Dr. Susan Crichton, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus, in collaboration with colleagues in East Africa, was awarded a grant from the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, for her research in using technology to foster innovations in literacy.
Crichton is the Director of the Innovative Learning Centre (ILC), housed in the Faculty of Education. On August 28, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the International Development Research Centre announced that the selection committee for the Canada-Africa Research Exchange Grants program has approved a grant in the amount of $40,000 for the Crichton and colleagues’ project “Leapfrogging Pedagogical Challenges: Using Appropriate Technology to Foster Innovations in Literacy for the Knowledge Age.”
Crichton describes ‘leapfrogging’ as, “a term, in the context of sustainable development, which is used to describe the accelerated development of an intervention by ‘leaping over’ conventional approaches and moving directly towards more appropriate, and often more advanced ones.” Crichton references the often-cited example of when regions skip over the installation of landline telephony and move directly to mobile connectivity, leapfrogging the lack of phone access by embracing the newer, more appropriate mobile solution.
Crichton will partner with Dr. Lilian Vikiru, Assistant Professor at Aga Khan University in Tanzania —continuing a partnership, between Crichton and the Aga Khan University (AKU), which began in 2008. Funding from this grant will be used to support a faculty exchange, bringing Dr. Vikiru to the Okanagan campus for a semester, and sending Crichton back to Tanzania to continue her work with the Institute for Educational Development (IED).
The grant will help fund a second Innovative Learning Centre at AKU, IED in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The Innovative Learning Centre (ILC) brings together academics, educators, and industry to imagine the future. Specific to this grant is the fostering of innovative ways to develop learners’ multiple literacies through the exploration and adoption of appropriate technologies. The ILC explores innovative practices and technologies, embracing change, to foster new forms of knowledge building that are critical in an age characterized by substantial change and the ubiquitous access to information.
Vikiru and Crichton’s research strengthens the international research partnership, furthering the Faculty of Education’s international network, and building on the previous research my Crichton’s former doctoral student, Brown Onguko, a colleague of Viviru’s at IED,AKU.
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