Modern phones such as the smartphones come with multipurpose functions which may include; Digital camera, audio recorder, video recorder, multimedia messaging, game platforms, computer adjunct, document viewers, wallet, and many others. According to Ramesh Jain, professor at University of California, Irivine, on his weblog (2005) “Mobile phones are becoming very powerful and are likely to become a dominant device for Communication, Computing and Content (CCC).”
Educational institutions have witnessed an astronomical increase in the use of mobile phones by students in recent times. ( Adenya & Oyeyinka-Oyelaran 2002). The same scenario applies to the nursing and midwifery training colleges (NMTC). A study carried out at Ball State’s Hanley Institute for mobile media research on students’ use of mobile phones, revealed that students not only use a mobile phone for voice calls, but they also use it to e-mail, send text, download and listen to music and access social media sites.
According to Cheung,(2008) students use their mobile phones for tagging location, status update, and broadcasting where they are and what they are doing to their friends.
Ling (2004) asserts that much has been made of how rapid advances in technology have changed the way we learn and communicate. In terms of personal interaction, social networking tools such as MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Texting, and YouTube have become common methods of communication for most students in tertiary institutions including the nursing and midwifery training colleges. There have also been technology changes in the way formal learning takes place with smartphones in the classroom, iPhone applications, and online course offerings. It can no longer be argued that these technologies do not exist or that they are not widely used. However, questions that remain unanswered are; do these technologies actually enhance learning, and do students believe that they have significant impact on their academic performance in their various academic institutions?
As indicated above, the uses of mobile phones by students in the various training institutions are multidimensional and therefore have their impact on academic performance in many aspects of the students endeavor. To this end, this work seeks to examine the impact of mobile phone usage on students’ performance in the Tamale NMTCs.