Learn Today: 10 Education Jargon-Phrases that You Will Need for 2015

Just for some fun, see how good your 2015 education jargon is. Our new-age GWF media man, Ryan, has put together an e-learning paragraph below. Do you know what he’s saying?

“OERs and MOOCs were big winners in 2014, as far as edtech goes, but there is no doubt that the continual migration to m-learning will lead to increased gamification in education, in particular adaptive e-learning. However, as technology continues to explode, it is imperative that we focus on narrowing the digital divide, ensuring that everyone has access to virtual classrooms.”

If you kind of know what was just said, well done. If you want to decode it, or learn a few more things about digital literacy today, have a look at the glossary that we have put together below. There are some interesting facts, relevant to you if you are a teacher, student, or just someone interested in education. Don’t miss the word coined by our CEO Kate Groch and the team at GWF at the end of the article.

1. Education Technology refers to the effective use of technological tools in learning. It is a systematic, iterative process for designing instruction or training used to improve performance. Educational technology is sometimes also known as instructional technology or learning technology. I have included the term here as you will most likely come across it as “EdTech” or “EduTech”. On Twitter, look out for #edutech.

2. Open Education Resources (OER) are teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain. Open educational resources include full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge. An example is Khan Academy where the slogan is “For free. For everyone. Forever.”

3. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are large free open online courses.  Anyone can enroll or join a MOOC and users take part in the course remotely without paying a fee for participation. Some MOOCs are self-directed and some involve the support of a teacher. Peer networking and support can be an important aspect of some MOOCs. A good example is Coursera, one of the largest MOOCs in the world.

4. Blended Learning is a solution that integrates classroom-based training with additional e-learning components to address a specific learning requirement. Our own Open Learning Academy model employs Blended Learning,  often incorporating familiar classroom “styles” with tablets, digital whiteboards and video.


Open Learning Academy facilitator, Mary-Jane, using a Blended Learning approach at the Digital Learning Centre in Hazyiew.

5. Adaptive Learning is an educational practice that uses computers as interactive instructional devices. The programs adapt the difficulty and/or style of educational material according to the particular needs of each student (determined by their responses to questions and tasks in the program).

6. Collaborative Learning is the process of learning through communication and interaction, usually between peers, mentors, tutors and instructors. Collaborative learning can be reproduced online through various tools, such as e-mail, chat, threaded discussions and virtual classrooms. Often you find that learning as part of MOOCs is supported by peer-based collaborative learning.

7. M-Learning is short for “mobile learning”, and refers to any learning activity that takes place on a mobile device. The word “mobile” is also relative; it could mean a laptop, a tablet, or something even smaller and more mobile, like a cellphone. The term is not used often in South Africa, but our US readers may have come across it.


Open Learning students using m-learning to enhance their English Literacy.

8. Digital Citizenship encourages individuals to make good use of the Internet through safe online navigation and the effective use of technology to interact responsibly with others to engage in society, politics, or other public discussion.

9. Gamification is the making of boring, everyday, or ordinary activities into a game-like activity. In education, the idea is to use game-thinking to make learning more enjoyable.


Reading, comprehension and math’s all rolled into one for this young Grade Four learner.

10. The Digital Divide refers to a large gap in technology use between two groups. The two groups can be divided along economic, racial, age, or even gender lines. In education specifically, the “digital divide” most often refers to a divide in technology use along economic lines.


11. Imagiforming (verb): imagining yourself and what you would like to be doing in the future and then using what is available in the current moment to bring your imagined future into form and reality through your actions. The world is changing so fast that traditional systems, curriculums and careers tend to be outdated by the time learners have acquired the skills to perform them. The goal of imagiforming is to produce African learners who use innovation and creativity to create niches and roles for themselves that up until today have not existed. We (Good Work Foundation) intend to be the first education space that uses imagiforming to empower our rural learners to create their own futures.

Are there any edutech jargon-phrases that you would add to this list?