Technology has brought about an immense change to the world we live in and the use thereof has become a familiar aspect of tertiary education. Never before has the need for technology and use thereof in education been more amplified than with the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic, where learning had to continue remotely through online platforms. Although today’s students are known for their digital skills, this knowledge does not always translate effectively into the learning environment. In a developing country such as South Africa, there is also a significant digital divide. The current study focused on the possibilities and challenges of learning with technology within tertiary education. A qualitative methodology was used to elicit the perceptions of educators through focus groups and interviews. Data were thematically analysed. The findings illustrate that effective learning can take place with and through technology, but that significant work is necessary to bridge the gaps that exist. More opportunities need to be given to students to interact with technology, while educators need assistance and training to ensure that they are comfortable and astute teaching with technology. Recommendations were made, notably, to improve infrastructure and access for students to technology as well as providing more content through videos. The study concluded that effective learning can take place through technology but that this requires educators with innovative ideas, students with a willingness to learn and with the proper infrastructure in place.
Marelize Malan, University of Johannesburg, South Africa