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Exploring Utility and Intrinsic Value among UAE Arabic Teachers in Integrating M-Learning

Authors: Dina Tareq Ismail, Alexandria A. Proff

Abstract:

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a nation seeking to advance in all fields, particularly education. One area of focus for UAE 2021 agenda is to restructure UAE schools and universities by equipping them with highly developed technology. The agenda also advises educational institutions to prepare students with applicable and transferrable Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills. Despite the emphasis on ICT and computer literacy skills, there exists limited empirical data on the use of M-Learning in the literature. This qualitative study explores the motivation of higher primary Arabic teachers in private schools toward implementing and integrating M-Learning apps in their classrooms. This research employs a phenomenological approach through the use of semistructured interviews with nine purposefully selected Arabic teachers. The data were analyzed using a content analysis via multiple stages of coding: open, axial, and thematic. Findings reveal three primary themes: (1) Arabic teachers with high levels of procedural knowledge in ICT are more motivated to implement M-Learning; (2) Arabic teachers' perceptions of self-efficacy influence their motivation toward implementation of M-Learning; (3) Arabic teachers implement M-Learning when they possess high utility and/or intrinsic value in these applications. These findings indicate a strong need for further training, equipping, and creating buy-in among Arabic teachers to enhance their ICT skills in implementing M-Learning. Further, given the limited availability of M-Learning apps designed for use in the Arabic language on the market, it is imperative that developers consider designing M-Learning tools that Arabic teachers, and Arabic-speaking students, can use and access more readily. This study contributes to closing the knowledge gap on teacher-motivation for implementing M-Learning in their classrooms in the UAE.

Keywords: ICT Skills, M-Learning, self-efficacy, teachermotivation.

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