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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 3, No. 4 (2007) open journal systems 


The role of ICTs in higher education in South Africa: one strategy for addressing teaching and learning challenges

Shaheeda Jaffer, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Dick Ng'ambi, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Laura Czerniewicz, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Abstract
One of the most common problems of using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education is to base choices on technological possibilities rather than educational needs. In developing countries where higher education is fraught with serious challenges at multiple levels, there is increasing pressure to ensure that technological possibilities are viewed in the context of educational needs. This paper argues that a central role of educational technology is to provide additional strategies that can be used to address the serious environmental and educational challenges faced by educators and students in higher education. The educational needs manifest in South African universities include addressing general lack of academic preparedness, multilingual needs in English medium settings, large class sizes and inadequate curriculum design. Using case studies from one higher educational institution, this paper shows how specific and carefully considered interventions using ICTs can be used to address these teaching and learning concerns. These examples serve to demonstrate some ways in which teaching and learning may be enhanced when uses of educational technology are driven by educational needs. The paper concludes that design of educational technology interventions should be driven by educational needs within the context of a broader teaching and learning strategy which requires buy-in of both educators and learners.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556