Toward Culturally-Inclusive Educational Technology in a Globalized World

Toward Culturally-Inclusive Educational Technology in a Globalized World

Ademola Alabi Akinrinola (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA), Seun Bunmi Adebayo (National University of Ireland Galway, Ireland), Lulu Uriri. Onakpoya (University of Houston, USA) and Ucheoma C. Nwaozuru (Saint Louis University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9746-9.ch014

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors introduce and define the concept of culturally-inclusive educational technology (CIET) and explore its role in improving teaching and learning outcomes in Nigeria's higher education system. Using Critical Discourse Analysis as an analytical framework, they systematically interrogate existing research outputs on the use of educational technology. They argue that even with the increasing use of educational technologies in Nigeria, challenges such as lack of awareness and resources in adopting educational technologies and poor reflection of students' cultural and cognitive differences limit quality teaching and learning. The findings in this chapter significantly contribute to knowledge by detailing the potential impact of CIET on improving teaching and learning. They provide insights for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners on interactions across culture, technology, and education in a global context.
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Introduction

This chapter examines the role of a Culturally-inclusive Educational Technology in a globalized world in improving teaching and learning outcomes in Nigeria’s higher education system. Despite the increasing use of educational technologies in Nigeria’s higher educational system, challenges such as a lack of awareness and resources in adopting educational technologies, and poor reflection of students’ cultural, and cognitive differences limit quality teaching and learning. Therefore, there is a need to customize educational technology tools to incorporate the cognitive diversities of socio-cultural groups.

The advent of globalization, arguably, is one of the greatest forces that has shaped human history, particularly in the last two decades. However, the ‘pervasiveness’ of globalization cuts across economic, political, and sociocultural lines. In addition, the glocal (global-local) landscape is increasingly changing as actors—individuals, organizations/institutions, and governments: local, national, regional, and international—within both spaces interface along borderless geographic, and socio-cultural spheres. It is observed that higher education sectors, for example, have witnessed increasing calls and efforts to respond to globalization (Rumbley, Altbach, & Reisberg, 2012, p. 2). We adopt Rumbley et al.’s definition of globalization as “the broad economic, technological, and scientific trends that directly affect higher education” (2012, p. 2). Building on Bloom et al.’s (1956) taxonomy (cognitive domain), we introduce Culturally-inclusive Educational Technology (hereafter referred to as CIET) as technological tools and practices which positively reflect and engage students’ sociocultural and cognitive diversity in the teaching and learning process.

As organizations leverage on globalization to expand the scope and breadth of their business operations, employers have expressed growing interests to hire employees who possess necessary intercultural awareness, capacities, and competences, to function in the global workplace. The culminating effect of this expressed need, brought about by globalization, is one of the major reasons stakeholders of higher education have identified and continue to aspire towards internationalization “as a strategic objective essential to the relevance, dynamism, and sustainability of the world’s 21st-century institutions and systems of higher education” (Rumbley et al., 2012, p. 4).

This chapter, therefore, examines how effective CIET in a globalized world influences teaching and learning outcomes in higher education systems in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), using Nigeria as a case study. We employ a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of literature, scholarly articles and reports related to the chapter’s research question: How does a culturally-inclusive educational technology in a globalized world improve teaching and learning in Nigeria’s higher education system?

With CDA, we interrogate existing research outputs on the use of educational technology and its impact on teaching and learning. It is intended that the findings of this chapter will not only make a significant contribution to knowledge by detailing the impact of CIET on teaching and learning in a higher education system, but will also provide insights to researchers, policy makers, and practitioners on available interactions between culture, technology, and education in a global context.

This chapter starts with a CDA of literature on educational technology more globally. Thereafter, we conceptualize CIET and explore the concept at the global level. The chapter continues with examining educational technology in SSA’s higher education. We then explore the use of technology and present the role of CIET in Nigeria’s higher education system. Finally, conclusion and implications of CIET for improved teaching and learning in Nigeria’s higher education system are presented.

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