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Integration of Smart Devices in Learning and Teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, and English Language: A Systematic Literature Review, 2010-2019

Jimmy Macharia


For several decades now, educators, policymakers, technologists, and researchers have been grappling with the challenge of enhancing student learning experiences. This challenge has been made complex by a multiplicity of factors, including: changes in the learning environment, emergence and increased use of intelligent devices such as smartphones and tablets, learners’ attitudes and capabilities, employability crisis, and job market dynamics. Moreover, prior studies have asserted that although many researchers have reviewed mobile learning initiatives in different contexts, none has explored this subject in Africa. Although integration of smart devices in education, particularly in the teaching of English, mathematics, and science, has the potential to transform the learning experience, as well as achievement of learning outcomes, it remains unclear how integrating smart devices in education impact students' motivation, achievements, learning, and performance. This study reports a systematic review of the literature on smart device integration in education across various subjects. The review considered several attributes of each journal article publication, including the context of the studies done, only those articles in indexed journal databases, year and country of publication, devices used, research methods and theories used, sample size, learner level/category, and the study design adopted. The databases searched were EBSCOHost, Emerald, IEEE, INFORMS, JSTOR, SAGE, and Taylor and Francis. A total of 1382 studies published between 2010 and 2019 in seven indexed journal databases were analyzed, with 28% of the studies focusing on K-12 or primary education and 9% on secondary schools. The main findings from this review provide the current research on the state of smart device integration in education. The study established that smartphones and tablets/iPads contribute fifty percent (50%) of the devices integrated into the learning and teaching of various subjects. Further, Asia and Africa are leading in smart device integration in education. However, the United States of America is leading in studies published in journal databases. Additionally, the case study approach was the most common study design, while K-12/primary education contributed twenty-eight (28%) of all participants in the studies reviewed. This paper discusses the trends and the vision for the future. It focuses on how the integration of smart devices in education can potentially influence students’ achievement of learning outcomes in English, mathematics, and science. This review has laid the groundwork for researchers, educators, technology developers, and other stakeholders involved in the improvement of the outcomes of educational programs for learners. The findings offer new empirical evidence-based insights on the influence of smart devices on improving learning outcomes and the learning experience by integrating the devices into educational teaching and learning. 


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eISSN: 1998-1279