ISSUES AND CHALLENGES IN IMPLEMENTING MOBILE LEARNING IN MALAYSIAN SCHOOLS
This study established the issues and challenges in implementing mobile learning via mobile phones to support English Language learning in Malaysian schools. The findings were gathered from English subject leaders, ICT subject leaders, head teachers and deputy head teachers from 4 schools in the United Kingdom. In addition, the study also gathered the perspectives from English subject leaders, ICT subject leaders, head teachers, deputy head teachers from 9 schools in Malaysia and the officers in the Ministry of Education Malaysia.
It has been established that there are challenges to implement mobile learning via mobile phones in Malaysian schools. The challenges to implement mobile learning are based on the following key points: issue with misuse, issue with current policy, issue with management and maintenance, issue with stakeholders, issue with digital divide and issue with personal space invasion.
With regard to misuse, respondents believed that misuse is a major challenge that needs to be dealt with to implement mobile learning. The respondents believed that misuse might discourage the government to support the use of mobile phones in education. There are possibility of misuse via MMS and Bluetooth. It is also possible that cyber bullying will occur through mobile phones. Respondents also concern that there would be burden for the teachers to handle misuse. For the respondents, policy is another challenge to implement mobile learning. The policy which prohibited the use of mobile phones at schools would become the challenge to implement mobile learning. Only with changes in the policy, mobile learning could be implemented in Malaysian schools. Another major issue which was raised by the respondents is management and maintenance. Respondents are concern with the cost in deploying mobile phones for teaching and learning. They also believed that the organisation of mobile learning is time consuming. Other concerns related to management and maintenance is technical issue, theft, loss and health hazard. In addition, respondents also believed that the stakeholders’ attitude might be a challenge to implement mobile learning. The challenges might arise from the students, teachers, parents and the community. Another issue which was raised by the respondents is the issue with digital divide. Although for some respondents the use of mobile phones is cost effective, it might also lead to digital divide as the result of possible cost issue. The final challenge which was highlighted by the respondents is associated with personal space invasion. For some students, they might be bemused with the concepts of using their own mobile phones for educational purposes.
This study contributes towards the body of knowledge of mobile learning in Malaysia as a developing country where mobile learning is still in its infancy. It adds value in understanding the situation of mobile learning in Malaysia, which could be replicated to other developing countries in embracing the potential of mobile learning in mainstream education.