Educational Potentials of SMS Technology

Educational Potentials of SMS Technology

Ilker Yengin (Institute of High Performance Computing (A*STAR), Singapore) and Adem Karahoca (Bahcesehir University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch095
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Using SMS text to receive and send information is not a recent technology. The idea of using SMS for teaching and learning purposes is also fairly old. Although there are some examples of using SMS technology in education, the educational potentials of SMS technology are still not well-documented in a wide perspective. SMS technology can be used in many different forms for educational purposes. In this article, the authors picture the possible educational use of SMS by providing a detailed analysis of the technology and examples of different research studies describing the successful SMS technology implementations in education. This article also provides a basis for compressive analysis of the technology, including possible benefits and drawbacks.
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Mobile technologies may facilitate collaboration, interaction, accessing, discovering, discussing and sharing information with the use of SMS services (Ryu & Parsons, 2009; Keegan, 2005; Metcalf, 2006). These opportunities are possible because mobile phones have more global usage than many other educational technologies and have less dependency. SMS technology only depends on a service provider in order to connect to the network. The SMS technology is widely available to many people around the globe and very personal to the users. This makes SMS potentially much more acceptable technology by the students and teachers (Keegan, 2006). Many other educational technologies may require additional effort and costs such as having registration, need of extra infrastructure, need of extra device purchase, maintenance and licensing. Mobile phone is used more generally in many schools. Nearly every student own one so there won’t be another cost to buy another device to receive the lesson content. Mobile phone and SMS is easier to use and people are already using these functions for years almost since the first generation mobile phones. Therefore the learnability and adaptation of this technology is much greater. There is no need to have any extra effort to learn something new to operate the device in order to start benefiting it for teaching and learning. Uses of SMS with mobile phones have very different examples of successful implementations in education as in this study also presents. Hence school administrators and policy makers’ should consider SMS with mobile phones as another educational technology which has many potential benefits for education.

The potential benefits of this technology are not very recent; they had been already discovered by the pioneer researchers in the field. For instance, Although there might be other research initiatives in the field that could be considered as the pioneers for the use of SMS technology for educational purposes, there were some specific examples of initial projects (e.g. Stone, Briggs & Smith (2002;Traxler & Dearden, 2005) that could be considered as the pioneers due to their findings that clearly informed us about the possible effective applications of using SMS technologies in education. These projects showed that SMS technologies were already there to be effectively used in learning. Considering these projects and their research history on the use of SMS in education and other issues in the mobile learning field, it is possible to presume Andy Stone at Kingston University, UK and John Traxler at University of Wolverhampton as the one of the initial example scholars of the pioneers. Following these initial pioneers, Mohammad Ally at Athabasca University, CA; Hokyoung Ryu and David Parsons at Massey University, NZ could be considered as the most influential scholars in the field.

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