Supporting University Learning Through Mobile Technologies: A Global Perspective
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The workplace in the modern world continues to demand higher qualifications and refined competencies. In the recent past, workers would respond to such demands through learning by correspondence. When the Internet and e-Learning emerged, it received widespread accolade as a solution to the challenges experienced by distant learners. The technology was also seen as an opportunity for educational institutions to leverage their technological uptake to benefit regular students. However, desktop computers and Internet connectivity, which were the drivers of e-learning technologies, were expensive, bulky and scarce. So when mobile technologies emerged, educationist saw an opportunity for addressing the limitations associated with correspondence, “e” and tethered learning. Mobile devices being cheap, portable and reliable received widespread acceptance and possession. So, educators, hardware designers and program developers started to design hardware and applications that would infuse learning content into the devices. The purpose of this review is to demonstrate the potential of mobile technologies in the education market place, highlighting global initiatives and trends. The paper will also review how universities around the world, Africa and in Kenya have oriented themselves for learning with mobile technologies. The study was a documentary analysis of virtual documents stored electronically for access through the Internet, text books, archival repositories and encyclopedias. The study observed a significant high global mobile ownership and usage rates, but was able to demonstrate that despite its pedagogical advantages, the use of the technology for learning purposes at university level is still at the infantry.