Transforming Initial Teacher Education Program with Mobile Technologies. A synthesis of qualitative evidences


  • Ayubu Ngao Beijing Normal University in China
  • Guoyuan Sang Beijing Normal University
  • Jo Tondeur Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Jimmy Ezekiel Kihwele Mzumbe University
  • Jasmin Omary Chunga Beijing Normal University



mobile technologies, initial teacher education program, transforming, synthesis of qualitative evidence


Mobile technologies have increasingly been used in education for enhancing teaching and learning among students. The authors reviewed qualitative studies that focused on approaches towards transforming initial teacher education programs with mobile technologies. With the use of meta-ethnography approach, we compared, contrasted and interpreted the synthesis of qualitative evidences across numerous studies. This review analyzed 13 eligible studies from Web of Science conducted in different countries from 2012 to 2022. The findings were divided into three sections: (1) theme related to conceptions about the use of mobile technologies at micro-level (e.g., perceptions and affordances), (2) themes related to institutional approaches at the meso-level (e.g., professional training, technical supports, motivating and collaborative environment) and (3) theme related to policies and financial supports at the macro-level. Based to these findings, the model for transforming initial teacher education programs with mobile technologies was developed. By intensive discussions of the results, feasible conclusions were derived and future directions for further research on mobile technologies were provided.

Author Biographies

Guoyuan Sang, Beijing Normal University

Dr. Guoyuan Sang is a full Professor in the Institute of Teacher Education Research, Faculty of Education at Beijing Normal University (Center for Teacher Education Research of Beijing Normal University, Key Research Institutes of Humanities and Social Sciences in Universities of Ministry of Education). He is the Chief Specialist of UNESCO-INRULED. He has been listed in the Most Cited Chinese Researchers ranking during 2014-2021.

Jo Tondeur, Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Dr. Jo Tondeur is a Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (MILO). My research interests are in the field of instructional design and educational innovation. Most of my work focuses on ICT integration in teaching and learning processes. In more recent work, I am especially interested in exploring the interplay between (ICT) innovations and professional development, with a specific focus on behavioral science. Also in this area I investigate themes at the individual level, e.g. educational beliefs, and at school level, e.g. leadership. To present how these themes relate, the SQR-model was developed, focusing on strategies to prepare teachers for ICT integration. 

Jimmy Ezekiel Kihwele, Mzumbe University

Dr Jimmy Ezekiel Kihwele (PhD) is a lecturer in the Department of Education Foundations and Teaching Management at Mzumbe university in Tanzania. Dr Kihwele is interested in research areas related to policies and practices in teacher education

Jasmin Omary Chunga, Beijing Normal University

Jasmin Omary Chunga is a scholar in the field of education who majored in International and Comparative Education. She is a PhD scholar at Beijing Normal University in China. Her research interest related to educational leadership and policies. 


Ames, H. M., Glenton, C., Lewin, S., Tamrat, T., Akama, E., & Leon, N. (2019). Clients’ perceptions and experiences of targeted digital communication accessible via mobile devices for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health: a qualitative evidence synthesis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2019(10).

Atkins, S., Lewin, S., Smith, H., Engel, M., Fretheim, A., & Volmink, J. (2008). Conducting a meta-ethnography of qualitative literature: Lessons learnt. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 8(1), 21.

Baran, E., Uygun, E., & Altan, T. (2017). Examining Preservice Teachers’ Criteria for Evaluating Educational Mobile Apps. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 54(8), 1117–1141.

Baytiyeh, H. (2018). Students’ Use of Mobile Technologies. International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Education, 14(1), 73–85.

Biddix, J. P., Chung, C. J., & Park, H. W. (2016). Faculty use and perception of mobile information and communication technology (m-ICT) for teaching practices. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 53(4), 375–387.

Burden, K., & Hopkins, P. (2016). Barriers and Challenges Facing Pre-Service Teachers use of Mobile Technologies for Teaching and Learning. International Journal of Mobile and Blended Learning, 8(2), 1–20.

Cheon, J., Lee, S., Crooks, S. M., & Song, J. (2012). An investigation of mobile learning readiness in higher education based on the theory of planned behavior. Computers & Education, 59(3), 1054–1064.

Churchill, D. , L. J. , C. T. , & F. B. (2016). Mobile learning design: Theories and applications. Springer.

Churchill, D., Pegrum, M., & Churchill, N. (2018). The Implementation of Mobile Learning in Asia: Key Trends in Practices and Research. 1–41.

Churchill, D., & Wang, T. (2014). Teacher’s use of iPads in higher education. Educational Media International, 51(3), 214–225.

Finn, A. N., & Ledbetter, A. M. (2013). Teacher Power Mediates the Effects of Technology Policies on Teacher Credibility. Communication Education, 62(1), 26–47.

Flemming, K., Booth, A., Garside, R., Tunçalp, Ö., & Noyes, J. (2019). Qualitative evidence synthesis for complex interventions and guideline development: clarification of the purpose, designs and relevant methods. BMJ Global Health, 4(Suppl 1), e000882.

Flemming, K., Booth, A., Hannes, K., Cargo, M., & Noyes, J. (2018). Cochrane Qualitative and Implementation Methods Group guidance series—paper 6: reporting guidelines for qualitative, implementation, and process evaluation evidence syntheses. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 97, 79–85.

France, E. F., Uny, I., Ring, N., Turley, R. L., Maxwell, M., Duncan, E. A. S., Jepson, R. G., Roberts, R. J., & Noyes, J. (2019). A methodological systematic review of meta-ethnography conduct to articulate the complex analytical phases. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 19(1), 35.

