Saide Current Awareness
20 February 2023


Distance Learning

  • UNESCO Chair on Open Distance Learning 2023 Research Seminar Series. Source: LinkedIn "The University of South Africa/Universiteit van Suid-Afrika launched the 2023 Research Seminar Series in a hybrid event that saw those in the room question the efficiency of using technology to bridge the time and distance gap between themselves and the rest of the world." Watch the proceedings here 


Education: South Africa 

  • Western Cape Education receives visit from World Bank Education Sector Analysis Source:SAGov  Officials from the World Bank are currently visiting the Western Cape Education Department to make preparations for the Education Sector Analysis (ESA), which aims to provide an in-depth understanding of the province's education status with the ultimate objective of providing recommendations on how to improve learning outcomes for the children of the Western Cape.


  • ECD sector is the cornerstone to good education Source: Sunday World The nurturing of world-class citizens who possess the skills of the future does not start at matric, but at the foundational phase, says MEC Matome Chiloane. The Nkone Maruping Primary School was a hive of activity last week as hundreds of stakeholders converged in Braamfischerville, Soweto, for the Gauteng Department of Education’s (GDE) maiden Early Childhood Development (ECD) Open Day.




  • UJ unveils electric buses- a first for a South African university Source: Sunday World The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has on Wednesday become the first ever university in South Africa to unveil electric vehicle (EV) buses which has already begun ferrying students between various campuses. The higher institution said the buses are its latest innovation in its ongoing efforts at going green and reducing carbon emissions, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • President remains mum on his 2022 school infrastructure plan Source: Sunday World After announcing an innovative delivery mechanism for school infrastructure in his state of the nation address (Sona) last year, President Cyril Ramaphosa made no mention of the programme in his address this week and efforts to get an update on it came to nought


Language and Literacies

  • The prosperity of indigenous language is a priority at the North-West University Source: IOL The South African Centre for Digital Language Resources (SADiLaR) is a national research infrastructure that is hosted at the NWU and is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation. Its strategic mandate is to create, manage and distribute digital resources as well as applicable software in all the official South African languages in order to stimulate and support research and development in the humanities and social sciences.


  • Factivism: Exploring the vital link between news literacy and youth civic engagement  Source News Wise Research " A potential antidote to growing mistrust and polarisation is education programmes that help children and young people become more news literate. In simple terms, news literacy consists of the critical thinking skills and knowledge required for evaluating the reliability and credibility of news stories and other forms of information."


Open Education and Open Educational Resources


  • Free research materials at a click - University of Konstanz Source: EurekAlert! The University of Konstanz’s new Open Science Spotlight showcases open access (OA) publications, open research data, software and open educational resources published by the university’s researchers and lecturers, thus making it easy for everyone to explore the university's research.


Post Schooling

  • Wrap-around support key to level education playing field Source: University World News Prof Ramjugernath from Stellenbosch University describes the university's partnership  with the Dell Foundation on an initiative called the Young Leaders Program that serves as "scaffolding for successful performance throughout the student’s academic career."



  • Students still battling debt despite protests and promises Source: University WorldNews Student debt has been a continuing problem for South Africa’s economy and higher education sector owing to the limited funding provided by the Department of Higher Education and Training. It is simply not enough to fund all students who are enrolled in tertiary education institutions, write Michelle Banda and Alinaswe Lusengo for Daily Maverick.




  • Student leaders asked to roll out entrepreneurship programme Source: University World News Student leaders are being recruited to roll out an online entrepreneurship training programme to their fellows. The programme, which uses the Telegram instant messaging app to deliver coursework, has already been piloted among a limited number of students at universities of technology in South Africa.


  • Collegiality – A global university governance model at risk Source: University World News  "In late January 2023, 24 scholars from around the globe met at STIAS – the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study – to present the latest results of their research projects on collegiality....Included in the three-day proceedings was a seminar with South African colleagues – Wim de Villiers, Jonathan Jansen, Daya Reddy, Palesa Mothapo and Chrissie Boughey* – who, in one way or another, shared their concerns about the state of collegiality in South African universities."


Skills and Employment 

  • South African tech company sounds the alarm on skills shortage  Source: BizTech South Africa is facing a critical shortage of skilled artisans. According to Jendamark Automation, which builds and exports electric automotive component parts, artisans are in high demand globally, with good career prospects for those who finish their vocational training programmes.


  • Conversation design (CxD)— a skillset for the future Source: Medium RMIT’s College of Vocational Education (CoVE) in Australia and The Conversation Design Institute (CDI) in the Netherlands, have partnered to deliver jointly accredited conversational AI skills programmes to Australian learners.



Teaching and Learning- Local and Global



  • GMoLS4E20 Religious Educators with Donald Clark Source:The Learning Hack Podcast This episode covers a sizeable sweep of history, from the perhaps misnamed Dark Ages and the Islamic Golden Age, on through the Renaissance, Reformation and Enlightenment. As the Christian and Islamic faiths spread, learning became a powerful tool of religion – and Religious Educators, in their turn, changed the shape of learning.


Technology Enhanced Learning


  • Practical Strategies for ChatGPT in education ChatGPT isn’t the first AI language model, but it’s definitely the one that has taken AI mainstream. Beyond the media hype about cheating, there are some very practical uses for these new technologies for teachers. This post covers six areas where teachers could use ChatGPT with examples of the kinds of prompt you can use to get the best results:
  • Teaching Writing in the Age of AI: Asking Questions This is the third post in a series exploring how teaching writing will change in the face of Artificial Intelligence large language models. The first two posts explored the kinds of writing that can and can’t be done with AI, and academic integrity.
  • AI and Assessment: ChatGPT and the Future of Education Prof and Chair in Digital Education, Mairéad Pratschke from the  University of Manchester shares her updated screencast presentation, replete with helpful resources on how to engage with  AI in creating Education 4.0.


  • Develop information literacy with Search Coach Source: Microsoft Search Coach supports educators as they teach students to search for, evaluate, analyze, and choose informational sources online. It can enhance instruction by providing students with strategies for identifying credible sources while safely navigating the web, all within Microsoft Teams for Education. Search Coach also provides educators with insights into their students’ search habits to better inform instruction on information literacy.