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Another stream of literature that explores challenges in m-learning are in context of its implementation in specific cases. For instance, Tarus et al. (2015) explores challenges in implementing m-learning in Kenya. The study reveals eight challenges, including inadequate ICT and e-learning infrastructure, financial constraints, lack of technical skills on m-learning development and extensive time required to develop materials, and lack of interest and commitment to use m-learning. The findings imply that these challenges must be addressed in order to successfully implement teaching and learning through mobile phones in schools.

Some of these challenges are in line with a review of studies on challenges in implementing m-learning in developing countries by Aung and Khaing (2015). This review of m-learning implementation note that challenges include, teachers competencies, technical skills, mobile phone literacy, and awareness of m-learning benefits. Focused on the perspective of education institutions, Islam et al. (2015) identify five groups of challenges. These challenges include learning styles and culture, pedagogical m-learning, technical training and management challenges. Other challenges are described below.

2.4.1 Misuse of Phones for Non-Academic Purposes

Students will find it uneasy to focus on useful academic activities and will instead tend to spend a lot of their time on the internet, engaging in unproductive activities and on social media chatting with friends online deep into the night without realising the passage of time (Alharbi, 2021; Kashanizadeh & Shahrokhi, 2021). That will consequently lead to fatigue, stress and its concomitant problem of attention in class. The internet is inundated with a lot of inappropriate websites which contain pornography that is a powerful propaganda tool capable of destroying every facet of students’ life (Manyeredzi & Mpofu, 2022). Pornography has addictive substance just like drugs, such as cocaine and heroin and most of the violent and sexual acts, such as masturbation, homosexuality, lesbianism and rape among students are primarily attributed to students’ exposure to pornography via the internet. To this end, some educationists, including teacher unions, such as the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT) and National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), are of the view that, an attempt to lift the ban on the use of mobile phone among students in second cycle institutions will exacerbate the already existing problems of violent and sexual immoralities among students

2.4.2 Distraction in Teaching and Learning

The use of mobile phones by students can also be a source of disturbance to other peers in class and dormitories. A phone can ring at locations such as the classroom and library to distract the teaching and learning process. Students are unlikely to have control over the use of mobile phone and can easily get distracted by it. Moreover, a student can engage in a lengthy phone conversation, particularly at night to disturb other peers from having rest. Research has extensively shown that there are negative effects for students in the classroom when they use their cell phones for non-educational purposes. Junco (2012) found that 53% of undergraduate students at a university reported text messaging during class. Dietz and Henrich (2014) examined 99 college students during a 20-minute lecture, which was part of the experiment, and the average amount of texts sent and received among each student was 26.29 (14.10 sent, 12.69 received).

Dietz and Henrich (2014) found that since the increase of technology in the classroom (e.g., use of cell phones), there has been an increased report of a decline in overall grades and decrease in seat work. Using cell phones in the classroom has been connected with lower recall and a decrease in student satisfaction with instruction (Dietz & Henrich, 2014); comprehension has also lessened when students use electronic devices for non-educational purposes. Alarmingly, research shows that even students in proximity to other students using this technology are more likely to perform poorer in the classroom, even when they were not personally using technology (Sana, Weston, & Cepeda, 2013). A study by Wood et al. (2012) found that students who used Facebook during a classroom lecture had significantly lower scores on tests of the lecture material than students who only used notes taken with paper and pencil.

The example of a teacher attempting to block out the distraction of student cell phone use, delivering his or her lecture, and monitoring students to make sure they are understanding what is being taught could also be considered divided attention. Divided attention is the act of attempting to execute one or more actions at a time, while simultaneously trying to pay attention to two or more channels of information. When people are performing a number of tasks in parallel, they must divide their attention, which can lead to weakened performance (Munoto, Sumbawati, & Sari, 2021).

2.4.3 Competency of Teachers

Bhalla (2014) described technological competence as skills, expertise, understanding, values, and relationships that enable an individual to deliver. Thus, technology competence refers to the ability to understand and to use technology. Most technology competency instruction incorporates three types of objectives; knowledge (of terms, components, applications, social, ethical issues), skill, and attitude (acceptance as a valuable tool, appreciation as a productive tool).

The effective use of m-learning tools in the classroom is dependent on the knowledge and competences with respect to both computer and mobile usage (Popovici & Mironov, 2015). It has been found that these significant factors have an impact on the early acceptance of the users of computer technology and their behavior in the future with respect to the use of web-based and mobile phone learning systems (Coman et al., 2020). According to UNESCO (2008), teachers in today’s classroom need to be prepared to give their students learning experiences that are supported by technology. Being equipped to use technology and understanding how technology can help student learning has become an important competency in the professional arsenal of any instructor. Teachers need to be prepared to encourage the benefits technology will bring to the students. Schools and classrooms, both actual and virtual, must have teachers who are equipped with the tools and skills of technology and who can efficiently teach the requisite content of subject matter while integrating concepts and skills. Interactive computer simulations, interactive and open educational resources, and advanced data collection and analysis tools are just a few of the resources that enable teachers to provide previously unknown conceptual understanding opportunities (Khan, Vivek, Nabi, Khojah, & Tahir, 2021). The teacher should have the skills to use integrate the use of mobile phones into teaching and learning that assist in finding specific and general information, including the use of search mechanisms and stand-alone commands, networked or web-based databases and services (Baticulon et al., 2020).  

2.4.4 Lack of Management Support

E-learning projects that were not successful in achieving their goals did not have access to technical advice and support (Selim, 2007). If the technical support is lacking, the e-learning will not succeed. School management support to m-learning is therefore essential for its success. Most of the introduction of information technology at schools are compensated for by individual teacher initiative. Management’s lack of resources is seen as a major obstacle to the integration of mobile phone usage in teaching and learning (Kennedy, Judd, Churchward, Gray, & Krause, 2008). Michael and Dou (2002) argued that successful implementation of computer competence could only occur if stakeholders and more specifically, teachers and heads on the institutions support its usage and are ready to guide the students.

2.4.5 Connectivity and Accessibility Network related challenges include a lack of connectivity, frequent internet break- down/disruptions, and high down-time of equipment in both secondary institutions and teacher education institutions in Ghana (Peprah, 2016). For example, the e-readiness report indicated that of the 501 secondary schools, only 111 had local area networks in place, and 390 did not. With regards to internet access, 89, representing 17.7% of the total number of schools, had internet. In a similar study conducted in Ghana, Mereku, Yidana, Hordzi and Tete-Mensah (2009) found out that at the pre-tertiary level, none of the computer labs were networked, and only four computers in one of the schools had internet connectivity. This situation is likely to have serious implications on teachers’ technology use for enhancing pedagogy and content knowledge in didactic teaching approaches that rely on resources from the internet. Students are also limited in their exploration of the use of the internet inside and outside the classroom to construct their knowledge (Grand-Clement,

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