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In the past decade, mobile phone has become the fastest growing technologies around the world with 4.6 billion subscribers. According to the National Computer Board of Mauritius 1.1 millions of mobile subscribers were recorded in 2009 in Mauritius. Modern cell phones offers features like file sharing, internet services, audio, video and image capture. Undoubtedly it has a significant impact on our teenagers' social behavior. The use of mobile phones presents many challenges as well as opportunities in classroom. Consequently school policies have been modified to ban mobile phones in schools.
Moreover, the present government is willing to give each and every student a laptop as an educational tool. Nevertheless, it has not yet been implemented due to its high cost. Another option would have been to focus more on cell phones as an educational tool.
If the past 2 decades with the rapid growth of communication technology the accent was on computer based training, 10 years ago it was on E-learning and web based learning. Nowadays the actual trend is M-learning (Mobile learning). With the introduction of third generation mobile phones (3 G), cell phones can now connect to the internet without physical communication thus leading to anywhere and anytime learning.
It is an undeniable fact the mobile phones is acceptable in public places, however it is still a debatable issue when it comes to its introduction as an educational tool in classroom.
The key problems teachers have with unsanctioned cell phone use in schools include:
Sending friend's text messages during class time.
Sending or receiving test answers.
Bullying or harassment via unwanted text messaging.
Taking and distributing inappropriate digital photos of students.
Moreover, policies have been devised by schools to sanction students in the following ways:
Students in procession of a mobile phone shall find it confiscated.
Students will not be allowed to take part in exams if found with a cell phone.
However, not all teachers do apply the mobile policy especially among young teachers because they find it more socially acceptable.
3.1 Mobile phone as an education tool
According to Educational and Professional Publishing Group of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., mobile can use the following features in the Education field:
Further the study stressed on the fact that teachers will not avoid having to cope with cell phones in purse, desks and backpacks.
3.2 Perceptions of Mobile Phones in College Classrooms: Ringing, Cheating, and Classroom Policies by Scott w. Campbell.
According to this study mobile phones can be used not only as tool to instruct students but can also be used to connect instructors and students together to share resources.
In this study the following questions were asked to evaluate perception of mobile phones in college classrooms:
How do students and faculty perceive mobile phone use in the college classrooms?
To what extent are participant characteristics (faculty/student status, mobile phone ownership, amount of monthly use, history of ownership, age, and gender) related to attitudes about mobile phones in college classrooms?
3.3 Using Mobile phones to study English in Japan
In this study 2 studies were done:
A study regarding the use of mobile phones in education
A study upon sending lessons on mobile phones.
Results of study
One hundred percent reported owning a mobile phone. Ninety-nine percent send e-mail on their mobile phones, exchanging some 200 e-mail messages each week. Sixty-six percent e-mail peers about classes; 44% e-mail for studying. In contrast, only 43% e-mail on PCs, exchanging an average of only two messages per week. Only 20% had used a personal digital assistant.
We e-mailed 100-word English vocabulary lessons at timed intervals to the mobile phones of 44 Japanese university students, hoping to promote regular study. Compared with students urged to regularly study identical materials on paper or Web, students receiving mobile e-mail learned more (P<0.05). Seventy-one percent of the subjects preferred receiving these lessons on mobile phones rather than PCs. Ninety-three percent felt this a valuable teaching method.
4.0 Aims and objectives of study
The study will be conducted in Islamic Cultural Colleges only, which includes:
Islamic Cultural College, Port Louis (Boys)
Islamic Cultural College, Vallee Des Pretes ( Boys/Girls)
Islamic Cultural College , Belle Rose ( Boys)
Madad- ul Islam College (Girls)
At the end of the study we should be able to:
Find out teachers and students perception of mobile phones as an educational tool in classrooms.
Find out how far students think features in their mobile phones can be used as an educational tool.
Propose a framework to introduce mobile phones as an educational tool.
A non-experimental research design (Pedhazur, Pedhazur, & Schmelkin, 1991) and quantitative research methods will be used in the study. Schools, teachers and students will be randomly selected from the population of the secondary colleges mentioned previously. The survey methods will be used to collect data from the correspondents.
Surveys are used to collect quantitative information in a given population. As most survey involves administering questions to respondents depending on its purpose, it may focus on opinions or factual information. It is an efficient way of collecting information from a large number of respondents. It is also cheaper to conduct. But the validity depends on the motivation, honesty and ability of the participants to respond, as the participants are not keen to answer open-ended questions. The questionnaire will consists of both open and closed questions where participant has to choose either "Yes" or "No", thus both quantitative and qualitative data will be collected. The participants will be asked to rank their knowledge toward mobile phones on a 5-point Likert-type, ordinal scales (i.e., 1 = bad to 5 = excellent).
The use of a questionnaire was chosen since it was the most suitable method to assess and record students' and teachers' attitudes towards mobile phones in the educational system of Mauritius. Moreover, questionnaire is the most commonly used tool for research and regarded as the most proper method for mix research attempts. Furthermore, researchers are familiar with it (Javeau, 1996; Vamvoukas, 1998; Labaw, 1980; DeVaus, 1986). Therefore a well designed and proper use of questionnaire will provide very useful and vital information both qualitatively and quantitatively (Mucchielli, 1968). Thus a high level of validity and consistency of the study is guarantee.
Questionnaire has been chosen to conduct this research as:
It stimulates the interest and increases the involvement of the participant in the study (Javeau, 1996);
It lends itself to collect information about views and ideas provided by people as these may not be detected easily using other means (Fraise and Piaget, 1970); and
It allows continuous testing and alterations to ensure proper design (Javeau, 1996).
These are the steps followed in designing this research:
Formulate the objectives of the research.
Formulate the research hypothesis.
First a trial questionnaire was designed and distributed to a small number of students and educators (30 students and 20 educators chosen at random).
The answers of the modeled questionnaire were elaborating and determining the ambiguity of the questions and also questions that are difficult to answer.
Finalize the questionnaire.
Defining its scope.
Collect the completed questionnaires and coded (using variables)
Elaborate the answers using statistical program like SPSS, version 14.0 and Ms excel.
Write the study, evaluate the results provide recommendations and draw conclusions.