Authors : Dhliwayo Alice & Muchemwa Stella
Abstract: While technology has been embraced by most of the people, use of smart phones in the classroom has been received with mixed feelings. Some say it enhances learning while others complain that it disturbs instruction. This research wanted to find out the stance of secondary school teachers on this issue in Zimbabwe. A sample of 50 randomly selected teachers from 10 randomly selected secondary schools in Gweru District, Midlands Province in Zimbabwe was used. Data from self-constructed questionnaires were analyzed by SPSS mainly on descriptive statistics and correlation. Findings showed that teachers possess smart phones which they use for researching and other instructional purposes with moderate expertise. Teachers consider smart phones as hand-held computers that can enhance learning for they have high engagement potential and they extend classroom walls allowing students to engage with the global village. A correlation computation showed that there is a significant relationship between perceived problems of smart phones and smart phones integration factors. However, respondents felt that smart phones can cause lower levels of attention during lessons and allows cheating and copying during exams. They also concurred that teachers’ technical skills lag behind those of digital native students. Thus, they foresaw instructional problems on the part of the teachers on the use of smart phones in the classroom and were against their use. They doubted if the use of smart phones can improve the pass rate and whether they wanted their students to bring cell phones and use them during lessons for they perceived problems in controlling students using them. They also doubted if schools in Zimbabwe would ever benefit if students are allowed to use their phones in class. The study concluded that teachers in Zimbabwe are not yet prepared to have students use smart phone in the classroom and recommended for further research on the potential benefits of using smart phones in the classroom.
Keywords: Smart Phones, Technology, Student Engagement
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International Journal of Social Sciences & Educational Studies
ISSN 2520-0968 (Online), ISSN 2409-1294 (Print), September 2017, Vol.4, No.1