A community-based approach to new medium integration in South African education : a combination of ICT4D process approach and ethnographic action research techniques

Doctoral Thesis

2013

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University of Cape Town

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Our initial study indicates that successful integration of new communication medium into South African schools is not only challenging from the financial point of view, but also in terms of designing tools that fit within educational goals, as well as the training and support of relevant personnel in order to use the new medium effectively. Training and support effort, however, are often seen as top-down or outside-in approach that many teachers and past integration efforts have identified as being one of the contributing factors to integration failure. By looking at past integration efforts, as well as through our own initial study and in the field, we recognise similar results and challenges in efforts to introduce information and communication technologies into developing communities. Work done by Heeks et al. (Heeks & Molla, 2009) (Walton & Heeks, 2011) identified the Process approach as a contributing factor towards successful Information and communication technologies for development projects. We developed a novel approach to medium integration in education by combining the Process approach with Ethnographical Action Research techniques as well as taking into account recommendations made by past medium integration in education. To evaluate our approach we implemented the Process approach at an Ethnographical Action Research site with the researcher as one of the teachers with the objective of integrating the mobile medium into the school.
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