Characteristics of Mobile Learning Environments in Developing Countries

By Umera Imtinan, Vanessa Chang and Tomayess Issa.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines and reviews the current literature on mobile learning in developing countries. Mobile device is becoming a more popular interface for connecting with the world and mode of digital presence than the desktop computing devices. Mobile technologies in the developing world enable people to connect to the Internet, become more conversant with the digital world, and network globally via social networking forums. Mobile technologies in developing countries such as India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Kenya and South Africa have significantly increased and advanced. In spite of limited Information and Communications Technology (ICT) resources and an unstable infrastructure, good telecom services exist in the form of cellular networks which provide a favorable environment for mobile learning. The literature suggests that there is pervasive use of mobile devices that would facilitate the uptake of mobile learning in developed countries. However, few researchers have looked into the potential use of mobile devices in learning environments in developing countries. To ascertain the extent of mobile learning in developing countries, this paper examines the current literature on mobile learning research in developing countries including projects, implementations, theories and conceptualizations of mobile learning for these countries.

Keywords: Mobile Learning, M-Learning, Characteristics, Developing Countries, Mobile Technologies, Learning Environments, Underprivileged Communities, Literature Review

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp.163-174. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 984.304KB).

Umera Imtinan

PhD Student, School of Information Systems, Curtin Business School, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Umera Imtinan is a PhD candidate in Information Systems at School of Information Systems, Faculty of Curtin Business School, Curtin University, Australia. Her research interests include study of Information systems: theory and practice, Learning management systems, Learning information systems, Social media learning forums, Mobile learning, E-learning, Educational technologies, Human computer interaction, Innovation and technology management. She did Masters in Computer Science from Punjab University College of Information Technology, Lahore in 2004; and began her career as Business Analyst; later on she joined COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan as lecturer in Computer Science.

Prof. Vanessa Chang

Head of the School, School of Information Systems, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Assoc. Prof. Vanessa Chang Associate Professor Vanessa Chang is currently the Dean of Teaching and Learning at Curtin Business School, Curtin University. Her research interests include Global IT Management, IT Governance, Business Process Management, Cloud Computing, and Green IT. In addition, her research interests also cover areas of e-learning environments, virtual worlds, and Web 2.0. She has experience in consulting and teaching in Information Technology Management, IT Planning, Business Systems Analysis, Object-Oriented Analysis, and Agile Development Methodologies.

Dr. Tomayess Issa

Lecturer/ Postgraduate Course Leader, School of Information Systems, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Tomayess Issa is a senior Lecturer at the School of Information Systems at Curtin University, Australia. In addition, she is a Postgraduate Course leader and Postgraduate Online Coordinator. Tomayess has vast experience in Australian tertiary education, teaching Usability and Human Computer Interaction, Social Network, Sustainability and Green IT, Networking and Operating Systems. Tomayess completed her doctoral research in Web development and Human Factors. As an academic, she is also interested in establishing teaching methods and styles to enhance the students’ learning experiences and resolve problems that students face. Currently, Tomayess is teaching undergraduate and postgraduate units at the School of Information Systems focusing mainly on usability, human computer interaction, web 2.0, web 3.0, sustainability and Green IT, Cloud Computing, networking and operating system. In recognition of her hard work and dedication, she received awards from the Curtin Business School and her school for her teaching. Tomayess participated in several conferences on Human Computer Interaction, Internet, teaching and learning, and published her work in several peer-reviewed journals. Tomayess is a member of an international conference program committee, and she is currently conducting research locally and globally in information systems, HCI, Usability, Internet, Sustainability and Green IT, social network and teaching and learning.

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