Hamzah, A., & Muchlis, N. F. (2018). The exploration through the factors affecting students’ adoption on m-learning technologies. 020023.

Handal, B., MacNish, J., & Petocz, P. (2013). Adopting Mobile Learning in Tertiary Environments: Instructional, Curricular and Organizational Matters. Education Sciences, 3(4), 359–374.

Hoffmann, M. (2017). An Exploratory Study: Mobile Device Use For Academics. Research in Social Sciences and Technology, 2(1).

Jie, Z., & Sunze, Y. (2021). Investigating pedagogical challenges of mobile technology to English teaching. Interactive Learning Environments, 1–13.

Kalinic, Z. , A. S. , S. M. , A. Z. & R. v. (2011). The development of a mobile learning application as support for a blended e-learning environment. Technics Technologies Education Management, 6(4), 1345–1355.

Kearney, M., Burden, K., & Rai, T. (2015). Investigating teachers’ adoption of signature mobile pedagogies. Computers & Education, 80, 48–57.

Kearney, M., Schuck, S., Burden, K., & Aubusson, P. (2012). Viewing mobile learning from a pedagogical perspective. Research in Learning Technology, 20(1), 14406.

Ledbetter, A. M., & Finn, A. N. (2013). Teacher Technology Policies and Online Communication Apprehension as Predictors of Learner Empowerment. Communication Education, 62(3), 301–317.

Li, S. C., & Choi, T. H. (2014). Does social capital matter? A quantitative approach to examining technology infusion in schools. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 30(1), 1–16.

Lim, C. P., & Churchill, D. (2016). Mobile learning. Interactive Learning Environments, 24(2), 273–276.

Martins, J. V. G., Menezez, R. M. T. de, Terçariol, A. A. de L., Gitahy, R. R. C., & Ikeshoji, E. A. B. (2018). The use of mobile devices in the college classroom: project method and mobile technologies in higher education. Revista Ibero-Americana de Estudos Em Educação, 13(esp1), 500–519.

Morris, P. L., & Sarapin, S. H. (2020). Mobile phones in the classroom: Policies and potential pedagogy. Journal of Media Literacy Education, 12(1), 57–69.

Naismith, L. and L. P. and V. G. N. and S. M. (2004). Mobile technologies and learning. Futurelab.

Noblit, G., & Hare, R. (1988). Meta-Ethnography. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Park, Y. (2011). A pedagogical framework for mobile learning: Categorizing educational applications of mobile technologies into four types. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 12(2), 78.

Price, A. M., Devis, K., LeMoine, G., Crouch, S., South, N., & Hossain, R. (2018). First year nursing students use of social media within education: Results of a survey. Nurse Education Today, 61, 70–76.

Purssell, E. (2020). Can the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme check‐lists be used alongside Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation to improve transparency and decision‐making? Journal of Advanced Nursing, 76(4), 1082–1089.

Qarkaxhja, Y., Kryukova, N. I., Cherezova, Y. A., Rozhnov, S. N., Khairullina, E. R., & Bayanova, A. R. (2021). Digital Transformation in Education: Teacher Candidate Views on Mobile Learning. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (IJET), 16(19), 81.

Sebbowa, D. K., & Muyinda, P. B. (2018). The utilisation of a Mobile Phone Forum on the Winksite application in the teaching and learning of History: a case study of Pre-service Teachers at Makerere University. Yesterday and Today, 20, 124–147.

Song, Y. (2014). “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)” for seamless science inquiry in a primary school. Computers & Education, 74, 50–60.

Syaharuddina, S., Husain, H., Herianto, H., & Jusmiana, A. (2021). The effectiveness of advance organiser learning model assisted by Zoom Meeting application. Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences, 16(3), 952–966.

Tatum, N. T., Olson, M. K., & Frey, T. K. (2018). Noncompliance and dissent with cell phone policies: a psychological reactance theoretical perspective. Communication Education, 67(2), 226–244.

Tavernier, M., & Hu, X. (2020). Emerging Mobile Learning Pedagogy Practices: Using tablets and constructive apps in early childhood education. Educational Media International, 57(3), 253–270.

Tindell, D. R., & Bohlander, R. W. (2012). The Use and Abuse of Cell Phones and Text Messaging in the Classroom: A Survey of College Students. College Teaching, 60(1), 1–9.

Tsai, P.-S., & Tsai, C.-C. (2019). Preservice teachers’ conceptions of teaching using mobile devices and the quality of technology integration in lesson plans. British Journal of Educational Technology, 50(2), 614–625.

Wang, M., & Shen, R. (2012). Message design for mobile learning: Learning theories, human cognition and design principles. British Journal of Educational Technology, 43(4), 561–575.

Wong, L. H. and C. C. K. and T. C. L. and L. M. (2010). Students’ personal and social meaning making in a Chinese idiom mobile learning environment. Educational Technology & Society, 13(4), 15–26.

Wong, L.-H., & Looi, C.-K. (2011). What seams do we remove in mobile-assisted seamless learning? A critical review of the literature. Computers & Education, 57(4), 2364–2381.

Xue, S., & Churchill, D. (2020). Teachers’ private theories and their adoption of affordances of mobile social media: a qualitative multi-case study of teachers’ integration of WeChat in higher education in China. Educational Media International, 57(3), 208–232.

Yilmaz, D., Tekkaya, C., & Sungur, S. (2011). The Comparative Effects of Prediction/Discussion‐Based Learning Cycle, Conceptual Change Text, and Traditional Instructions on Student Understanding of Genetics. International Journal of Science Education, 33(5), 607–628.






Peer Review Articles