Indigenous Knowledge and Practices contributing to new approaches in learning/educational technologies


Guest Editors


• Kasper Rodil, Aalborg University, Denmark

• Heike Winschiers-Theophilus, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Namibia

• Tutaleni I. Asino, Oklahoma State University, United States

• Tariq Zaman, CECOS University of IT and Emerging Sciences, Pakistan


Important dates


• Deadline: April 30, 2019 
• Notification to the authors:  June 20, 2019
• Camera ready paper: September 10, 2019
• Publication of the special issue: end of September, 2019




The objective of this special issue is to bring together a number of high-quality articles from people across the globe, belonging to or in close partnership with indigenous communities. We seek submissions from individuals and research groups who embrace practices and theories rooted in Indigenous Knowledge systems, are critical of existing tensions and trends while contributing to technology design in formal and informal learning contexts through a dialogical approach. The focus of the special issue is at the juncture of indigeneity and technology design within learning contexts.

Although research collaborations with indigenous communities have increased and the value of indigenous knowledge has long been recognised, the integration of indigenous knowledge and practices into formal education is lacking behind. Semali (1999) has attributed this to conflicting systems dominated by established academic institutes and procedures. Indigenous knowledge and peoples are at best regarded as “subjects” encapsulated within academic discourses. Extremely derogative accounts of Indigenous peoples and their cultures ranging from natural, wild to primitive individuals, incapable of attending to their own affairs can still be found (Semali & Kincheloe, 2002). The authors speculate that the term indigenous or the concept of indigenous knowledge tend to evoke condescension or at best little appreciation for the insight and understanding such knowledge might provide to individuals in a community and society at large (Semali & Kincheloe, 2002). Thus neither are indigenous pedagogical practices considered in formal learning approaches, nor in ethical guidelines or other institutional regulations, nor are indigenous knowledge holders formally recognised. Consequently, the mainstream development of technologies for and within formal and informal learning contexts does not comprise indigenous ways of knowing or doing. Indigenous knowledge is once more reduced to “content” in the setting of technology design rather than being embraced in the approaches to design or for the technology design itself. This is apparent in many designs of digital cultural heritage safeguarding technologies, used in formal learning settings such as museums or educational institutes as well as for informal learning tools, often used in tourism. 

Disseminating community-based intangible cultural heritage (ICH) often becomes contentious when subjected to digitisation technologies as means for knowledge transfer. One foreseeable dilemma is the subordination of ICH to digital technologies and their origins as constructions from dominant societies also ruling formal educational settings. On a more hidden layer there are the approaches which are governed by emancipatory and action research methodologies, but where inside matters of community-based biases towards own heritage challenges both the discourse on technology, representation and source alike (Rodil et al., 2014). Technology being transported from elsewhere might not be so easily implemented in indigenous communities or aligned with their viewpoints, but that does not imply that technology is “anti-indigenous” (Mushiba and Asino, 2015). Rather it means that we should strive for more technology development from within and in collaboration (Rodil, 2017).  

In the broader context of learning, we encourage authors to deconstruct mainframe paradigms and to embrace indigenous knowledge and practices within the design and technologies contributing to new approaches



• Mushiba, M. & Asino, T. I. (2015). African Pedagogy & Technology-Supported Learning. In Bidwell, N. J., & Winschiers-Theophilus, H. (Eds.) At the Intersection of Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge and Technology Design (pp. 135-150).  Santa Rosa, CA: Informing Science Press.

• Rodil, K., Winschiers-Theophilus, H., Kapuire, G. K., Stanley, C., and Kuria, S. C. (2014). Participatory exploration of digitalizing cultural content: Getting married. are we ready? In Proceedings of the 13th Participatory Design Conference: Short Papers, Industry Cases, Workshop Descriptions, Doctoral Consortium Papers, and Keynote Abstracts - Volume 2, PDC '14, pages 93-97, New York, NY, USA. ACM.


• Rodil, K. (2017). A perspective on systems design in the digitisation of intangible cultural heritage. International Journal of Intangible Heritage, 12:190-197.


• Semali, L. (1999). Community as classroom: Dilemmas of valuing African indigenous literacy in education. International Review of Education, 45(3-4), 305-319.


• Semali, L. M., & Kincheloe, J. L. (2002). What is indigenous knowledge?: Voices from the academy. Routledge



Topics of Interest


• Reflections on and technical constructions of learning technologies in indigenous settings

• Learning from indigenous pedagogies

• Design methodologies of learning technologies 

• Social Robotics

• Digitisation of cultural heritage

• Technical systems (mixed reality (vr and ar), mobile,)

• Socio-Technical systems


Submission procedure 


All submissions (abstracts and later final manuscripts) must be original and may not be under review by another publication.

The manuscripts should be submitted anonymized either in .doc or in .rtf format. 
All papers will be blindly peer-reviewed by at least two reviewers. Perspective participants are invited to submit a 8-20 pages paper (including authors' information, abstract, all tables, figures, references, etc.). 
The paper should be written according to the IxD&A authors' guidelines .

Submission page -> link
(when submitting the paper please choose the section: 'SI: Indigenous Knowledge and Practices in learning/educational technologies')

For scientific advices and for any query please contact the guest-editor:


• kr [at] create [dot] aau [dot] dk


marking the subject as: 'IxD&A special issue on Indigenous Knowledge and Practices in learning/educational technologies'.