I had the wonderful opportunity of being asked to attend the InSITE 2015: Informing Science + IT Education Conference in Tampa, Florida.
I was asked to present the research undertaken by Bertie Buitendag et. al. titled “Towards the Realization of the ICT Education Living Lab – The TechTeachers.co.za Success Story“
About the Informing Science Institute
“The Informing Science Institute (ISI), founded in 1998, is a global community of academics shaping the future of informing science. Submitting or publishing papers in any of ISI’s peer-reviewed online academic journals is free. With the help of sponsoring institutions, ISI now hosts the highly regarded InSITE conference in a variety of international locations twice a year. ISI electronic publications and e-books are available for free. Hard copies of ISI books and publications are available in the ISI Shop, where all proceeds enable ISI to continue sharing knowledge online free of charge.”
– From the IS web site
Towards the Realization of the ICT Education Living Lab
– The TechTeachers.co.za Success Story
“This paper presents the success story of the intuitive vision of an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) high school educator in South Africa. The growth and evolution of a Community of Practice towards a full-fledged living lab is investigated. A grounded theory study analyses the living lab concept and highlights some of the current challenges secondary high school ICT education face within the South African educational landscape. Some of the concepts, ideas, best practices, and lessons learned in the establishment and running of two web based technologies to support secondary school ICT subjects is discussed. The researchers present a motivation for the use of living labs to address some of the issues identified and highlights how the existing platforms fits into bigger design.”
– From the IS Publications page
I was very inspired to be amongst so many learned colleagues in academia. I, honestly, felt a little like a fish out of water amongst the professors, lecturers and researchers! The conference was very well organised, covered many interesting topics which I thoroughly enjoyed listening to and provided the most wonderful opportunities to meet people from literally all over the world!
There was an optional day, before the actual conference began, where we were treated with a trip to St Petersburg in Florida to visit the Florida Institute of Oceanography Research Vessel Weatherbird – a research vessel – and found out more about how they gather and process data.
A visit to the Chihuly collection at the Mourean Arts Center showcasing the most magnificent works of glass art was awe-inspiring! And then, most definitely my favourite, A visit to the Dali Museum with lunch and a talk by architect Yann Weymouth, followed by a guided tour of the museum. Inspiring and well worth the time!
I presented the TUT research and then also had some time to talk about Tech Teachers and what I do. I received many encouraging comments from various course delegates who attended the talk and felt very proud to be associated with so many of my fellow teachers in the subjects of CAT and IT.
It was indeed an honour and privilege to be among so many people from so many different countries and cultures, to discuss education and issues and to see that we are not alone with the issues we face in South Africa – particularly in the realm of technology and education.
My utmost thanks and appreciation go to the following people:
Bertie Buitendag and the Tshwane University of Technology. Bertie has done most of the work with Frederik Hattingh, I really cannot take much credit! The University had sponsored the costs of the registration for the conference.
Sandra Jacobs and Study Opportunities for sponsoring my flights to get to the USA – what a gracious sponsor indeed!