Editors Picks from our 17-31 October Current Awareness Alerts

The following are highlights from our 17th – 31st October Current Awareness alerts. They are selected from the various categories on which we source the latest information and resources. 


Education: South Africa 

Early childhood education can break cycle of poverty but is plagued by 'wicked problems' - experts 

  • Finland has plans to strengthen its early childhood education partnership with South Africa. 
  • Experts say early childhood education can help to break the cycle of poverty in the country and will allow young children the chance to be agents for change. 
  • But North-West University Professor Mariette Koen says the "wicked problems" in the sector needs to be dealt with to unlock the pathway to sustainability. 

See related articles on this issue  


South Africa takes ‘valuable lessons’ on education best practice from Finland 

A ‘best practice’ education system is the foundation for the European country’s economic success and its ranking as the world’s happiest place. Now Finnish experts are coming to SA to share their insights. 


SA education experts weigh in on emulating Finland’s teacher training strategies 

In the wake of Finnish Education Minister Li Andersson’s visit to South Africa, Maverick Citizen asked South African education experts about what can be learnt from Finland’s teacher training strategies. 


Experts call for bigger early childhood development budget ahead of Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement 

The Ilifa Labantwana early learning programme has proposed a three-year acceleration plan for early childhood development funding ahead of the 2022 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement. 


Open Education and Open Educational Resources 

OER Student Toolkit 

This toolkit explains the benefits of OER and provides guidance on how students can help promote OER adoption. 


An Open Education Reader 

A collection of readings on open education with commentary. 



The Open Encyclopedia of Educational Technology is a living volume that provides an entry point for learning about the educational technology field and that evolves over time with additional contributions and resources. 


Language and Literacy 

Critical Reading Skills: An Urgent Challenge 

A focus on improving students’ critical reading skills, while essential, is missing from many conversations about student success, Alice S. Horning writes. 


Post Schooling 

USAf Higher Education Conference 2021 Report 

This report captures the proceeding of the 2nd USAF conference -  the largest hybrid conference in the higher education sector with 23 universities in attendance- held in 2021. Adopting the theme , The Engaged University, the conference explored ways on how the higher education sector should engage with the broader society and as such the report captures the plenary sessions discusisons as well as the work of the five strategy groups. 


Teaching and Learning 

International perspectives on teaching and learning forged during Covid 

Academics from around the globe share practical advice and lessons learned for those teaching online now or in future turbulent times 


Learning Design Voices 

An online space dedicated to the work of learning design practitioners from around the world with a focus on practises in less well-resourced contexts. Pre-prints of each chapter are released under an open access licence as they become available. ‘The book aims to create a space for learning designers whose voices are insufficiently heard, to share innovative designs within local constraints and, in so doing, reimagine learning design in a way that does not reproduce the binary power relations of centre and periphery.’ 


Technology Enhanced Learning 

Can Analyzing Clicks in Digital Systems Predict Which Students Are Struggling? It Depends. 

This article asks if big data from the LMS can predict success in a class, based on a research paper published recently of which the mixed results surprised the investigators.  


Thriving Online: A guide for busy educators 

An open access guide which focuses on helping educators (secondary school and higher education level) succeed and thrive in blended and online learning settings. It includes chapters on Fostering creativity and critical thinking online and how to create an online learning module as well as a dedicated section on feedback and assessments.