n South African Journal of Higher Education - Online education and training : well-founded pedagogy or state-corporate interests?




There is much enthusiasm for the use of new information and communications technologies (ICT) and online education and training (OET) in particular, in higher education. ICT is presented as a panacea for all contemporary education and training problems. But using ICT and OET is subject to similar practical and theoretical problems long debated in the extensive literature on open and distance learning (ODL), and to a small but growing critical literature on its use in education. These literatures have largely been ignored by advocates of ICT. The question is why their enthusiasm persists.

It is argued that the answer to this question can only be found by drawing on the literature on ODL, the critical literature on using ICT in education, and placing the issue in the context of state, corporate and higher education relationships, in today's neo-liberal, global capitalist society. It is suggested that the enthusiasm for ICT/OET reflects state-corporate interests rather than well-founded pedagogy.


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