The HELTASA Digital Learning and Teaching Project Team will be hosting the third digital dialogue in 2023 on Thursday the 27th of July from 12:00 – 13:30. We would like to move our conversation to a slightly different topic this time: ‘Dismantling Buzzwords in EdTech’. In the EdTech space, the field moves fast and often we find ourselves using terms that are contested, ill-defined or overused. Terms such as 4IR, digital natives, employability, digital transformation etc are pervasive and sometimes taken-for-granted. Sometimes, staff and students in higher education may engage with these concepts as if they were a given, or universally understood. Additionally, new technologies are often framed in a techno-positivist way, as if any new technology is bound to transform higher education for the better. We want to find ways to help us analyse where concepts are coming from and what kind of discourses are they implying? Are there other ways of looking at these words? We also want to unpack how some of these terms fit into the purpose of Southern African higher education in Africa. See more examples of buzzwords in higher education in this article by Matthew Alex on LinkedIn.
To create a space for a dialogue on how these buzzwords either help or hinder your practice and your engagements with students and staff at your institution, we will engage with the following questions:
- What are these buzzwords?
- What do such buzzwords achieve in our context? How do they hinder us?
- What tools are there that could help us respond to these buzzwords more critically?
Prof Amiena Peck from the University of the Western Cape will offer a short input in power, positionality and discourse to help us unpack these buzzwords.
These digital dialogues serve as a platform for the HELTASA Digital Learning and Teaching Project Team to stimulate discussion about all matters linked to digital learning and teaching within the South African higher education context. No matter if you are an academic, an educational developer, an instructional designer or have some other role, if you are interested in digital learning and teaching approaches, including online, blended and many others, we would like to hear from you.