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The impact of South Africa’s ICT infrastructure on higher education

Brown, Cheryl; Thomas, Herbert; van der Merwe, Antoinette; van Dyk, Liezl

Abstract:
In this paper we describe South Africa’s information and communication technologies (ICTs) infrastructure, highlight the issues South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) face in terms of ICT access and argue that a greater awareness of these issues can help us plan better e-learning interventions in Higher Education. We draw on recent research about the use of ICTs in our sector describing the prevailing and emergent practices with regard to the pedagogic integration of ICTs as well as a survey conducted amongst 14 “e-Learning managers” from South African HEIs. The South African ICT infrastructure of concern to HEIs are evaluated in terms of issues such as internet users, bandwidth, demographic divides, cost and cell phone subscriptions. Barriers to e-learning that affect staff and students across institutions are also highlighted. We then examine what these constraints mean for teaching and learning and provide some suggestions as to how opportunities can be maximised. It is concluded that despite our varied HE institutional contexts, each with their own infrastructural and organisational challenges, there are definite areas for collaboration, joint research projects and sharing of good practice. These opportunities are critical for e-learning practitioners, especially whilst we are operating in an environment of resource constraint.

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Title of Paper: The impact of South Africa’s ICT infrastructure on higher education
Conference Name: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on e-Learning
Conference Date: 2008-06-26
Published as Proceedings: yes


Date:2008
Document Type:Conference Paper (Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Teaching and Learning
Country:South Africa
Keywords:Access to Higher Education, ICT (Information & Communication Technology), Management Information Systems, Management of Higher Education, South Africa


File Size:4.91 MB
Rights:Self-archived
Date Added:12 February 2009


Brown, Cheryl; Thomas, Herbert; van der Merwe, Antoinette; van Dyk, Liezl (2008). The impact of South Africa’s ICT infrastructure on higher education Paper presented at the Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on e-Learning, University of Cape Town, South Africa, 26 June 2008