Thursday 19 August 2010

Survey Results: Mobile learning for ELT

The purpose of the survey was to ascertain the level of awareness and openness to mobile learning among English language teachers. I also wanted to find out to what degree and how teachers were already using mobile learning both in their teaching and and professional development and to establish whether they would be willing to pay for and use mobile content. The survey also collected information about the teachers’ existing access to mobile services and the kinds of device they are using to get access to mobile Internet.

The survey was carried out during June and July of 2010. The survey was answered by over 500 English language teachers.

The results of this survey were collected online using a web based survey site called The online survey was distributed through:
  • My Twitter Network (3k teachers world wide)
  • The British Council’s ELTeCS list (15k teachers world wide)
  • A number of email based ELT discussion lists (these are long established lists from around the world. They are teaching rather than technology focused)

The respondents are likely to be early technology adopters as they are mostly people who are already involved in some form of online teaching network. However the majority of the networks used to distribute the survey were not focused on the use or discussion of technology in teaching, but are mainly forum to discuss mainstream teaching.
I hope you find this information useful. Many thanks to all those people who took the time to answer the questions and share information.

Related links:

Nik Peachey


HelCol said...

It would be interesting to know where people are using mobile technology - I'm based in Spain and mobile technology is very expensive (although prices are coming down slightly) and this unfortunately prohibits me and my (mostly teenage) students from using it. I have an internet capable phone but can't afford the monthly payments to use the internet as well as pay for home internet and other phone charges. I would love to be able to use my phone for internet both professionally and privately. In the meantime, I do feel me and my students are missing out on a serious future language learning tool. I wonder if other TEFL teachers have these types of issues?

Kipp Rogers said...

Thanks for sharing your research Nik. There is so little available on mobile learning as it applies to teaching. Keep up the great work!

JohnAHobson said...

The problem with using mobile phones is that

1. Not all children have them.
2. Many have older phones with very limited facilities
3. Some ethnic groups don't want their children especially girls to have phones (they have of course) so they are reluctant to openly admit they have one.
4. How do monitor or assess?

I could go on. In reality the phone is a deadend. Some type of tablet connected to the cloud is were we are going but that's a few years away yet.

Nik Peachey said...

Hi HelCol

These are precisely the kinds of issues mentioned by other teachers in the survey. Cost is still a big factor even though it is constantly coming down.

I was actually very surprised by the range of countries where mobile learning is being used and the survey showed that many developing countries were leap frogging the more developed ones in this area. I'll try to find and publish the file containing the locations of the respondents.



Ganesh Parameswaran said...

I am from India. I did not participate in the survey. The cost of technology is still high in India though it has dropped over the last few years. My concern is: does tech driven tools really add to wisdom as much as they add to flow of information? That the latter is happening is not in doubt.


Ganesh P.

Nik Peachey said...

Hi Ganesh

I take your point about the flow of information. Certainly technology has enabled a much greater flow of information and this I believe is a very good thing. Coping with the amount is a challenge though. I wrote a short paper with tips on how to cope with information overload and turn information into knowledge. You can see it here: From Information to Knowledge.

I'm not sure that any technology though can actually add to wisdom. I think technology is neutral and can only be used by people to develop their own or the wisdom of others. It is a tool and how much you develop through it depends on how well you use or are taught to use it.



Nicky said...

Thanks for sharing the results of your survey, Nik. I am of course in complete agreement with all of your findings, and especially your final paragraph in the pdf analysis :-)

Neil Ballantyne and myself did a workshop on mobile technologies at the recent British Council Moscow Unconference (conference bloggers' reports here We put together a handout of info/resources on mobile learning for participants, and if anybody would like to download it, it's here:

Hope this is helpul,

Nik Peachey said...

Thanks for sharing Nicky. That looks really useful.

Tara Benwell said...

Hi Nik,

Thanks so much for sharing the results of your survey. It's all great news and is very helpful to Red River Press. Some of our iPhone and iTouch apps will be available on the iPad very soon. If you know of any teachers or bloggers who may be interested in reviewing them, please let me know.

Thanks again for sharing this with us!