29 March 2023: Decolonising EdTech: Unpacking Conceptual Frameworks

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In collaboration with EdTech Hub we are pleased to offer this series of three writing workshops particularly aimed at emerging African EdTech researchers. We will be hosing three workshops starting with Decolonising EdTech: Unpacking Conceptual Frameworks happening 30 March. Once finalised we will announce the two other workshops happening in April and May respectively. Workshop 1 is led by Dr. Taskeen Adam and Nariman Moustafa, both from EdTechHub. Please see below for more information and sign up for the session here via Zoom.

Description of workshop 1:  

In this author’s workshop, we engage with, unpack and bridge conceptual frameworks around decoloniality and social justice in education, particularly within the education technology space (EdTech). The aim of the workshop is to support emerging researchers and research practitioners to understand what conceptual frameworks are, and to introduce participants to decolonial conceptual frameworks that they can use and adapt in their work. Additionally, we share how new conceptual frameworks can be built. Loosely defined, conceptual frameworks illustrate the relationship between different concepts, theories and/or variables. A conceptual framework may be used and tested in deductive research, or developed through inductive research. 

While much has been written about “decolonial education” and “decolonial research methods”, conversations on ‘decoloniality in EdTech’ are still nascent. Decolonising EdTech involves dismantling the ‘relations of power and conceptions of knowledge’ that are reproduced through EdTech in: its fundamental assumptions; its content; its pedagogical underpinnings; its design; and its implementation through national, international and development efforts. 

In this interactive workshop, we will engage with some foundational texts and ideas in decolonial theory relating to: Globalising education, western-centric epistemological and pedagogical underpinnings in EdTech, dominant languages used to achieve EdTech product scaling, “core-to-periphery” implementation of EdTech products and technological design critiques. The workshop will include time to reflect and discuss ideas in breakout groups. We hope this workshop inspires and supports you to contribute articles to the emerging field of decolonising edtech. 

Overview and context

In a context where Sub-Saharan African education systems, economic systems, governmental systems, academia, and the region itself continue to experience the legacies of colonisation, this workshop series seeks to create and support a sustainable and critical community of emerging researchers, research-practitioners and academics in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), with a focus on the field of Education Technology (Edtech) in order to:

  • address the colonial issues embedded in the field of Edtech, and academic publishing systems and processes whereby epistemic orthodoxy systematically excludes non-Western epistemological, ontological, and methodological practices, and; 
  • produce ground-breaking work that will catalyse distinctively African educational scholarship, voices, thoughts, experiences and agendas. 

This will be the first of a series of workshops covering critical and declonial educational technology conceptual frameworks, decolonising research methods, research tools, techniques, ethics and governance, and supporting SSA researchers towards publication.

Objectives of the writing workshops series 

Goals involve: 

  • To create and support a sustainable and critical community of emerging academics in Sub-Saharan Africa concerned with the topic of Decolonising Educational Technology. 
  • Enable participants to submit high-quality papers to journals on educational technology such as – but not limited to – the UNESCO Chair Special Edition on Decolonising Education Technology.

Audience 

The call for applications is open to emerging researchers or research practitioners from Sub-Saharan Africa, with a particular focus on education, education technologies, critical pedagogies, decolonising education, decolonising edtech, education and social justice, digital inclusion and digital rights in education, edtech and power. Participants from diverse backgrounds and minority groups are encouraged to apply. 

Please sign up via Zoom here

Presenter’s Bio:

Dr. Taskeen is a Co-Director with Open Development & Education and a Senior Research Lead at EdTech Hub. She specialises in topics such as tech-supported teacher professional development, virtual learning environments and open education. She completed her PhD on  ‘Addressing Injustices through MOOCs: A study among peri-urban, marginalised South African youth’ at the University of Cambridge. Her research highlighted that historical injustices, cultural imposition, and economic dependence continue to play a pivotal role in education. Her MPhil thesis focused on the ‘Sustainable Implementation of the One Laptop per Child project in Rwanda’. Alongside her academic pursuits, she pioneered Khwela (a regional online course platform) and Solar Powered Learning in South Africa as well as Mobile Education for Smart Technology in India. Prior to her career shift to EdTech, she worked as an electrical engineer, specialising in measurement and control. Publications available here.

