A Literary Guide to KwaZulu-Natal

A Literary Guide to KwaZulu-Natal by Niall McNulty, Lindy Stiebel
ISBN: 978 1 86914 357 2

For several years I was involved in a research project at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, researching authors, their books and places connected to them. We produced a number of author profiles and literary trails over the years (in collaboration with a number of co-researchers), which we published online. Working with UKZN Press, we have taken that research and compiled a literary guide, which was recently published.

Book details
KwaZulu-Natal is culturally rich, offering a wide range of writers – writing mainly in English and Zulu – who are linked through their lives and their writing to this province of South Africa. The writers include, to name just a few, Alan Paton, Roy Campbell, Lewis Nkosi, Ronnie Govender, Wilbur Smith, Daphne Rooke, Credo Mutwa and Gcina Mhlophe. And how better to understand a writer than to know about the places they are linked to? For example, who, after reading the lyrical opening sentences of Paton’s famous book Cry, the Beloved Country (1948) has not wanted to see this scene in reality?

There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, and they are lovely beyond any singing of it.

A Literary Guide to KwaZulu-Natal introduces you to the regions and writers through word and image, leading you imaginatively through this beautiful province.

Read moreA Literary Guide to KwaZulu-Natal

Innovation Africa 2017

I recently attended the Innovation Africa event in Maputo, Mozambique with colleagues from Cambridge University’s Faculty of Education, Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press‘s Education Reform and Cambridge University Press’s global digital team.

The Cambridge team in front of their stand

Read moreInnovation Africa 2017

TPACK model

For all teachers struggling to integrate ICT in education in South Africa, the TPACK model is a useful tool, providing a way to integrate pedagogy, content and technology in the ordinary course of teaching in the classroom. This model informs how pedagogy is impacted by the use of digital technology and while deceptively simple it is a powerful teaching approach.

See the diagram below for a visual representation of the model and then watch the excellent three-minute explainer video by Royce Kimmons.

Read moreTPACK model

Digital education in South Africa

What’s going on in schools?

Despite much talk from government about the needs to ready learners for the the 21st Century workplace, when it comes to state-funded schools, the South African reality is one characterised by a lack of access to technical support, unreliable internet connectivity, security concerns and limited funding for teacher training which has been slowing down the broader uptake of digital education. Despite these infrastructural issues, there is a growing interest in digital education in South Africa, often spearheaded by politicians eager to make electoral gains. On the ground, these issues are being tackled by a combination of government initiatives supported by tech companies – such as Samsung, Intel and Microsoft –  and NGO-led interventions. This often results in a haphazard implementation of digital education and a proliferation of pilot projects. 

Read moreDigital education in South Africa

How edtech can equip learners with the right skills for the 4th industrial revolution

In recent times there has been much talk of a ‘4th industrial revolution’, as the lines between physical and digital experiences blur more and more. What exactly is the 4th industrial revolution and what skills can edtech help learners develop?

What is the 4th industrial revolution?

It is the rapid advancement of new technologies that is building on the developments of the third industrial revolution (the advent of electronics and automated production). According to Klaus Schwab, the Founder and executive chairman of the WEF, the fourth industrial revolution ‘is characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres’.

How is it changing the world of work?

Read moreHow edtech can equip learners with the right skills for the 4th industrial revolution