Using Mobile Technologies in Mathematics Education: Perspectives from Student Teachers and Teacher Educators in Chipata District, Zambia
Mwanza, Ben Jephta
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Mobile technologies have advanced and have impacted greatly on the way humans socialise, learn and interact. The ubiquity of these devices has an effect in the teaching and learning of mathematics in that they pose an interactive and pedagogical challenge to mathematics learners and educators because of their multiple functions which can put the most up-to-date information at the fingertips of the user. The study was conducted to explore the access, perception and extent to which these mobile technologies were being used in mathematics teaching and learning in teacher training institutions in Chipata, Zambia. The study used a mixed method design in particular concurrent mixed method triangulation in which both qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed to collect data. Purposeful and convenient sampling methods were used to come up with 129 respondents which were 6 mathematics lecturers, 3 ICT Coordinators and 120 mathematics student teachers from the teacher training institutions. Data collection methods included interviews, questionnaires and FGDs. Data was analyzed using the Constant Comparative Method to identify emerging themes and categories while quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics with an aid of SPSS Software version 23 and Excel 2013. The results showed that the most common mobile technology devices used by both students and lecturers are mobile phones and laptops. The findings indicated that mobile technologies are featuring prominently in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Students and educators use mobile technologies to access information (research), collaboration (data sharing and conversations) through social networking sites such as whatsapp/Facebook, communication, lesson preparation and as storage devices. However, findings also showed that despite the highlighted benefits of these gadgets in mathematics they carry the potential to distract learners. The usage among by student educators to teach mathematics was still low. It was recommended that educational institutions to upload study resources on their websites for students to download, improve/install Wi-Fi internet connectivity for students ‘use and also students and lecturers to form whatsapp groups for academic interactions beyond the walls of the classroom.
Zambia Journal of Teacher Professional Growth