Perceptions of Primary Education Teachers on Mobile Learning: An Approach in Greek and Latvian Teachers

Perceptions of Primary Education Teachers on Mobile Learning: An Approach in Greek and Latvian Teachers

Konstantina Derveni (University of Macedonia, Greece & University of Latvia, Latvia) and Vassilios Dagdilelis (University of Macedonia, Greece)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEUS.2020070105

Abstract

The objective of this article is to investigate perceptions of primary education teachers towards mobile learning (m-learning) in the classroom. This is a qualitative research carried out with a sample of 16 participants, 8 in Greece and 8 in Latvia. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to teachers who express their opinions on whether they could enhance m-learning environment and whether mobile devices could be an effective tool for students' learning, interaction and communication. From the analysis of the data, the majority of the teachers in both countries had a positive attitude about m-learning and they had the intention to use these devices in the future. According to their view, such technology could increase students' motivation on learning and as more new applications appear, the educational process can become more attractive and productive. Only few were those teachers who doubt about its efficiency for some reasons. These differences in teachers' opinions were related to the age factor.
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1. Introduction

1.1. Theoretical Background

The increasing progress of wireless networks and the popularity of mobile devices and applications have attracted the interest of researchers over the years. The fact that, the use of mobile devices has eliminated distance and time for having access to information and knowledge, created a new form of learning, mobile learning (m-learning) (Uzunboylu & Ozdamli, 2011). According to the literature review many definitions have been given to this term. Most definitions agree to the fact that people can learn everywhere and at anytime (Quinn, 2000; Trifonova & Ronchetti, 2003; Mehdipour & Zerehkafi, 2013). M-learning, as has been frequently reported, is part of informal learning and is an emerging and rapidly expanding area of ​​education in both institutions and workplaces (Cook, Pachler, & Bradley, 2008). However, is it possible for m-learning to support formal learning?

Numerous researches in international literature answer this question and state that mobile devices are an appropriate and effective tool due to their property. According to Bidin and Ziden (2013) the factors that encourage teachers to use mobile devices are their features, their expectations of these devices, and the expected pedagogical benefits. Klopfer and Squire (2008) formulate five unique features of the devices. These include a) mobility, the ability of users to carry them everywhere, b) social interaction between users, in which data can be exchanged, c) immediacy, the ability to exchange data directly, d) connectivity, where users can be connected either to a common network or to one another, and e) individuality, the creation of personalized learning according to the needs of each user. Researchers agree with this statement and indicate additional benefits that contribute to educational purposes in classrooms. Mobile devices facilitate more attractive learning environment, which increases students’ motivation (Hashemi et. al. 2011), interaction in teamwork (Teodorescu, 2015), autonomy by their personal use (Georgiev et al., 2004) and interest through a variety of applications (Pea & Maldonado, 2006). Therefore, as the development of new technologies impose changes and affect the teaching methods, examinations of teachers' views and perceptions are more valuable for the innovations introduced in education.

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