Saide Current Awareness
29 April 2024


Distance Education

  • Decolonising Digital Education: lessons from distance learners Source: London International Development Centre Hear students' experiences on decolonizing the curriculum & gain tips for a more inclusive online classroom in this thoughtful and personal panel discussion that occured on the 17 April 2024.
  • MA Adult Education Program Distance Education Planning Template with Resources Source: Massachusettes Adult Education  ACLS and the SABES Program Support PD Center have developed a Distance Education Program Planning Template, which outlines the components that programs will need to incorporate as they develop evidence-based, high-quality distance education programs. This version of the Distance Education Planning Template includes links to resources and PD, which are embedded in each topic area to help with planning. These resources include new "On Demand" PD recordings that can be accessed at any time.


Education: South Africa


Language, Literacies and Research Writing

  • Three decades of freedom: Too many flaws in SA’s education system Source: UCT News In June 1976, thousands of black school children took to the streets in Soweto over the use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction at majority black schools. More than 100 pupils died and approximately 700 were injured that day, and their bravery marked a turning point in South Africa’s liberation struggle. Almost 50 years since that fateful day, and 30 years since the advent of democracy, and the struggle of the class of 1976 continues, as the medium of instruction remains a fundamental flaw in the current basic education system, according to Dr Xolisa Guzula, an early literacy expert in the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) School of Education
  • TikTok fears point to larger problem: Poor media literacy in the social media age Source: The Conversation If the US wants to protect young people from misinformation and foreign influence, focusing on TikTok is barking up the wrong tree.
  • World Book Day: four reasons to unplug and read a paper book Source: MediaUpdate The Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA) has announced that World Book Day 2024 is centred around the theme 'Read Your Way', calling on everyone to let go of pressure and expectations, giving children a choice — and a chance — to enjoy reading. According to the National Reading Survey, more than half of South African adults still live in households without literature and this is not improving over time. It also reports that some 65% of children turn 10 years old without having a single picturebook in their homes.
  • Boost Your Brain: Scientists Develop New Method To Improve Your Reading Efficiency Source: Scitech Daily Researchers have developed a training method that improves reading efficiency by training individuals to distinguish between known and unknown words. This method, which enhances word recognition and processing, has shown promising results in studies and will be expanded in future research funded by the German Research Foundation. 


Open Access, Open Education and Open Educational Resources


Post Schooling


Skills and Employment

  • South Africa’s youth are a generation lost under democracy – study Source:The Conversation David Everatt ,Professor of Urban Governance at the  University of the Witwatersrand reports on his recent study "tracing 30 years of analysing youth marginalisation which "has found that youth in South Africa, who make up 34.3% of the population, have not fared well under democracy. They are the hardest-hit by unemployment and the lack of opportunities, and show high alienation. and says"
  • New partnership aims to create jobs for SA youth in the pharmaceutical sector Source: SA GoodNews A leading pharmaceutical company, Pharma Dynamics, has joined hands with the Youth Employment Sector (YES), a private sector led initiative, with the aim of unlocking South Africa’s demographic dividend by investing in skills development and job creation initiatives for the youth.The company has committed an initial R6 million towards the human capital investment that will give 88 young people an opportunity to gain invaluable work experience in a number of sectors. Over time the aim is to provide a springboard to career advancement within the pharmaceutical and healthcare supply chains.
  • Navigating the impact of South Africa’s digital nomad visa on local coders Source: ITWeb Remote work is gaining popularity, allowing individuals to combine travelling the globe with maintaining full-time employment. And in exciting news for digital nomads – South Africa will launch a new digital nomad visa featuring two categories: a remote working visa and a critical skills visa. These visas aim to attract remote workers and skilled professionals globally as part of South Africa’s efforts to position itself as a global hub. Once put into action, this move would establish Mzansi as only the fifth African nation offering this kind of visa to people who spend long periods working in different countries.


Teaching and Learning: Local and Global


Technology-Enhanced Learning

  • The Artificial Intelligence Assessment Scale (AIAS): A Framework for Ethical Integration of Generative AI in Educational Assessment Source: Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice . "The AIAS empowers educators to select the appropriate level of GenAI usage in assessments based on the learning outcomes they seek to address. The AIAS offers greater clarity and transparency for students and educators, provides a fair and equitable policy tool for institutions to work with, and offers a nuanced approach which embraces the opportunities of GenAI while recognising that there are instances where such tools may not be pedagogically appropriate or necessary. By adopting a practical, flexible approach that can be implemented quickly, the AIAS can form a much-needed starting point to address the current uncertainty and anxiety regarding GenAI in education."
  • ‘Eugenics on steroids’: the toxic and contested legacy of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute Source: The Guardian. Founded in 2005 and lauded by Silicon Valley, the Nick Bostrom’s centre for studying existential risk warned about AI but also gave rise to cultish ideas such as effective altruism. Two weeks ago it was quietly announced that the Future of Humanity Institute, the renowned multidisciplinary research centre in Oxford, no longer had a future. It shut down without warning on 16 April. Initially, there was just a brief statement on its website stating it had closed and that its research may continue elsewhere within and outside the university.
  • Instructors as Innovators: a Future-focused Approach to New AI Learning Opportunities, With Prompts Source: SSRN This paper by Ethan Mollick and Lilack Mollick explores how instructors can leverage generative AI to create personalized learning experiences for students that transform teaching and learning. A range of AI-based exercises that enable novel forms of practice and application including simulations, mentoring, coaching, and co-creation are presented . For each type of exercise, prompts that instructors can customize, along with guidance on classroom implementation, assessment, and risks to consider, are provided. 
  • The mechanisms of AI hype and its planetary and social costs Source: Springer "This paper aims to dissect the phenomenon of AI hype in light of its core mechanisms, drawing comparisons between the current wave and historical episodes of AI hype, concluding that the current hype is historically unmatched in terms of magnitude, scale and planetary and social costs. We identify and discuss socio-technical mechanisms fueling AI hype, including anthropomorphism, the proliferation of self-proclaimed AI “experts”, the geopolitical and private sector “fear of missing out” trends and the overuse and misappropriation of the term “AI” in emerging technologies. The second part of the paper seeks to highlight the often-overlooked costs of the current AI hype. We examine its planetary costs as the AI hype exerts tremendous pressure on finite resources and energy consumption. Additionally, we focus on the connection between AI hype and socio-economic injustices, including perpetuation of social inequalities by the huge associated redistribution of wealth and costs to human intelligence. "