ACCESSING THE ADOPTION OF MOBILE LEARNING IN NIGERIA: THE LIBRARY PERSPECTIVE: A CASE OF CRAWFORD UNIVERSITY, FAITH CITY, IGBESA OGUN STATE, NIGERIA.

Author:Oguchinalu, Nwaogu Humphrey
 
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Introduction

When a unique strategy is developed in learning which enhances the advancement of educational materials and its availability to the masses through mobile phone anytime, anyday, anywhere, such strategy could be seen or regarded as mobile learning. For UNESCO, mobile technologies refer to a combination of hardware, operating systems, networking and software including content, learning platforms, and applications. Mobile technology devices range from basic mobile phones to tablet PCs, and include PDAs, MP3 players, memory sticks, e-readers, and smart phones. In other words, Mobile learning is the ability to obtain or provide educational contents/ materials through electronic devices as mentioned above. Mobile phones have been upgraded in recent decades to contain many functions such as Internet connectivity, sending multimedia messages, information storage, displaying audio and video files, and other functions. Alqahtani and Mohammad (2015) stated that Internet-enabled mobile devices can help students to access learning resources and online courses, anywhere and at any time.

It is a well-known fact that in the issue of mobile learning less stress is involved since the devices are quite affordable and there is no power failure. In addition, when we talk of mobile learning, it includes the use of mobile phones primarily, and other hand-held communication devices in performing different kinds of academic task receiving lectures, checking results or making other necessary enquires.

The contemporary world is changing fast that many people are seeking for the delivery of information and learning materials through so many media. The electronic mail services, social media platforms and uncountable apps on our smart and mobile phones have made this a mainstay. Corbeil & Valdes, 2007 added that you can use this type of mobile devices to enrich the educational environment with educational activities that are provided by mobile phones. Some examples include the ability to browse the Internet, and to participate in discussions simultaneously.

A critical study of the Nigeria environment shows that in all spheres of human endeavours, people are making use of mobile technology in different avenues to meet the needs of others in one way or the other. Also, it is evidence that our younger generations of learners are using mobile technologies for entertainment, socialization, collaboration, and sharing of multimedia and massages. It's obvious today that all categories of people are using mobile devices to access information materials, communicate and share with friends'. According to Ukairo (2013)," One thing very clear to all and sundry is that our new generations of learners do not see technology as something very foreign but it seems our educators do. The new learners readily accept technology and consider it as part of their life.

However, new generation libraries and librarians, especially in academic environment have adopted the user of electronic mailing services, social media platforms (face book group, tweeter group, whatsapp group, Google apps and drive etc.) to discharge library services to their end users. Online databases of eBooks and eJournals are mobile learning hubs, the internet libraries (electronic libraries) hence can be accessed anywhere and anytime irrespective of time or boundaries.

Although it is expected that mobile learning approaches should increase student performance by facilitating their access to educational materials from anywhere in the world. In the other hand, accessing students' attitudes toward mobile learning would inform decision makers, curriculum designers, academician, librarians and anyone that cares to know about the students' level of acceptance and use of mobile technologies for mobile learning in Nigeria.

Objectives of the Study

* To determine the types of mobile technologies utilized most for mobile learning in Nigeria.

* To ascertain the threats and challenges affecting the adoption of mobile technologies in Nigeria libraries and educational system.

* To determine the extent to which mobile technologies can be used to enhance the quality of education and transform Learning processes.

Research Question

* What are the types of mobile technology utilized most for mobile learning?

* What are the threats and challenges that affect the adoption of mobile technologies in Nigerian libraries and educational system?

* To what extent does mobile technology enhance the quality of learning?

Literature Review

UNESCO in 2012 launched four pilot projects to explore how mobile technologies can be used to support and develop teachers in Mexico, Pakistan, Nigeria and Senegal. To inform these; in their deliberations UNESCO (2011) believed that ICT can contribute to achieving universal education worldwide, through the delivery of education and training of teachers, improved professional skills, better conditions for lifelong learning, and the potential to reach people outside the formal education process. According to the 2011 Education for All Report from UNESCO, the world is facing a massive teacher supply problem. The planet needs approximately two million new teachers as at 2015 and 5.4 million if attrition is considered. Many countries must double or triple their teaching forces. Another hurdle is that many practicing teachers, particularly those from developing countries, lack ICT skills and are therefore unqualified to help students access and manipulate information in electronic mediums, a skill that will be become increasingly vital in this 21st century.

Furthermore, mobile technologies, especially mobile phones, carry potential to transmit varieties of functions. Even in areas where computers and effective teacher training institutions are scarce, mobile phones are common, and, more often than not, teachers understand the basics of how to use them. For these reasons, UNESCO is committed to exploring how mobile technologies might be used to develop teachers, improve their ICT skills, and prepare them to teach others how to leverage technology for learning. Joanna, N. (2011) in his view said that "unfortunately, up to date, there are very few examples of teacher support and professional development programmes that employ mobile phones and research on the few programmes and initiatives that do exist is emergent at best".

According to Wagner (2005), the demand for mobile learning will inevitably increase in the future. In the other hand, he added that the academic community in higher education institutions does not have sufficient background about teaching and learning capabilities provided by this type of learning, as well as the requirements needed to apply this type of educational technologies. Elsewhere, Mattmiller, 2005 conducted a research with the students in the University of Wisconsin, US. The results showed that a large number of students have abandoned the use of desktop PCs in favor of the use of laptops, and a very high percentage of the students were found to have smart mobile phones. Croop, (2008) stated that individuals are showing a considerable interest to move toward using wireless communication devices, such as the massive increase in the sales of laptops and iPads that have the wireless feature, as well as the widespread use of laptops. The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project (2012) stated that about half of all adults of the nation possesses a smartphone and smartphone users are more than those with basic phones. Also, in Asia, Alfarani (2015) argued that the number of students who uses mobile devices as educational resources will continue to rise sharply in Saudi Arabia. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (2011) declared that mobile networks serve 90% of the world and 80% of individuals living in rural areas.

Challenges of Mobile Learning

Efforts to leverage mobile technologies for learning are fraught with social, technical, and economic challenges. Perhaps due to the intellectually-light and entertainment-heavy content that has been optimized for mobile devices over the past decade, the primary social challenge is convincing people that phones are not a barrier to learning.

However, Broskoske and Harvey (2000) have found that one of the biggest difficulties that face the application of the e-learning programs in a number of universities is the lack of pre-preparation and careful planning based on field data. Messinger (2012) stated that a group of obstacles that limit the widespread adoption of...

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