Mobile Phones, a Virtue or a Bomb for Tanzanian Secondary Students?
Keywords:Mobile phones, information and communication technology, competence-based instruction.
AbstractThis study investigated the position of the use of mobile phones in secondary schools in Tanzania. It examined perceptions of secondary school teachers and students on the importance of students’ use of mobile phones as among the learning resources in classroom and the reasons associated with the prohibition of mobile phones in secondary schools in Tanzania. A total of 60 participants were engaged, 40 secondary school students and 20 secondary school teachers all from two secondary schools in Ilala municipality, Dar es Salaam region. Data were collected using open-ended questionnaires, focus group discussions, semi-structured interviews and documentary review. Through inductive data analysis, it was revealed that participants had varied responses regarding the importance of students’ use of mobile phones, and the reasons associated with their prohibitions in secondary schools in Tanzania. Teachers had a view that mobile phones would facilitate self-directed learning among learners while the position of the majority of students was that mobile phones would contribute to in-depth learning in various subjects. The study concluded that the government of Tanzania should involve key stakeholders in sharing experiences in establishing mobile phones monitoring software, rules and policies regarding the suitability or faults of various decisions related to educational matters including the use of mobile phones in classroom learning.