TEACHING AND LEARNING IN THE MOBILE AGE
University of Technology Mauritius (MAURITIUS)
Learners in the 21st century have often been termed as the Generation Y, Millennial or Digital Natives. They are considered as being the generation of students who are fully immersed in the latest technological advancements. The contemporary youth usage of technologies has evolved from desktop computers to laptop computers to Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or handhelds or palmtops to smartphones to mobile phones. Today with the popularity of mobile phones and their affordability in terms of cost, the demand for mobility has been extended to teaching and learning purposes. Mobile learning promises learning independent of time and place, offering rich interactivity, high connectivity and powerful processing. As policy makers evaluate the potentials of mobile learning, there are pedagogical issues which arise over its impact on teaching and learning. The technological age has led to a new relationship between educators and students. A digital divide has cropped up with the new generation of students asking for training to meet their specific information needs while educators are still engrossed in conventional delivery styles. With Mauritius’ ascent towards e-learning, we cannot disregard the adoption of mobile learning for education purposes. However before considering such technological acceptance, it is imperative to determine the readiness of educators and learners to mobile learning. For the purpose of this paper, a survey was conducted of trainers and students’ ownership, usage and readiness of mobile learning. While mobile learning shows an evolutionary growth with the introduction of more cutting-edge and powerful devices, the preparedness of teachers and students will reckon on the efficiency and necessity this mobile device will bring to their education aims. The result of this study will contribute as evidence to policy makers of the benefits of employing mobile learning at university level.