Mohamad, Mariam and Woollard, John
Issues and challenges in implementing mobile learning in malaysian schools.
In, 6th International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia de Alcántara, ES,
05 - 07 Mar 2012.
This study describes the issues and challenges in implementing mobile learning via mobile phones to support English Language learning in Malaysian schools. The findings are drawn from interviews of English subject leaders, ICT subject leaders, head teachers and deputy head teachers from 4 schools in the United Kingdom. In addition, the study also describes the perspectives from the experts in education in Malaysia. They are English subject leaders, ICT subject leaders, head teachers, deputy head teachers from 9 schools in Malaysia and five officers in the Ministry of Education Malaysia. It is established that there are issues and challenges to implement mobile learning via mobile phones in Malaysian schools. The challenges to implement mobile learning are based in the following key areas: misuse; current educational policy; management and maintenance; stakeholders’ attitude; digital divide; and personal space invasion. With regard to misuse, respondents believe that misuse is a major challenge that needs to be addressed to implement mobile learning. The respondents believe that misuse might discourage the government to support the use of mobile phones in education. There are possibility of misuse via Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) and Bluetooth. It is also possible that cyber bullying will occur through mobile phones. Respondents also have concerns that there will be increased teachers’ workload to handle misuse. For the respondents, current policy is another challenge to implementing mobile learning. The policy which prohibits the use of mobile phones at schools would become a challenge to implement mobile learning. Only with changes in the policy, could mobile learning be implemented in Malaysian schools. Management and maintenance is a major issue raised by the respondents. Respondents are concerned with the cost of deploying mobile phones for teaching and learning. They also believed that the organisation of mobile learning is time consuming. Technical issue related to management and maintenance is also a concern, for example, theft, loss and health hazard. Moreover, respondents also believe that the stakeholders’ attitude might be a challenge to implement mobile learning. The challenges might arise from the students, teachers, parents and the community. Another consideration is the digital divide. Although for some respondents, the use of mobile phones is cost effective, it might also lead to digital divide as the result of possible cost issues associated with using mobile phones for learning. The final challenge highlighted by the respondents is associated with personal space invasion, where students might be bemused or annoyed with the idea of using their own devices for educational purposes. This study contributes towards the body of knowledge of mobile learning in Malaysia as a developing country where mobile learning is still in its infancy. It adds value in understanding the situation of mobile learning in Malaysia, which could be replicated to other developing countries in embracing the potential of mobile learning in mainstream education
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