Mobiles for sustainable learning environments: mobile phones and Mxit within a South African school context

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 4
  • Abstract:

    This article reports on a pilot study harnessing mobiles for sustainable learning environments (M4SLEs) in the context of school learning. The notion of M4SLEs in this case has to do with leveraging mobile technologies such as mobile phones and MXit as instances of sustainable learning environments. In this article, both short message services (SMSs) and mobile instant messages (MIMs) are viewed as the main drivers and enablers of M4SLEs. More specifically, the article sets out to investigate the use of these two mobile applications for writing short paragraphs in the context of English as a first additional language (EFAL) by a group of grade 8 learners at a junior secondary school in one township in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. This hybrid mobile learning occurred outside the normal school time. Against this background, the article demonstrates that the two mobile applications could be used for asynchronous and synchronous paragraph writing purposes. In addition, the article argues that the two mobile applications tend to promote a form of social communication that operates as a discourse for engaging in school-based learning and for challenging a school discourse.