Thursday, October 17, 2019

James Njenga

James Njenga

James Njenga is currently as Senior Lecturer at the University of the Western Cape. He is also a technology enthusiast. As lecturer, he focuses on Information Systems and its tremendous role in society with emphasis on educational technologies. He advocates for, and strongly believes that if used appropriately, educational technology will increase the reach, and the quality of education in Africa. He has been involved in educational technology since 2002.In addition to educational technologies, James other interests are in the areas of digital innovation, digital enterprises, and Business Intelligence.

The future of learning technologies in higher education

Educational technology is the multifaceted use of, among others, tools and resources; approaches, processes and methodologies; and strategies for improving teaching and learning. Currently, the rapid evolution of electronic technologies and associated communication networks has seen a huge increase and focus on the use of electronic technologies’ derivatives in education. While this is the dominant view of educational technology, we should exercise caution, as there are other technologies that could arguably be used in teaching and learning and probably with better results. Recognising this caution, this presentation will focus on the advances in electronic technologies, specifically with the physical, biological, and cultural embeddedness of these technologies, and their potential to revolutionise teaching and learning. The physical, biological, and cultural embeddedness of these technologies is being referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). This presentation will trace the past of education technology to the present, and thereafter, position the educational technology to the future that is hugely influenced by the main drivers of the 4IR.

Presently, the leading discussions on electronic technologies in education is on the extension of mainly Learning/Content Management Systems (LMS) to offer different kinds of content and interactions – either based on technology used in access (Mobile, Personal Computer), the reality they present (virtual, augmented or mixed), and the nature of the educational offering (online or blended). The driving forces of 4IR will drastically change these discussions, especially considering:

  1. Artificial intelligence (AI) and the growing cognitive technologies;
  2. The Internet of Things (IoTs) – and miniaturization of electronics – and the vast amount of data they produce;
  3. Advances in computational algorithms (e.g. speech recognition, machine learning, deep learning, computer vision) and the increasing scope and contexts of use; and
  4. The coupling of AI, IoTs and the computational algorithms for highly specialised uses like robotics, and remote neural monitoring among others.

This presentation will briefly focus on some projections in electronic educational technologies based on the current and forecasted state of these drivers of 4IR, and their possible effects on higher education institutions.

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