Recently I have been asked to give a couple of related talks on current trends in educational technology, particularly considering what they might mean for an African higher education context. The challenge is which trends to focus attention on, especially as all global trends are refracted by the local context. I settled on four: openness, changing educational “delivery” models, changing digital content (ebooks, etextbooks and the rise of rich media), and of course mobile learning.
A talk has limited time allocated, especially after sketching the global and African higher education landscape, outlining the digital stats very briefly, and expressing a handful of Big Questions. So there were other issues which I would have liked to have mentioned viz learning analytics and the role of social software in higher education scholarship (including teaching and learning), but did not really get to.
Here is the presentation. Of course the slides are truncated, although supplemented by the notes underneath. It is typical of the field that these kinds of talks mean that there is always so much to be learnt just in the preparation (this is when I go back to my delicious bookmarks), fascinating experiments and innovations, as well as hidden away details to be tracked down. Oh and lots of glib hype, as always in this educational technology scene!
Any overall points? That there are some real opportunities to address locally shaped educational challenges with technology, that some opportunities are not being exploited (odd that), that there are emergent practices to research in a systematic way, that there is a danger that the exciting stuff is proprietary and closed and the free stuff is not so exciting, that as always there are possibilities of closing divides as well as of bridging them.
Image of The Digital Divide by Dianne Cordell Attribution Noncommercial No Derivatives