THE USE OF SMARTPHONE AS A MEDIUM FOR LEARNING: A CASE STUDY OF KASU STUDENTS

THE USE OF SMARTPHONE AS A MEDIUM FOR LEARNING: A CASE STUDY OF KASU STUDENTS

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0       INTRODUCTION

Smart phones are digital wireless phones that can send and receive voice, data and video as well as storing information and running software. Features vary from phone, but all connect to the internet for E-mail and web access. Smartphone consolidates mobile phone technology with that of the Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) to create a powerful mobile communication tool. It is a cellular phone that is able to perform many of the functions of a computer, typically having a relatively large screen and on operating system capable of running general purpose application.

Early smart phones typically combined the features of a mobile phone with those of another popular consumer device, such as a personal digital assistant, a media player, a digital camera, and/or a GDS navigator unit. Later, smart phones included all these plus the features of a touch screen computer, including web browsing, Wi-Fi, 3 party apps, motion sensor and mobile payment. A smart phone is expected to have a powerful CPU, more storage space, more RAM, greater connectivity options and a larger screen than a regular cell phone.

1.1       BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The world is fast becoming a global village and a necessary tool for the process of communication, which the telecommunication is a key element.  The recent development in the smart phone communication in Nigeria has entirely changed the attitudes of people. Especially, the educated elite in our society who are very much interested in adapting to new innovations that will enable then utilize their potentials better.  As such, these group of elites in the society, are now more inclined towards mobile technology in learning and other activities. (Etukudo, 2009).

The use of smart phones for learning is not only restricted to students. Notwithstanding, smart phones are used for exchanging ideas, currency conversion, calculators, dictionary, playing games; communicating with family members, friends and well wishers. Smart phones are also use for social networking.

In most urban centers in Africa and the world at large, smart phones are used for money transfers from one financial institution to another on behalf of their customers. The benefits of smartphones cannot be quantified. These smartphone come with additional capabilities in which the owner can add more facilities to suit his or her needs. For instance, these smartphones carry mobile Bible and Quran, facilities for internet linkage such as Face Book, Yahoo, Goggle and even use to record, save and music and videos. All these facilities make smart phones formidable learning tools. Phone Users can talk with one another; record some spectacular moments of life’ listen to music, install games, applications, videos, transfer data and files to other compatible devices and visit world wide web (www). These are few basic qualities of the most modern Smartphone, which makes it (smart phone) faster and easy for learning and surfing the net for academic materials. Its impact and uses can both be positive and negative, particularly in university environment. (Ofonime, 2009).

However, since the world is fast growing in technologies, smart phones have continued to be necessary tools for Communication. Development in the telecommunication industry all over the world is very rapid, as one innovation replaces another. A major breakthrough is the telephone system, which comes in either fixed wireless lines or the smart phone communication. Smartphone  technologies have greatly increased the efficiency of communication to the extent that the process can send and receive messages around the world and within the Space with maximum speed and efficiency (Bittner 1989).

In the year 2001, the Nigerian communication sector took a new dimension. The smart phone was introduced and Nigerians embraced it.  Smartphone came, as a welcome development in Nigeria, because the world is now globalized and information technology is one factor that is responsible for that. With this, Nigeria has joined the League of Nations in the track of economic prosperity associated with communication technology. According to   NCC (2012) report released by National Communication Commission indicated that about 90 million Nigerians have access to mobile phones. No doubt this is a great impetus in the tele-communication industry. 

In that same report, the percentage of mobile telecommunication subscribers in Nigeria is over 90% and this percentage clearly shows how much the country have accepted Smartphone as a tool for communication.  Smart phones have no doubt impacted positively on the lives of Nigerians considering the fact that they enable effective communication not only in cities but also in rural areas.  Nigerian smartphone subscribers can now use their mobile phones to do many things including making voice calls, sending short messages services (Texts) and other high level services like transmitting (sending) and receiving still and line images, watching live events from any part of the world (Kazoh, 2008).

Many scholars, presenters and writers like cook (2010), O’Dell (2009) have researched and discovered that people use smartphone to communicate business, texts and relevant information. As such even institutions of learning had identified a lot of significance of the smartphone communication to knowledge.  Hence, they use mobile phones to browse for assignments, communicate messages like fixed class and to chat as well as make new friends.

The use of smartphone has today cut across various groups in the society and institutions of learning. Farmers, Market women, Labourers, administrators, bankers, teachers, lecturers and students among others; all use smartphone for one reason or the other. It is used to increase knowledge and learning in all areas of discipline.  Notwithstanding its negative effect, the positive impact to knowledge is said to foster development and learning, across the nation as well as the whole world. (Ofonime, 2009).

1.2     STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Bones (1970) reported that technological explosion in communication has both great potential and great danger, the outcome depends on crucial decision making and where and by whom they are taken.  Smartphone communication powers our access to information and enable new form of communication.  It also serves many online services in the sphere of education and provision of information.

In a few pilot studies, (Hanaver, Dible, Fortin and Col, 2004), compared the relative effectiveness of three versions of hypermedia systems, namely; Text, Sound/Text, and Sound. The results indicate that those working with Sound could focus their attention on the critical information. Those working with the Text and Sound/Text version however, did not learn as much and stated their displeasure with reading so much text from the screen. Based on this study, it is clear at least at this time that such Web-based innovations cannot serve as an adequate substitute for face-to-face live instruction

Ilo and Ifijeh, (2010), argue that schools should use funding to improve real education rather than invest in computer technology and rely on telecommunications for education. Furthermore they indicated that the computer was often a crutch that diverted time and resources from programs taught students to think and evaluate information. Online learning education does for knowledge what just-in-time delivery does for manufacturing: It delivers the right tools and parts when you need them. However, developing online learning is typically an intense process, which should take much of the faculty development time.

The use of Smartphone is more popular among students in higher institutions. This has led to an increased in the use of smartphone for learning. Therefore, this study sets out to investigate the use of smartphone as a tool for learning among students of Kaduna State University, Kaduna.

1.3       AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

Therefore, in this regard, this study is to find out the following objectives;

1.     To determine the level of usage of smartphone communication by KASU students.

2.     To ascertain the impact of Smartphone on students learning process.

3.     To find out the factors which encouraged students to use the technology and imbibe it in their learning curriculum.

 1.4      RESEARCH QUESTIONS

In order to give the research a focus, the following research questions were raised;

1.     Do KASU students use Smart-phones communication for learning?

2.     How has smart-phone impact learning process among KASU students

3.     What factors encourage KASU student to imbibe the technology into learning curriculum

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research is significance because it is geared towards giving us a clear and concise understanding of the use of smartphone among students of tertiary institutions to aid their learning process.

It will also educate the students of KASU, Kaduna and students of other higher institutions of learning; on the best way to manage mobile phone in order to enhance effective communication and learning. It is in this context that this study hopes to contribute to the existing body of knowledge and also serve as secondary information to future researchers.

 1.6     SCOPE OF THE STUDY

The scope of this study is limited to the use of smartphone as a medium for learning among students, a case study of Kaduna State University, Kaduna. The study will look into the uses of the smartphone among Nigerian student of higher institutions of learning. It is narrowed down to students of Kaduna State University, Kaduna for the purpose of convenience.

1.7       JUSTIFICATION OF THE STUDY





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