Opportunities and challenges of mobile learning for promoting mathematical literacy

Zaenal Abidin, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Semarang State University, Semarang, Indonesia
Anuradha Mathrani, School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand
David Parsons, The Mind Lab, Unitec, Auckland, New Zealand
Suriadi Suriadi, School of Engineering and Advanced Technology, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand


Mathematical literacy plays an important role in supporting individuals to fulfil their professional roles in modern society. The affordances of mobile technologies as well as the emergence of new theories in mobile learning have the potential to promote mathematical literacy. However, implementation of mobile learning in Indonesian society faces challenges related to perceived ethical and learning issues in curriculum-based educational settings. This study aims to investigate the preparedness of teachers in integrating mathematics subject content with mobile technologies, especially in promoting mathematical literacy. An exploratory study has been conducted using mixed methods. Questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews were conducted to understand teachers’ knowledge in mathematical literacy and to identify opportunities and challenges for mobile learning within instruction. Findings indicate that teachers mostly do not know about mathematical literacy, indicating that the concept of mathematical literacy needs to be promoted. Further, most schools prohibit the use of mobile devices in classrooms as they are wary of inappropriate use of mobile devices which may harm students’ mental health and distract them from learning. Study finds this to be the most common cause for teachers’ reluctance in using mobile learning.