Teaching Through Mobile Technology: A Reflection From High School Studies in South Africa

Teaching Through Mobile Technology: A Reflection From High School Studies in South Africa

Mmaki Jantjies (University of the Western Cape, South Africa) and Mike Joy (University of Warwick, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1757-4.ch058

Abstract

The use of mobile technology to support teaching and learning in schools, has extended technology learning tools in schools across different socio economic divides. There have been various studies throughout the world which reflect the improvement of such technology in schools. In this chapter we reflect on a series of studies conducted in developing countries with focus on Jantjies and Joy (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) studies. The studies were conducted in schools with the objective of providing teachers and learners with multilingual mobile learning content specifically designed to support teaching and learning in their science and mathematics classrooms and beyond. This chapter provides a culmination of lessons learnt from all studies reflecting on the journey of mobile learning in schools across South Africa. The use of mobile technology to support teaching and learning in schools, has extended technology learning tools in schools across different socio economic divides. There have been various studies throughout the world which reflect the improvement of such technology in schools. In this chapter we reflect on a series of studies conducted in developing countries. The studies were conducted in schools with the objective of providing teachers and learners with multilingual mobile learning content specifically designed to support teaching and learning in their science and mathematics classrooms and beyond. This chapter provides a culmination of lessons learnt from all studies reflecting on the journey of mobile learning in schools across South Africa.
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Mobile Learning In South Africa

One of the earliest mobile learning project in South Africa was the MELFA project which was aimed at providing building construction workers with training content through voice recorded multilingual learning content (MELFA, 2009).

Dr Maths was later developed by a South African research institution, CSIR, which aimed to provide a real time tutoring platform for mathematics. In conjunction with a local university, learners in high schools could access the system from their mobile phones and ask university tutors questions related to mathematics content (Butgereit, 2007; Butgereit, 2012).

MoMaths (UNESCO, 2012b) was another mobile learning project where the South African government partnered with Nokia to create a platform where learners could access mathematics learning resources from their mobile phones, and was seen to successfully involve educators, government and a private company as stakeholders. The challenge with such projects is often the lack of continuity as a result of many factors which include funding and change of leadership.

Another notable project was the M4girls project, in partnership between the government, Nokia and Mindset, which was a pilot study to provide a platform where young girls in rural areas can get access to mathematics learning materials. The material was in the form of gaming providing a serious gaming approach to learning (Vosloo, 2009; UNESCO, 2012; Brown and Mbati, 2015).

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