Towards a Shared Understanding of Emerging Technologies: Experiences in a Collaborative Research Project in South Africa
While the practice of using educational technologies in Higher Education is increasingly common among educators, there is a paucity of research on innovative uses of emerging technologies to transform teaching and learning. This paper draws on data collected as part of a larger study aimed at investigating emerging technologies and their use in South African Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to improve teaching and learning. The research employed a mixed method research design, using both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods—quantitative data from a survey of 262 respondents from 22 public HEIs in South Africa and qualitative data gathered from 16 experts/practitioners on their self-reflective definition of the term “emerging technologies.” The paper concludes that levels of institutional development, access to resources, discipline, group belonging and individual motivation of respondents influenced the way they defined emerging technologies including what constituted an innovative use of technology, foregrounding the contextuality of emerging technologies.
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