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Daily Usage of Smartphones: New Activities for Kenyan Elite Runners
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Political Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
Department of Informatics, University West, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Mobile Technologies, Knowledge and Society, ISSN 2155-4811, E-ISSN 2155-4811, Vol. 2016, 469363Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper analyzes how a group of Kenyan elite runners used smartphones in their daily activities for one year. This study used a participatory action research approach to explore 30 young Kenyan runners’ appropriation and day-to-day use of smartphones. The runners lived in two different low-income areas in Nairobi and were not accustomed to smartphones. The research focused on how the participants utilized the smartphone, its applications, and the Web to improve their learning, training, living conditions, and social interactions. To investigate the participants’ progress, every smartphone was tracked and its usage was analyzed according to Koole’s (2009) FRAME model. Findings highlighted that new activities arose through frequent usage of the Web and smartphone applications. 180,000 different visits to websites were made and the most popular usage was searching with Google and Yahoo, entertainment, social media, news, and sports related websites. In total, 346,832 applications were used and the phone, launcher and contacts were the primary applications. However, the findings showed a significant use of communication, camera, native applications and applications for running. A concluding remark is that the smartphone acted as a powerful tool for real-life improvement such as improved learning, current events awareness and social interactions for poor people in a developing country.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Business Information Management Association (IBIMA), 2016. Vol. 2016, 469363
Keyword [en]
ICT4D/M4D, smartphones, Kenya, social interaction, learning, running
National Category
Interaction Technologies Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115803DOI: 10.5171/2016.469363OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-115803DiVA: diva2:796734
Note

The previous status on this article was Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. New ways of learning: Participatory action research and Kenyan runners’ appropriation of smartphones to improve their daily lives and participation in m-learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>New ways of learning: Participatory action research and Kenyan runners’ appropriation of smartphones to improve their daily lives and participation in m-learning
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Nya vägar till lärande : Deltagande aktionsforskning kring kenyanska löpares appropriering av smarta telefoner i vardagen för mobilt lärande
Abstract [en]

In Kenya, mobile technology is widely used, with more and more people gaining access to the Internet. Mobile technology has the potential to support learning and improve lives, particular those of impoverished people. In this study, 30 Kenyan runners from poor backgrounds and with limited formal education participated. They were provided with a basic smartphone and Internet data bundles for one year so that they could participate in m-learning. The participatory action research approach was used. Sources of data included interviews, observations, fieldnotes, web inquiries, and mobile log files. A sociocultural perspective was used to analyze how the participants learned informally using the smartphones.

Findings indicate that the Kenyan runners’ rapid appropriation and mastery of the smartphones was based on their curiosity and interest in sports. The runners’ skills and knowledge increased over time, showing how digital resources improved their training, increased their social interactions, developed entrepreneurial skills, created awareness in and with the rest of society, and improved participation in m-learning. Sociocultural analysis showed that feedback from peers and the tool itself were both significant for learning. The participants themselves influenced the research process. From their interest emerged an online course (MOOC) about human rights. Key challenges in the process were power consumption, lack of electricity, and the availability and cost of Internet access. A lack of critical attitude about content on the Internet was also discernible. The main findings highlight how mobile technology can not only improve daily lives, but also develop new ways for people to participate in mlearning.

Abstract [sv]

I Kenya är användningen av mobilteknologi och Internet utbredd och ökar stadigt. Mobilteknik visar sig ha potential att öka medborgares intressen för lärande och kunskap, och därigenom förbättra livssituationen särskilt för fattiga människor. Den här studien syftade till att med deltagande aktionsforskning analysera hur sådana processer går till. I studien deltog 30 kenyanska löpare från fattiga förhållanden och med begränsad formell utbildning. Deltagarna utrustades med en enkel smartphone med fri surf under ett år och följdes med intervjuer, observationer, webbenkäter och mobilspårning. Deras lärandeprocesser analyserades ur ett sociokulturellt perspektiv om hur teknik tillägnas – approrieras – och används i vardagliga praktiker och utvecklar lärande.

Resultaten visade att de kenyanska löparna snabbt approprierade telefonerna och fann utifrån nyfikenhet och intresset för idrott olika sätt att använda dem. Kunskaper och färdigheter utvecklades över tid och de digitala resurserna förbättrade löparnas träning, ökade sociala interaktioner, utvecklade entreprenöriella färdigheter och nya synsätt på sina möjligheter i världen.

Den sociokulturella analysen visade även att feedback från andra deltagare och/eller av tekniken i sig hade betydelse för lärandet. Forskningsprocessen påverkades av deltagarna och utifrån deras intresse skapades en on-line kurs (MOOC) om Mänskliga rättigheter. Problem i studien var telefonens energiförbrukning, brist på elektricitet, tillgång till och kostnad för Internet samt deltagarnas kritiska förhållningssätt till Internet. Det övergripande resultatet är att mobilteknologi kan förbättra livsvillkor och skapa nya vägar till lärande.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2015. 145 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Behavioural Science, ISSN 1654-2029 ; 189
Keyword
Participatory action research, m-learning, sociocultural perspective, Deltagande aktionsforskning, mobilt lärande, sociokulturellt perspektiv
National Category
Didactics Pedagogy Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-115804 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-115804 (DOI)978-91-7519-124-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-04-24, I:101, Hus I, Campus Valla, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-03-20 Created: 2015-03-20 Last updated: 2015-03-24Bibliographically approved

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