Students' Attitudes Towards Mobile Learning And Mobile Device Usage In The U.S. And Israel Universities

900 words - 4 pages

The concept of mobile learning has been around for the past decade. One most unique characteristic of mobile learning is its ubiquity, which allows students to access learning resources anytime and anywhere (M. El-Hussein & Cronje, 2010). In order to explore the pedagogical value of mobile learning, educators have incorporated mobile learning into the classroom and many have discovered its positive effects on students’ engagement and motivation (Hwang & Chang, 2011). The use of mobile devices also have enhanced authentic learning and personalized instruction (Ju-Ling, Chien-Wen, & Gwo-Jen, 2010; Sha, Looi, Chen, & Zhang, 2012; Song, Wong, & Looi, 2012). According to a recent survey (Nagel, 2013), one-third of students in 4-12 grades in the U.S. own tablets and over 40% own smartphones. Most students responded to the survey also had positive attitudes towards mobile learning, and 67% indicated that they would like to use their mobile devices more often in class (Nagel, 2013). At college level, students’ mobile device usage is higher. In the U.S., 76% of undergraduate students own smartphones and about 60% own at least three different wireless devices (as cited in O’Neil, 2013). Further, many college students view mobile learning favorably because of its increased accessibility through portable devices (Kaganer, Giordano, Brion, & Tortorillo, 2013). In another study, students also expressed that mobile learning is an effective method and improves communication between students and teachers (Al-Fahad, 2009). These studies suggest that mobile learning fits the current student population and has much potential for the future education. Mobile learning changes traditional face-to-face instructions and provides students with flexible and informal learning environments (Kukulska-Hulme, 2013; Santos & Ali, 2012). Teachers may need to reconsider their old views of teaching and learning to meet the needs of the mobile age children.
Attitudes towards mobile learning have been examined in several past studies and many researchers have applied the Technology Acceptance Model (Davis, 1989) to assess various related constructs. The original model suggests that perceived usefulness and ease of use affect attitudes towards technology, which leads to the intention to use. In addition to usefulness and ease of use, Wang and his associates (2009) found that social influence, perceived-playfulness, and self-management also have positive effects on the intention to use mobile learning (Wang, Wu, & Wang, 2009). With respect to gender differences, their study also revealed that the social influence (i.e. how the use of mobile learning perceived by important people) is a strong predictor for the intention to use mobile learning among males, while the self-management (i.e. readiness for online learning) was an influential factor for females. On the other hand, in New Zealand, younger age...

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