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Hypermobile Learning in an Anti-Mobile Society: Four Tanzanian Universities and One Globe

Koenraad Stroeken (UGent) and Mohamed Ghasia (UGent)
(2017)
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Abstract
The contradictions of depoliticized (economic) globalization in Africa south of the Sahara are reinforced by current communication technologies. Inadequate ICT skills among students and teachers, traditional philosophy of teaching and learning, lack of technical expertise on digital contents production, lack of relevant e-learning curriculum, and selective investments in ICT infrastructure have led to ‘hypermobile learning’. We witness the imbrication of neo-colonial object-subject relations with the fractal of domesticated fertility (the lure of foreign novelty) characterizing ‘forest fringe cultures’ in Africa. The internet and smartphones hailed for facilitating elegant assemblages of work and leisure, of private and public spheres, contribute to blurring the divides that traditionally maintained the integrity of individuals. Dealing with ailing ICT infrastructure in African universities, both lecturers and students are expected to produce coping strategies from their personal mobile devices. Our qualitative research shows both groups to complain about the hypocrisy of the educational system, which bans the wayward smartphone in the formative primary and secondary levels, yet counts on that very tool for students to accomplish their university studies. Available mobile networks are overloaded such that students choose to wait until midnight to access them. The new forms of bricolage between technologies and life/work cycles, ambivalently propagated as m-learning, in fact impede structural interventions, sustained power brokerage and life-time mobility. The implied ‘human sacrifice’, we argue, is what occupy-sites and recent student protests in (South) Africa decry.

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Chicago
Stroeken, Koenraad, and Mohamed Ghasia. 2017. “Hypermobile Learning in an Anti-Mobile Society: Four Tanzanian Universities and One Globe.” In African Studies Association.
APA
Stroeken, K., & Ghasia, M. (2017). Hypermobile Learning in an Anti-Mobile Society: Four Tanzanian Universities and One Globe. Presented at the 60th Annual Meeting ASA, African Studies Association.
Vancouver
1.
Stroeken K, Ghasia M. Hypermobile Learning in an Anti-Mobile Society: Four Tanzanian Universities and One Globe. African Studies Association; 2017.
MLA
Stroeken, Koenraad, and Mohamed Ghasia. “Hypermobile Learning in an Anti-Mobile Society: Four Tanzanian Universities and One Globe.” African Studies Association, 2017. Print.
@inproceedings{8562962,
  abstract     = {The contradictions of depoliticized (economic) globalization in Africa south of the Sahara are reinforced by current communication technologies. Inadequate ICT skills among students and teachers, traditional philosophy of teaching and learning, lack of technical expertise on digital contents production, lack of relevant e-learning curriculum, and selective investments in ICT infrastructure have led to {\textquoteleft}hypermobile learning{\textquoteright}. We witness the imbrication of neo-colonial object-subject relations with the fractal of domesticated fertility (the lure of foreign novelty) characterizing {\textquoteleft}forest fringe cultures{\textquoteright} in Africa. The internet and smartphones hailed for facilitating elegant assemblages of work and leisure, of private and public spheres, contribute to blurring the divides that traditionally maintained the integrity of individuals. Dealing with ailing ICT infrastructure in African universities, both lecturers and students are expected to produce coping strategies from their personal mobile devices. Our qualitative research shows both groups to complain about the hypocrisy of the educational system, which bans the wayward smartphone in the formative primary and secondary levels, yet counts on that very tool for students to accomplish their university studies. Available mobile networks are overloaded such that students choose to wait until midnight to access them. The new forms of bricolage between technologies and life/work cycles, ambivalently propagated as m-learning, in fact impede structural interventions, sustained power brokerage and life-time mobility. The implied {\textquoteleft}human sacrifice{\textquoteright}, we argue, is what occupy-sites and recent student protests in (South) Africa decry. },
  author       = {Stroeken, Koenraad and Ghasia, Mohamed},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Chicago},
  publisher    = {African Studies Association},
  title        = {Hypermobile Learning in an Anti-Mobile Society: Four Tanzanian Universities and One Globe},
  url          = {https://africanstudies.org/images/final\_program\_ASA2017.pdf},
  year         = {2017},
}