate that new technologies that are likely to expand the tools used in the learning processes are expected to be adopted at teaching levels (Hughes et al., 2011). Besides, the current technological advancements have increased capabilities of altering the learning process particularly the manner in which educators, students as well as education institutions operate and behave (Hughes et al., 2011).
New technological advancements such as cloud computing have the capability of changing the pedagogical as well as the learning processes. As one of the current technological advancements, cloud computing is capable of removing restrictions in licensing the learning process. In addition, cloud computing removes the high costs involved in the management and maintenance of education processes (Hughes et al., 2011).
Similarly, advancements made in mobile devices have a direct impact on the education process. According to Ottenbreit-Leftwich, Glazewski and Newby (2010), mobile devices have enabled the accessibility of the curriculum. In fact, the development of android tablet devices has enabled the refinement of educational programs to suit such technological applications (Beldarrain, 2012). Moreover, the development of education support devices such as the electronic book readers has enabled increased accessibility of the curriculum (Beldarrain, 2012).
Further, the development of game-based learning will help learners to engage in learning activities. Game-based learning is in the early developments and will become a major technological application that changes the learning and teaching processes. In addition to game-based learning, open digital content is a technological advancement that will hugely transform education processes (Park, 2011). Open digital content has increased benefits to the learners and the teachers.
Moreover, new technological advancements have allowed personal learning environments. A personal learning environment enhances the process of acquiring knowledge since learners have greater control of the pace, the manner in which the students learn as well as the direction of the learning process (Park, 2011). In addition, a personal learning environment enables students to develop their own resource libraries that incorporate materials suitable to their learning procedures (Hughes et al., 2011).
Besides a personal learning environment, learning analytics offers a tool in which the academic performances of students are monitored and quick responses to the students’ concerns are offered. Essentially, learning analytics enables the identification of weak students who risk dropping out and can be given special coaching (Park, 2011). Learning analytics enables educators to determine the most suitable teaching approaches that suit diverse students.
Attaining the Goals of Mobile Technological Applications in Education
For successful attainment of goals of technological applications in education, there is an increased need to enable learners as well as teachers to acknowledge both positive and negative effects of using new technology in the learning process (Geer & Sweeney, 2012). Moreover, increased accessibility to new technology hardware and software, training and support systems to the educators need to be provided. In addition, teaching beliefs among the educators and principles that provide support to technological applications are significant in attaining the goals of new technological applications in schools.
The standards that support technological applications in the education system should specify the usage among the students and teachers, curriculum applications as well as assessment application criteria (Beckmann, 2010). In other words, the technological applications should be evaluated based on the manner in which students and teachers have used technology in the classrooms. In addition, technological applications should be assessed based on how it has enhanced curriculum development as well as their applications in the assessment procedures (Chen & Li, 2010).
The research study will be qualitatively conducted to establish the influence of mobile technology in teaching and learning processes. The empirical data will be collected within the specified number of participants. In addition, the number of participants will be limited to 120 respondents and will be chosen through simple random sampling procedures.
Research and the Theoretical Framework
Even though various researchers have applied and proposed diverse theoretical frameworks to study the implications of mobile learning, this study will be based on transactional distance theory. The theory offers a foundation for the study of the impacts of mobile learning particularly within the context of classroom and field studies as well as providing guidance on the manner in which mobile devices are utilized and integrated within learning and teaching processes (Park, 2011). The transactional distance theory describes the significant concepts applied in distance mobile learning. In other words, the concept presents the descriptions of learning processes where the learners and teachers are separated enabling the application of mobile devices (Park, 2011).
The Study Design
The study will utilize the qualitative methods of data collection majorly surveys and interviews. The methods of data collection are chosen due to their effectiveness in reaching out to the respondents and the quality of the obtained data (Hechter, et al., 2012). Moreover, the data will be gathered from respondents selected through random sampling procedures. Besides, in terms of data analysis, integrated statistical analysis tools including Microsoft Office applications and statistical software will be applied (Hechter, et al., 2012). The analyzed data will be presented through the application of Line graphs, tables as well as statistical bar charts. Further, the methods of data collection are chosen due to the reliability and validity of the obtained results (Hechter, et al., 2012).
