Learning technologies in South Africa


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Fundamentalism, Legacy, Implosion, Explosion, Fact and Fiction: Perspectives on Learning Technologies for the South African landscape

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Learning technologies in South Africa

  1. 1. Fundamentalism, Legacy, Implosion, Explosion, Fact and Fiction: Perspectives on Learning Technologies for the South African landscape Duan van der Westhuizen University of Johannesburg 12 September 2012
  2. 2. The creation of the TechnopolyThe god Theus was the inventor of many things, including writing He boasted to Thamus, king of Egypt, about improving the wisdom of the nation when he invented writingSaid Thamus: “What you have discovered is a receipt for recollection,not for memory. And as for wisdom, your pupils will have thereputation for it without the reality: they will receive a quantity ofinformation without proper instruction, and in consequence bethought very knowledgeable when they are for the most part quiteignorant. And because they are filled with the conceit of wisdominstead of real wisdom they will be a burden to Society”
  3. 3. Web 3.0? Web 4.0? 2004 - Web 2.0/FOSS 2003 Mobile learning 1989 - The Internet 1982 - Computer Multimedia 19xx VCR/ Laser Discs/Television 1960 - Teaching machines 1930 - Radio 1922 - Film 1450 - Printing press BC - Writing
  4. 4. Education surrenders to the Technopoly• 1975: Seymour Paper - Logo – Microworlds• “Technology …. going to displace school and the way we understand school”• 1985: Apple Classroom of tomorrow• No empirical evidence > greater achievement• Higher Education: Online education became “educationally seductive”• Learning Management Systems • Digital Diploma Mills (Noble, 1998)• Commodification of knowledge (Amory)
  5. 5. So much going on … Web Analytics 2.0
  6. 6. So much going on … locallyBut currently in our schools?Teachers? Learners?E-Education policy: 2013 looms: “by 2013 every learnerand teacher will be ICT capable”
  7. 7. What’s else is hot?• MOOC (e.g. mobiMOOC)• Webinars• Tablets & mobile learning• The ‘flipped classroom’• Digital storytelling• Publishers and LMS vendors collaboration• Making e-Books• Cloud computing• Crowdsourcing• Badge-based learning• Megatrends: http://goo.gl/dqHaB
  8. 8. Google in EducationGoogle +• Hangouts• Multiple Administrators• Direct Connect
  9. 9. Learning Technologies: Mashups
  10. 10. Learning Technologies: Curation Digital curation is the selection, reservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets, generally referred to the process of establishing and developing long term repositories of digital assets for current and future reference by researchers, scientists, historians, and scholars. Wikipedia
  11. 11. Learning Technologies: CurationPearltrees.com
  12. 12. The knowledge of the world in your pocket?
  13. 13. Learning Technologies: Resources
  14. 14. Welcome to the new Internet http://www.project10x.com/Welcome To The New Internet: Simple Design, Short Names, No AdsSvbtle, a Stripped-Down Blogging PlatformBranch, a Free-Floating Comment/Discussion SystemApp.net, An Infrastructure-Level Version of Twitter
  15. 15. The Internet is still a very White place (for Web 4.0)
  16. 16. What does RESEARCH say?The positive impact of ICT use in education has not been provenIn general, and despite thousands of impact studies, the impactof ICT use on student achievement remains difficult to measureand open to much reasonable debate.“There is neither a strong and well-developed theoretical casenor much empirical evidence supporting the expected benefits ofICT …”Contrasting evidence: BECTA (2002) and Machin et al(2006)found positive effects, while Fuchs & Woessman (2004), Leuvenet al (2004) and others found no real positive effect
  17. 17. Lack of large-scale meta-analyses• Most prior meta-analyses were conducted on Distance Education• Kulik & Kulik pre-1980• Most recently by US DoE: Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning: A Meta-Analysis and Review of Online Learning Studies• Project RED: THE TECHNOLOGY FACTOR
  18. 18. Insufficient local research• Van der Westhuizen (2002), there is little research addressing and locating specifically local concerns• Annotated Bibliography on e-Learning and Application of Educational Technology in African Countries, or in Contexts Relevant to Africa (Carnegie)• Deficits in Academic Staff Capacity at African Universities (Partnership for Higher Education in Africa, 2010)• Growth in student numbers not met by growth in staff• Lack of female staff• Low numbers of PhD and M students• Staff qualifications• SA: CHE Report on Higher Education Landscape
