29 March 2023: Decolonising EdTech: Unpacking Conceptual Frameworks

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.


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.

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