Population and Research Sample
The study focuses on the impact of mobile technology applications in education. Therefore, all the students and teachers are deemed viable for the study. However, only a small number of participants including 70 students and 50 teachers will be selected through random sampling procedures and depending on the frequency with which they have been applying technology in learning and teaching processes (Tsai & Chai, 2012).
In addition, other personal attributes including gender, age, experience and academic qualifications will also be taken into consideration. From the total number of teachers and students that may be sampled, just 120 participants from various educational institutions will be selected via a technique dubbed as convenience simple random sampling strategy (Tsai & Chai, 2012). The interviews, as well as a survey, will be conducted to help in addressing the formulated research questions.
Area of the Study
As indicated, the scope of the study is limited to only 120 participants selected randomly among the study population. The sample will be selected in various educational institutions within a specified area, which is deemed representative of the geographical setting.
As one of the most important studies in the education sector, the information will be collected through administering properly designed survey questionnaires as well as conducting well-structured in-depth interviews with unbiased selected participants (Chen & Li, 2010). The soundly designed survey and interview questionnaires will be administered to 120 participants constituting 70 students and 50 teachers. Each part of the questionnaires will constitute key items that suitably attend to the research questions. For instance, part one will constitute whether the applications of mobile technology in education elicit an increased outcome of the teaching and learning processes (Park, 2011).
Other parts will generate insights amidst offering recommendations to the organization to encourage such relationships and train the employees on the importance of coordinated relationships to augment the success of the organization. Some items in the questionnaire will throw light on the increased application of mobile technology educational processes.
To obtain the best correlation approximation values, the study quantitative data analysis will be carried out by utilizing the integrated Statistical Analysis Tool (WISAT). The quantitative data, which form the bulk of information, will be analyzed through the application of various techniques including statistical analysis software such as the SPSS to come with measures such as percentages, frequency distribution and deviations to help in the understanding of the type of correlation between the variables (Ertmer et al. 2012).
The techniques will be used to determine the research respondents’ proportions that chose various responses. The method will be applied for each group of items available in the questionnaire that ideally corresponds to the formulated research question and objectives. Line graphs, tables as well as statistical bar charts will be used to make sure that quantitative data analysis is simply comprehensible.
The section of the study provides the methods of gathering the required information to answer the research questions and hypothesis. The methodology used in any study should be judged by the manner in which it informs the research purposes. Essentially, the aim of the research methodology is to provide data that responds to the research issues, present logical background assumptions and ensure that techniques used account for the credibility of the study results.
Beckmann, E. A. (2010). Learners on the move: mobile modalities in development studies. Distance Education, 31(2), 159-173.
Beldarrain, Y. (2012). Distance education trends: integrating new technologies to foster student interaction and collaboration. Distance Education, 27(2), 139–153.
Chang, C. K. (2010). Acceptability of an asynchronous learning forum on mobile devices. Behavior and Information Technology, 29(1), 23-33.
Chen, C. M., & Li, Y. L. (2010). Personalized context-aware ubiquitous learning system for supporting effective English vocabulary learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 18(4), 341-364.
Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, O., & Sendurur, E. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: a critical relationship. Computers and Education, 59(2), 423-435.
Geer, R., & Sweeney, T. A. (2012). Students’ voices about learning with technology. Journal of Social Sciences, 8(1), 294-303.
Hechter, R. P., Phyfe, L. D., & Vermette, L. A. (2012). Integrating technology in education: moving the TPCK framework towards practical applications. International Journal on Educational Research and Perspectives, 39(3), 136-152.
Hughes, J. E., Guion, J. M., Bruce, K. A., Horton, L. R., & Prescott, A. (2011). A framework for action: intervening to increase adoption of transformative web 2.0 learning resources. Educational Technology, 51(2), 53-61.
Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Glazewski, K. D., & Newby, T. J. (2010). Teacher value beliefs associated with using technology: addressing professional and student needs. Computers and Education, 55(3), 1321-1335.
Park, Y. (2011). A pedagogical framework for mobile learning: categorizing educational applications of mobile technologies into four types. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 12(2), 234-248.
Tsai, C. C. & Chai, C. S. (2012). The “third”-order barrier for technology integration instruction: implications for teacher education. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 28(6), 1057-1060.
Wachira, P. & Keengwe, J. (2011). Technology integration barriers: urban school mathematics teachers perspectives. Journal of Science Education Technology, 20(2), 17–25.