Twitter handle: @TaskeenAdam  @opendeved

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/taskeen-adam-2027a150/ 

Website link:  https://opendeved.net/ 

Nariman Moustafa is a Senior Analyst at Open Development and Education. She brings 10+ years of experience in the fields of international (basic and tertiary) education, social innovation, higher education teaching, as well as agile and adaptive management/leadership. Her skills include facilitation of social transformation processes, designing education programmes and learning experiences, catalyzing innovations, leading critical participatory processes & community organizing, policy analysis and research. She has worked on projects that range from consulting for governments on how to act better with limited resources to designing & facilitating experiential learning programs for world leaders around justice-based leadership approaches to creating global alliances and networks for re-imagining education. She is previously a founder and director of Mesahat: Liberating Learning Spaces (Cairo, Egypt), a network that envisions the creation of learning cities through the spread of inter-connected self-organized, social-justice based, and lifelong learning online and offline communal learning spaces using agile methods and embodied democratic practices. She currently voluntarily serves on the working groups that direct the Ecoversities Alliance, the latter comprises more than 150 higher education institutions around the globe that aim to reimagine higher education through reviving and reclaiming diverse knowledge ecologies using decolonial inquiry methods, with a focus on the global south. Nariman completed her Master’s in Education Science from Harvard University where she also assists in teaching several courses on topics of adaptive leadership and community organizing.

Twitter handle: @NarimanMoustafa @opendeved

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nariman-moustafa/ 

Website link: https://edtechhub.org/https://opendeved.net/  

About the partners/organisers 

EdTech Hub is a global research partnership. Our goal is to empower people by giving them the evidence they need to make decisions about technology in education. We use an integrated approach that marries research, technical assistance and innovation to address the educational challenges faced by low- and middle-income countries around the world. We do this by collaborating with partners to provide governments with the resources to effectively integrate EdTech into their education systems. We work globally, and also on the ground in 7 focus countries: Bangladesh, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. We are supported by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, World Bank, and UNICEF. Learn more at www.edtechhub.org

Emerge Africa 

e/merge Africa is an educational technology network which is mostly for educational technology researchers and practitioners in African higher education. Since 2014 e/merge Africa has offered regular professional development activities in the form of online seminars and workshops and short courses.

Facilitating Online Course in 2023

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This year the Facilitating Online course ran three well attended course cohorts and we are now open for registration for our 2023 cohorts. The dates for all four 2023 cohorts are the following:

6 February – 31 March 2023 (Apply by 13th January 2023)

24 April – 16 June 2023 (Apply by 31st March 2023)

24 July – 15 September 2023 (Apply by 30th June 2023)

16 Oct – 08 December 2023 (Apply by 22nd September 2023)

Please apply here

About the course

Facilitating Online provides a solid foundation for facilitating online events and courses. It is registered as a short course at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Facilitating Online was developed by the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at UCT and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its support for the e/merge Africa network. It is convened by Tony Carr and co-facilitated by facilitators from across Africa.

We consider applications in the order in which they arrive so earlier applications stand a higher chance of being accepted

Recommendations by participants

“I learned many facilitation skills that I am now able to apply with my own students. I would recommend the course highly to anyone embarking on the online teaching and learning journey.”
Dr Judith McKenzie, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Cape Town.

“This course doesn’t just teach you ABOUT online Facilitation, it actually gets you to facilitate … It’s a real opportunity to learn and develop. And what’s more? It has an African taste…”
Daniel Adeboye, Online Maths Tutor, Tutor for the Future

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21 April 2022: Moving into the post-pandemic future

Date and Time: Tuesday, 21 April: 15:00 – 17:00 SAST

Description of the session:  

This workshop is designed to provoke colleagues to dream, scheme and plan together for the post pandemic future. We will use a range of facilitation processes to unleash the best thinking and creativity in the room about issues such as 

  • the metaphors for our journeys through the pandemic, 
  • our learning that transfers to the post-pandemic future, 
  • structural changes needed in our institutions, 
  • how to ensure that our institutions carry forward lessons from the pandemic, and 
  • how to construct better blended lives. 

Much of the workshop will take place in parallel breakouts on specific questions where participants can choose which room to join.

Session Facilitator:  

Tony Carr is an Educational Technologist in the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching at University of Cape Town and convenor of e/merge Africa. 

To join this session please sign up via Zoom here

Are you an educational technology user working in African higher education? Educational technology usage in African higher education has been changing for a while now, and even more so since the pandemic. Completing the e/merge Africa-IRCEES survey is a powerful act of participation in growing e-learning capacity across our continent. We need your help with this. The results will help us to design online opportunities aligned with your needs and suited to our African contexts. This survey should take between 15-30 minutes to complete. Please complete the survey HERE.