Towards a shared understanding of emerging technologies: experiences in a collaborative research project in South Africa
Towards a shared understanding ofemerging technologies: experiences in a collaborative research project in South Africa
Authors Daniela Gachago1, Eunice Ivala1, Judy Backhouse2, JP Bosman3, Vivienne Bozalek4, Dick Ng’ambi5, Kathy Watters41 Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town 2 University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 3 Stellenbosch University, Cape Town South Africa 4 University of the Western Cape, Bellville 5 University of Cape Town Presented at emerge 2012 9-20 July 2012
What are we hatching? Intro Background More about Emerging Technologies in HE How we did the research (Methodology) What did we find? (Discussion) Conclusion
Introduction to the paper open Real-lifeEmerging technologieson the rise collaboration transform Large research project interactions paradigmsDefinition!!! team individual
Background to the researchResearch = Qualitative empowered freedomoutcomes (Henschke) < distance partners 262 22 HEIs Survey (Aug/Sep ’11) similarities differences 18 8 SA HEIsResearch team OCW
More about emerging technologies International Uncertainty interest & confusionNew Media ConsortiumSiemens & TittenbergerVeletsianos
New Media Consortium (www.nmc.org)“likely to have a large impact onteaching, learning, or creativeexpression within higher education”
Siemens & TittenbergerET = Social softwareNot neutralMultiple affordances
Veletsianos “tools, concepts, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings to serve varied education-related purposes” 5 characteristics Context specific and not necessarily new
“we feel that the emerging understandings of this team will providevaluable insights into the meaning of this concept in the specific SouthAfrican context, with its historical intra-institutional disparities”
How we did the research Interpretative qualitative approach March 2012 – n=16 (out of 18) Written reflections coded (constant comparative analysis) Wider team discussion (validity) Nuances differed from Veletsianos Ethical clearance
What did we find?Team members’ individual definitions of emerging technologiesClosely echoed Veletsianos’ 5 characteristicsDepth of engagement varied
 Emerging within a context“the type of technology would NOT need to have beendeveloped currently /recently but would have beenused for the first time in a context”“very different contexts in developing countries (ascompared to Europe, Asia, Australasia and the USA forexample) as well as the differentiation in the contextsof the various South African Higher EducationInstitutions”“So what is emerging in Paris may be some years offemerging in Parys.”
 ETs are evolving (state of dev)“[they are] on the rise, upcoming andgaining in momentum” … “changing quickly”
 Undergo Hype cycles“new technologies that have not movedbeyond the first two stages (adoption by“innovators” and “early adopters) ofEverett Rogers’ (1962) Diffusion ofInnovations”“Sometimes it never will make it as far asParys, maybe because Parys hasn’t heardof it, or doesn’t see the need for it, or bythat time it has been superseded bysomething else.”
 Not fully understood/ researched“I believe that emerging technologies arehappening in spaces that are not alwaysaccessible to formal education andeducators...I believe that a lot ishappening without us knowing orrealising”.
 Potential is seldom fulfilled“Emerging technologies have the potentialto be transformatory and lead toqualitative educational outcomes but this isnot necessary the case – forexample, Second Life [a virtual world] canbe used to expose students to drill andpractice type of learning that happens inany event in face-to-face traditionalpractice”
New  Special practitioners & fun“Only a small proportion of lecturers in HEare that innovative or interested in usingtechnology that they have the time,energy or inclination to investigate cuttingedge technology”“People need a lot of enthusiasm and timeto keep up...emerging technologies arefun, so this time is spent effortlessly”
New  Empowering - Agency“do not reside in the institutionaldomain, but are owned by lecturers andstudents alike”.“The way that people use technologyhelps to shape it”
Conclusions Interrogated emerging understandings of emerging technologies (ongoing process) Collective understanding of the concept evolved Heavily influenced by Veletsianos’ definition Nuanced layers of understanding Potential to transform teaching and learning practices Two additional characteristics (risk-takers & agency) Why and how a lecturer appropriates technology impacts on the emerging nature of technologies – it is people who make technologies emerging!!!!
Conclusions II“the use of emerging technologies seemsto allow a more flexible, autonomous,creative and personalised use of thesetechnologies, which may lead to anincreased sense of ownership andlecturer’s and student engagement.”
Future researchStudents’ engagement with technologies and how it impacts on their learning.
Thank you!Thank you to the NRF for funding this projectas well as all the team members for theircontributions.See project website on:http://emergingicts.blogspot.com/The full data can be found at:http://www.emergingicts.blogspot.com/p/survey-data.html
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