13 Mar 2019


Mobile devices have introduced a new generation of educational tools that afford creative use and instant access to a wealth of resources. These devices hold great potential for transforming learning. On one hand, teachers and students are very positive about these devices, on the other hand, there are several obstacles faced. This paper examines the benefits and challenges of mobile devices on learning and teaching. The study shows that teachers and students are optimistic about the use and influence of these devices on students’ motivation, communication, collaboration and ability to research. Adequate training and support can help overcome the challenges faced.

Learning in the 21st century is omnipresent with computer and technology and is gaining momentous in the lives of the young and becoming a part of education at schools. Student use technology on a daily basis and this has an impact on their education. The technology used effectively in the classroom enables students to be innovative while developing new skills and provides students with futuristic information. In recent time, the increase in the use of technology is shifting traditional teaching methods in the classroom by facilitating learning in new ways. Mobile learning is the use of mobile technology to facilitate learning anytime and anywhere.

Benefits of Tablets for Teaching and Learning

Students are generally positive in using mobile devices for learning, which is essential for 21st-century education. These devices enable students to control their individual learning and allow learners to switch learning contexts conveniently from formal to informal or personal to social. It keeps students engaged, attentive and motivated and allows interaction with the devices. Teachers also benefit from the use of these devices. There is evidence that mobile devices have encouraged independent learning making it easy for teachers to differentiate individual student needs and share resources with students and among each other.

For students, mobile devices are easy to use and attractive. These devices have larger screens, a variety of apps, audio and video recording software, higher processing and battery power. Research on tablet use and adoption reports that electronic devices have a positive impact on students’ engagement with learning. The research showed that students tend to spend more time and effort in learning tasks that are of interest to them. Clark and Lucking (n.d.) findings showed increased interest, creativity, enthusiasm, engagement, motivation, independence and self‐regulation, and improved productivity in students. Doing activities and discussions facilitated by the mobile device, students find learning more fun as compared to a typical lecture-based classroom

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