Examining the perceived reliability of cost effective e-learning handsets for teaching and learning in schools
Sofowora, Mayowa A.
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The use of mobile devices such as cell phones, smartphones, personal digital assistants and tablet computers is becoming prevalent in today’s world; and it is facilitating access to a vast amount of data, services and applications for the improvement of people’s lives. Advances in electronics and manufacturing technologies usually lead to the rapid release of newer and sleeker models with new features and capabilities. These newer models therefore render older models obsolete, and this pushes people to frequently replace their devices. The drawback of such frequent replacements is that a large number of devices are disposed and they end up as e-waste. The fact that e-waste constitutes a major hazard to human health and to the environment is the motivation behind this study whose aim is to examine the factors affecting the perceptions of teachers on the durability of cell phones in the e-learning context. This research aims was achieved through the content analysis of existing literature and through a survey of 67 secondary school teachers from the iLembe and UMgungundlovu district municipalities in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa. The attribution theory was selected as the theoretical framework for this study, and it led to the identification of four independent variables (Demographics, Intention, Knowledge, and Actual use) and of one dependent variable (Perceived Durability). The results of this study indicate that teaching experience and school location are the only two demographics that affect other variables from this research: School location affects cell phone durability, and teaching experience affects cell phone usage intentions. These results also indicate that all the variables of this research are linked except for the relationship between knowledge and perceived durability. One of the recommendations of this study is the proposal of a three year cycle for cell phone renewals in schools mobile learning projects in order to manage e-waste through e-recycling, and this recommendation is based on the finding of this research that teachers believe that cell phones generally lasts between two to three years. The main contribution of this study is to have examined the durability of mobile phones in the e-learning context and this is something new compared to all the studies reviewed by this research.