Teachers as Learners

Concerns and Perceptions About Using Cell Phones in South African Rural Communities

Authored by: Mpine Makoe

Handbook of Mobile Learning

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415503693
eBook ISBN: 9780203118764
Adobe ISBN: 9781136311536

10.4324/9780203118764.ch51

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Abstract

The potential for using mobile technologies in education is enormous in a country of limited access to electricity and telephone networks, poor roads and postal services, and fewer people who have expertise in using computers. The lack of infrastructure for information and communication technologies (ICT) in Africa has lead to the rapid growth of a wireless infrastructure. Over the past 10 years, the number of cell-phone users in Africa has increased at an annual rate of 65 percent—twice the global average (Rao, 2011). By 2010, there were more than 600 million cell-phone subscribers in Africa, second only to Asia (Reed, 2011). In South Africa alone, the cell-phone penetration is estimated at 98 percent. The multimedia functionality and their simpler and user-friendly interface make cell phones easier to use for people who may be uncomfortable with using other technologies, such as computers.

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