The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Charting the Future: Digital Technologies and the Transition of South Africa's Education System

Lebogang Mosupye-Semenya, Johannesburg Business School (South Africa)


This study aims to understand the transition of South Africa's online education system through an examination of niche digital technologies. While previous studies have mainly centered on Information and Communication Technologies for e-learning, this research explores emerging digital tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to understand how they are shaping education in the country, within the context of enhancing student engagement and imparting digital skills online. Using a Multi-level Perspective (MLP) framework, this study explores the dynamic interactions among various factors that contribute to shaping online education in South Africa. We evaluate the landscape developments taking place in the sector, the existing socio-technical regime, and several digital technologies at the niche level. We anticipate that the findings will reveal a prevalent reliance on conventional methods, such as Teams/Zoom, for online teaching and learning, which appear to lack significant student engagement. Additionally, we expect to observe limited adoption of emerging digital resources, including holographic technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality/Augmented Reality, the Metaverse, spatial computing, and serious gaming. This gap highlights a significant opportunity to enhance student interaction, collaboration, and engagement through more effective utilization of digital platforms. Recognizing how digital tools help students engage, educators and policymakers can adopt more deliberate strategies for their integration. This can lead to more interactive learning settings that meet the changing needs of students in today's digital world. The study introduces a conceptual framework for understanding the transition of the online education system through the disruptive influence of niche technologies, adding unique insights to the existing literature.



E-learning, Digital technologies, Metaverse, Holographic technology, Education, Multi-Level Perspective



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