Saide Current Awareness
21 August 2023


Distance education 

  • Research, Writing, and Creative Process in Open and Distance Education Source:Open Book Publishers (OBP) This collection of reflective essays is a treasure trove of advice, reflection and hard-won experience from experts in the field of open and distance education. Each chapter offers tried-and-tested advice for nascent academic writers, delivered with personal, rich, and wonderful stories of the authors’ careers, their process, their research and their writing, and the struggles and triumphs they have encountered in the course of their careers.


 Education: South Africa 


Open Education and Open Educational Resources

  • Generative AI, Synthetic Contents, Open Educational Resources (OER), and Open Educational Practices (OEP): A New Front in the Openness Landscape Source: Research Gate This paper critically examines the transformation of the educational landscape through the integration of generative AI with Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Educational Practices (OEP). The emergence of AI in content creation has ignited debate regarding its potential to comprehend and generate human language, creating content that is often indistinguishable from that produced by humans. This shift from organic (human-created) to synthetic (AI-created) content presents a new frontier in the educational sphere, particularly in the context of OER and OEP. The paper explores the generative AI's capabilities in OER and OEP, such as automatic content generation, resource curation, updating existing resources, co-creation and facilitating collaborative learning.


Language and Literacies  

  • UCT lauded after a recent Language Resources Audit Source: UCT News The University of Cape Town (UCT) was lauded for its commitment to multilingualism, including teaching/learning of African languages, at a recent Universities South Africa (USAf)-supported Language Resources Audit. This after a USAf delegation conducted interviews with staff and students in a bid to assess UCT’s implementation of the New Language Policy Framework for Public Higher Education Institutions in South Africa. 


Post Schooling

  •  VitalStats Public and Private Higher Education Data 2021 Source: CHE This report provides comprehensive insights into the data concerning both public and private higher education for the year 2021
  • High praise for Future Professors initiative from its fellows Source: University World News The Future Professors Programme (FPP), is a national, collaborative initiative with the goal of developing excellence and leadership in a select pool of academic staff, and one of the South African Department of Higher Education and Training’s staff development programmes.
  • Young woman’s passion for technology, environment pays off Source: University World News Zimbabwean student Muongeni Tamara Manda has made history as the only woman from Africa to make it to the global top 30 emerging young space leaders.
  • The importance of post-school education in an unequal society Source: IT Online Dr Emma Whitelaw believes post-school education is a powerful tool for catalysing social mobility in South Africa, and it’s for this reason that she dedicated her PhD research to the topic – to demonstrate its importance, identify gaps that need to be addressed, and showcase the long-term benefits for the next generation. Whitelaw, a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), graduated with her PhD in economics last month.
  • South Africa’s science, innovation pipeline nears retirement Source: ITWeb South Africa continues to witness a decline in innovation and R&D expenditure in some key sectors. outh Africa’s science, technology and innovation (STI) landscape is faced with the conundrum of an aging workforce. 
    The proportion of STI human resources increased from 7.3% in 2011 to 10.4% in 2020/21. However, this is mainly staff over 60 years of age (both men and women), reveals higher education, science and innovation minister Dr Blade Nzimande.
  • UCT’s new student academy answers global call for ethical, humane young leaders Source: UCT The University of Cape Town (UCT) will answer the African and global call for well-equipped, ethical and humane young leaders when it launches the Leadership Academy (UCT Lead) on 15 August. The academy will target all UCT students and not only those in formal leadership roles.


Skills and Employment 


Teaching and Learning- Local and Global


Technology Enhanced Learning

  • AI, ethics, and academia Source: The Future Trends forum Bryan  Alexandra talks to  Donald Clarke, lifelong educational technology innovator and teacher, entrepreneur, CEO, professor, author of Artificial Intelligence for Learning, and blogger.
  • E53: The AI Revolution in Education with Shawn Jansepar, Director of Engineering at Khan Academy Source: Cognitive Revolution AI  In this episode, Nathan sits down with Shawn Jansepar, Director of Engineering at Khan Academy, to discuss their GPT-4 powered Socratic tutor, Khanmigo.
  • AI and L&T week 2023 Source: UTS Youtube channel. The playlist comprising 5 recorded sessions and the blog post on 5 things we learned at the AI x L&T week. 
  • Why AI Literacy is So Important Source: Soveral Youtube Channel AI Literacy (consisting of Awareness, Knowledge, Capability, and Critical Thinking) is extremely important and an imperative that we must address in academia. This video describes specific reasons why AI Literacy is so important to students, faculty, and everyone.  
  • What to do when you’re accused of AI cheating Source: Washington Post AI detectors like Turnitin and GPTZero suffer from false positives that can accuse innocent students of cheating. Here’s the advice of academics, AI scientists and students on how to deal with it.
  • Helping teachers bring AI to the classroom critically, ethically, & responsibly.  Source: The AI Pedagogy Project A curated collection of assignments bringing a critical lens to Artificial Intelligence (AI), built collaboratively with educators. We give teachers the tools to examine AI’s dangers, benefits, and inevitable impact in the classroom.
  • ChatGPT’s code interpreter redefines generative AI Source: IT Online ChatGPT took the world by storm in November 2022 and since then cutting-edge software updates have been announced – including a code interpreter which has the potential to transform the world of data science and programming, rendering the field more accessible, efficient, and flexible.


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