n Education as Change - The extended information ecology : a place where change can be embedded in the practice of post-graduate students

Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-3206
  • E-ISSN: 1947-9417
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There is a trend in the professional development of teachers to focus on the acquisition of educational information and communication technology (ICT) skills, often at post-graduate level. Disturbing evidence from research, however, indicates that the skills acquired in post-graduate courses in educational computing in South Africa do not necessarily lead to change in the practice of the students. This could have dire consequences for the country, which relies on the education system to equip the future workforce with the skills to cope with the demands of the digital era. Using the metaphor of an ecological information community, this paper explores the characteristics of such a community: system, diversity, co- evolution, keystone species and locality, in the context of a particular class of students, and then discusses the role that each characteristic might have to play in the non-transference of new skills into teaching practice. Reasons offered by students themselves for their reluctance to exercise their expertise are presented and, lastly, ways are suggested in which the higher education information ecology might extend to supporting students as they seek to change by initiating embryonic information communities in their own schools and classrooms.

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