Supporting University Learning Through Mobile Technologies: A Global Perspective

David Gitumu Mugo, Kageni Njagi, Bernard Chemwei, Paul Maina Gakuru


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.

Keywords: Mobile, Technologies, Universities, adoption, ICT, eLearning 

Full Text:



Armatas, C., & Holt, D. & Rice (2005). Balancing the possibilities for mobile technologies in higher education. Telstra Research Laboratories; Clayton, 770 Blackburn Road, Clayton, 3168. Australia.

Baharom, S.S. (2013). Designing Mobile Learning Activities in Malaysian Higher Education Context: Asocial Constructivist Approach. An unpublished Ph.D. thesis Salford Business School, University of Salford, Salford, UK.

Behera, S.K. (2013) M-learning: a new learning paradigm. International Journal on New Trends in Education and their Implications. April 2013 Volume 4 Issue, 2 Article 03. Downloaded on 16th June 14 from

Bland, H (2013). Mobile Technology definition. Ohio State University. Retrieved on 11th August 2015 from

El-Hussein, M. O. M., & Cronje, J.C. (2010). Defining Mobile Learning in the Higher Education Landscape. In Educational Technology & Society, 13(3), 12–21.

Fougere, N. (2010). US leads the Market for mobile product learning. Retrieved on 22nd June 2014 from:

Hosman, L., Fife, E. (2012). The Use of Mobile Phones for Development in Africa: Top-Down-Meets-Bottom-Up Partnering. Journal of community informatics, 8(2).

IPSOS (2014) KU takes learning to new level with digital school. Business Daily Date: 03.07.2014 Page 17. Downloaded on 24th July 2015 from

Issham, I., Azizan, S.N., Azman, N. (2011). Accessing innovativeness of distance learners towards their readiness in embracing technology. African Journal of Business management Volume 5(33), Downloaded on 13.11.14 from

Kandiri, J.M. (2014). Effective Implementation of Technology Innovations in Higher Education Institutions: A Survey of Selected Projects in African Universities. An unpublished PHD thesis submitted to the School of Business Kenyatta University.

Kato, M.K., Ricci, V.C. (2006). The eLearning Guild’s Learning Solutions: Practical Applications of Technology for Learning. The e-learning Guild Publication.

Keegan, D et al (2008) The Impact of new technologies on distance learning students. Retrieved on 6th August 2015 from Report_3_ 2008.pdf

Makau, B.M. (1988). Computer in Kenyan Schools; a case study of an innovation in Kenya. Canada: IDRC.

Mberia, P.M., Ofafa G.A., Muathe, M.A., Muli, J. (2013). An empirical investigation on the relationship between technological infrastructure and government regulations on Effective operations of m-payment systems in Kenya. International Journal of Arts and Commerce ISSN 1929-7106. Downloaded on 12th January 2015 from

Mehdipour, Y., Zerehkafi, H. (2013). Mobile learning; benefits and challenges. International Journal of Computational Engineering Research, Vol 3, Issue 6.

Mugo, D.G. (2007). Integrating emerging ICT technologies in science instruction. The successes and challenges facing NEPAD e-School project, a case study of Mumbi Girls’ secondary school, Murang’a, Kenya. Unpublished Master of Education Project, Nairobi: Kenyatta University.

Muhanna , W.N., & Sha’r, A. (2009). University Students' Attitudes towards Cell Phone Learning Environment. International Journal of Interactive Mobile Technologies. Downloaded 15th November 2014 from

Pollara, P. (2011). Mobile Learning in Higher Education: A Glimpse and a comparison of student and faculty readiness, attitudes and perceptions: An unpublished dissertation submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College.

Roettgers, J. (2009). Kenya’s mobile banking revolution. Retrieved on 15th August 2015 from Kenya’s-mobile-banking-revolution/

Serkan, T. (2011). Mobile Learning in Japan. Downloaded on 27th February 2012 from

Sharples, M. (2007). A short history of mobile learning and issues to consider. Learning Science Research Institute, University of Nottingham. Retrieved on 11th August 2015 from http://www.slideshare net/ sharp lem /history-of-mobile-learning-mlearn-2007-doctoral-consortium-Oct-2007

Solomon, A.D. (2013). A critical understanding of Learning Management System, downloaded on 8th August 2015 from

Tapio V. (2005). The future of eLearning. A Short History of eLearning and a Look into the Future of Computer Mediated Learning. Swedish School of Social Science University of Helsinki.

Traxler. J. (2014). Potential of Learning with Mobiles in Africa. Wise Education Review. Retrieved on 3-9-14 from /john-traxler-mobile-learning-africa

Tsinakos, A. (2013). Global Mobile learning implementation Trends. Beijing: China Central Radio & TV University Press.

UNESCO, (2011). From text books to telephone, downloaded on 18th May 2015

UNESCO, (2011). Mobile Learning Week Report on New learning cultures, opportunities and challenges of the digital world. Downloaded on 7th September 2014 from

UNESCO, (2012). Turning on Mobile Learning, Illustrative Initiatives Downloaded on 7th September 2014 from

UNESCO, (2012). Mobile Learning for Teachers Exploring the Potential of Mobile Technologies to Support Teachers and Improve Practice. Downloaded on 7-9-14 from

Winters, N. (2013). Re-positioning the teacher as central to mobile learning for development. London Knowledge Lab, Institute of Education, University of London.

Zoraini, W.A. et al (2008). Research methods and design in human development. Unpublished lecture notes on Human Growth and development.

Zoraini, W.A. ET al (2009). A study on learner readiness for mobile learning at Open University of Malaysia. Proceedings of IADIS International Conference on Mobile Learning 2009.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.