  19. 19. What has been done recently?• USA: One to One
  20. 20. What has been done recently?
  21. 21. Why did technology not live up to its promise?• Perpetuation of fundamentalist views on: – Knowledge – Teaching“The Assessment that is missing is the understanding of the – primary thing•possibility. Most people cannotlike and what it this new kind of learning look envision what put books on Most e-software willis an attempt to means.” educational a computer: duplication or virtualisation of (Schank) the classroom “The leadership decisions youll make in the exercise may•differ somewhat from your real- life circumstances, but most Lack of authenticity of the principles and ideas can easily be transferred and Lack of activity (learning by telling)•applied to your job.” (Schank)
  22. 22. The Fundamentalist Teacher• Is an experienced teacher• Protects the status quo• “It works, it always has worked (for me – look, I’m OK)”• Student performance is a direct consequence of diligence• Failure is the result of (laziness/ability)• Absolves the fundamentalist from responsibility• Inhibits reflection on teaching
  23. 23. Social DarwinismDeriving ‘ought’ Herbertfrom ‘is’ SpencerThe strongest/fittest will survive and prosper, the weak will die outBelief: Not all students can succeed – adherence to the bell curvePrevious ill-informed reforms killed the dream of being a teacher
  24. 24. The case for technology“Technology is an essential component of human agency—cultureprovides the ‘tool kit’ of technologies, techniques and procedureswith which different groups and communities learn about, respondto, act on and manage their experience of the world” (Bruner, 1996)“.. [it] is not likely that the current methods of teaching and learningwill suffice to prepare students for the lives that they will lead in thetwenty-first century.” (John Seely Brown, 2008) It is not really possible today to be relevant, nor effective if you teach without technology.
  25. 25. Seriously?
  26. 26. Connectivity
  27. 27. Internet usuage
  28. 28. South Africa
  29. 29. Web 2.0 is also about• Accepting that you are already digital – Digital footprint (calculator @ www.emc.com) – Spezify – Mendeley – Publish or Perish – http://personas.media.mit.edu• Building blocks of a networked , digital scholar• Creation, Curation, Collaboration, Communication• Going “open”• Teaching digitally (“techno expression”)
  30. 30. Duan van der Westhuizen is “Digitally Distinct”
  31. 31. Contemporary views on learning– Ken Robinson • Learning institutions as factories • Killing creativity– Jerome Bruner: Learning to be– Knowledge exchange vs knowledge creation– Authentic learning and assessment– Teaching as learning activity design– 21st Century Skills
  32. 32. 21st Century themesLearning and innovation skillsInformation and media skillsLife and career skills
  33. 33. Open Educational Resources• Creative Commons Licensing• Directory of Open Access Journals (www.doaj.org)• OpenDoar (www.opendoar.org)• Sherpa/Romeo (www.sherpa.ac.uk )• Project Gutenburg
  34. 34. Innovative spaces
  35. 35. The Enquiring Mind www.enquiringminds.org.uk Enquiring Minds is .… - A response to modern challenges - An approach which takes seriously the knowledge that students have
  36. 36. Blueprint for –learning success
  37. 37. Blueprint for –learning success
  38. 38. Beware of the rhetoric• 21st Century skills: are the 4 C’s and the 3 R’s not also 20th Century skills?• Technology won’t fix bad teaching, fixing bad teachers will• We dare not use technology to perpetuate past practices 50% first year• Technology is NOT cheaper intake 0% ICT skills!• Technology is NOT the answer for poorly performing institutions• Technology use HIGHLIGHTS equity issues
  39. 39. Sources• Did you know• http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm• http://edutechdebate.org/ict-in-schools/there-are-no-technology-shortcuts-to-good-education• http://www.devaindustries.com/articles/ITProm.htm• http://www.learningtimes.com/what-we-do/badges/• http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/• http://www.edutopia.org/core-concepts• http://www.socraticarts.com/docs/Educational_Technology_-_The_Promise_and_The_Myth.pdf
  40. 40. Tools