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SMS Story: A Case Study of a Controlled Trial in Papua New Guinea

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Mobile Learning in Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific Region

Abstract

The reading proficiency of elementary and primary school children in Papua New Guinea is low, and, while many factors contribute to this, the lack of reading materials in elementary classrooms is a key contributing factor. The SMS Story research project aimed to determine the effectiveness of daily mobile phone text message stories and lesson plans to teachers on children’s reading ability in the early years of schooling in Papua New Guinea. The research was conducted in 2013 and involved an experimental design, with treatment and control schools. At baseline, treatment and control schools had comparable school characteristics and reading levels. At the endpoint reading assessment, there was a statistically significant difference between the results of students in the treatment and control schools, with the treatment group performing better than the control group across four of the five reading skills tested. Teachers in treatment schools were also much more likely to have recently employed best practice teaching methods. Thus, SMS Story was found to have had a positive influence on the teaching and learning of reading. In the context of the largest, most populous country in the Pacific, where only a second-generation (2G) mobile network is currently available in most places, SMS Story provides useful insights regarding the effective use of simple technology.

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Correspondence to Amanda H. A. Watson .

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Kaleebu, N., Gee, A., Watson, A.H.A., Jones, R., Jauk, M. (2017). SMS Story: A Case Study of a Controlled Trial in Papua New Guinea. In: Murphy, A., Farley, H., Dyson, L., Jones, H. (eds) Mobile Learning in Higher Education in the Asia-Pacific Region. Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects, vol 40. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-4944-6_30

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-4944-6_30

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