Technology enhanced teaching and learning in South African higher education ? A rearview of a 20 year journey

12 Jun 2017

In the last 20 years, the South African higher education has changed significantly,influe nced by global trends national developm ent goals and pressure from localeducati onal imperative s, in the context of a digitally networked world. Shifts in technologyenhance d pedagogical practices and in discourses around information and communicationtechnologies (ICTs) have had varying degrees of influenc e in higher education. This papertakes a rearview of a 20-year journey of technology enhanced learning in South Africanhigher education. An analysis of literatur e view is presented chrono logically in four phases:phase 1 (1996?2000), phase 2 (2001?05), phase 3 (2006?10) and phase 4 (2011?16).In phase 1 techn ology was used predomin antly for dril l a nd practice, computer-aidedinstruction, with growing consciousness of the digital divide. In phase 2 institutionsprimari ly focused on building ICT infrastructure, democratizing informati on, policydevelopm ent and resear ch; they sought to com pare the effec tiveness of teaching with orwithout technology. During phase 3 institutions began to include ICTs in their strategicdirecti ons, digital divide debates focused on epistemol ogical access, and they also began toconduct research with a pedagogical agenda. In phase 4 mobile learning and social mediacame to the fore. The researc h agenda shifted from whether students would usetechnology to how to exploit what students already use to transform teaching and learningpractices. The paper conclude s that South Africa?s higher education institutions havemoved from being solely respons ible for both their own relatively poor ICT infrastructureand education prov ision to cloud-based ICT infr astructu re with ?unlimited? educati onalresources that are freely, openly and easily available withi n and beyond the institution.Although mobile and social media are more evident now than ever before, teaching andlearning practice in South African higher education remains largely unchanged.