Technology: the cure-all solution to SA’s education woes?

Belinda Bantham -- Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:57

Technology: the cure-all solution to SA’s education woes?

The advances of modern-day technology have introduced new and innovative ways of learning, andnumerous studies have revealed the positive learning effects of virtual reality, online systems, and interactive applications. 

Prof Sufen Chen from the Taiwan University of Science and Technology will explore this subject on 12 March 2018 during a lecture hosted by the Optentia research focus area on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark.

The title of lecture will be “Optimise the use of technology for learning”.

Prof Sufen Chen

Photo:  Researchgate

Digital learning creates exciting and memorable experiences for learners as it is more manageable, safe, cost-efficient, clean and flexible. An increasing number of researchers are indeed proposing the replacement of physical activities with digital learning interventions. 

The question however remains whether digital learning can be a cure-all solution to South Africa’s education woes. During her lecture, Prof Chen will discuss concerns about digital learning and the meaning of physical manipulation and interaction. She will also use science laboratory learning and physical education as examples to demonstrate how to incorporate the existing applications into physical activities to create optimum conditions for effective learning.

About the expert

Prof Sufen Chen is a professor in the Graduate Institute of Digital Learning and Education at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (NTUST). She received her degree and postgraduate qualifications in physics from the National Taiwan University and her PhD in science education from Indiana University, Bloomington. 

Her research interests are science education, technology-enhanced learning, metacognition, achievement emotions and social media. Prof Chen has published in various scientific journals including the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Computers & Education, Science Education, Physical Review Physics Education Research, New Media & Society, Computers in Human Behaviour and the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning

She has integrated the fundamentals of philosophy of science and psychology into research in science education and digital learning, developed curricula and teaching modules for STEM education, and conducted activities for teacher professional development.

Her most recent work includes investigations of academic boredom in science, mathematics and English among secondary school learners, collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering to prepare creative engineers for the age of Industry 4.0, and proposing new models to look at excessive internet use.

The lecture

The lecture will take place on 12 March 2017 in the Optentia Indaba Room (G13) in Building 7 on the NWU’s campus in Vanderbijlpark. Enquiries about attending the lecture can be directed to RSVP before 8 March 2018.