AJIC Issue 18, 2016

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    AJIC Issue 18, 2016, Full Issue, Print-on-Demand Version
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15)
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    AJIC Issue 18, 2016, Full Issue
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-11-15)
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    Editor's Introduction: Informatics and Digital Transformations
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Abrahams, Lucienne
    This thematic introduction briefly discusses the importance of pursuing research in informatics and digital transformations in Africa.
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    Reviews of Mastering Digital Transformation (Hanna, 2016) and Digital Kenya (Ndemo & Weiss, 2016)
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-11-15) Abrahams, Lucienne; Goga, Kevin
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    Drawing Lessons from Case Studies of African Innovation: Review of Innovation Africa (Adesida, Karuri-Sebina & Resende-Santos, 2016)
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Hanna, Nagy K.
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    Cyber Warfare: African Research Must Address Emerging Reality
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Mbanaso, Uche M.
    This thematic report sets out the case for why studies in cyber security and cyber conflict need to be prominent in the African digital transformation research agenda.
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    Reproductive Health Information Needs and Access Among Rural Women in Nigeria: A Study of Nsukka Zone in Enugu State
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Ezema, Ifeanyi J.
    This article presents a study of the reproductive health information needs and access practices of rural women in Nsukka Cultural Zone, Enugu State, South East Nigeria. Three hundred and fifty women from 14 rural Nsukka communities were surveyed and 335 responses analysed. It was found that the main reproductive health information needs of the women were related to infertility; use of contraception; abortion; prevention of sexually transmitted diseases; antenatal care; and postnatal care. The main existing sources of reproductive health information were found to be: friends and relations; hospitals and health centres; churches; women’s organisations; and radio and television. Fewer than half (46%) of the women participants were found to be accessing reproductive health information using their mobile phones. The author recommends enhanced rural development approaches that include: information provision through mobile communications; opening of rural libraries and information centres with Internet hubs; and sustainable adult literacy campaigns focused on reproductive health information.
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    QoS Performance Analysis of Bit Rate Video Streaming in Next Generation Networks Using TCP, UDP and a TCP+UDP Hybrid
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Dlamini, Xolani; Lugayizi, Francis L.; Esiefarienrhe, Bukohwo M.
    The growth in users streaming videos on the Internet has led to increased demand for improved video quality and reception. In next generation networks (NGNs), such as 3G and 4G LTE, quality of service (QoS) implementation is one of the ways in which good video quality and good video reception can be achieved. QoS mainly involves following an industry-wide set of standard metrics and mechanisms to achieve high-quality network performance in respect of video streaming. Adopting routing and communication protocols is one way QoS is implemented in NGNs. This article describes QoS of bit rate video streaming, and QoS performance analysis of video streaming, in relation to the main network transport protocols, namely transmission control protocol (TCP) and user datagram protocol (UDP). A simulation test bed was set up using OPNET modeller 14.5. In this setup, a network topology was created and duplicated three times, in order to configure two simulation scenarios (each using the distinct protocols), and a third simulation scenario using both protocols in hybrid form. The findings in the simulations indicated that, when a network is configured with both TCP and UDP protocols in video streaming, there is a positive change in the degree of performance in terms of the QoS of videostreaming applications, unlike when the protocols are used independently.
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    Towards Citizen–Expert Knowledge Exchange for Biodiversity Informatics: A Conceptual Architecture
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Kiptoo, Caroline Chepkoech; Gerber, Aurona; Van der Merwe, Alta
    This article proposes a conceptual architecture for citizen–expert knowledge exchange in biodiversity management. Expert services, such as taxonomic identification, are required in many biodiversity management activities, yet these services remain inaccessible to poor communities, such as small-scale farmers. The aim of this research was to combine ontology and crowdsourcing technologies to provide taxonomic services to such communities. The study used a design science research (DSR) approach to develop the conceptual architecture. The DSR approach generates knowledge through building and evaluation of novel artefacts. The research instantiated the architecture through the development of a platform for experts and farmers to share knowledge on fruit flies. The platform is intended to support rural fruit farmers in Kenya with control and management of fruit flies. Expert knowledge about fruit flies is captured in an ontology that is integrated into the platform. The non-expert citizen participation includes harnessing crowdsourcing technologies to assist with organism identification. An evaluation of the architecture was done through an experiment of fruit fly identification using the platform. The results showed that the crowds, supported by an ontology of expert knowledge, could identify most samples to species level and in some cases to sub-family level. The conceptual architecture may guide and enable creation of citizen–expert knowledge exchange applications, which may alleviate the taxonomic impediment, as well as allow poor citizens access to expert knowledge. Such a conceptual architecture may also enable the implementation of systems that allow non-experts to participate in sharing of knowledge, thus providing opportunity for the evolution of comprehensive biodiversity knowledge systems.
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    Development Informatics Research and the Challenges in Representing the Voice of Developing Country Researchers: A South African View
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-11-15) Van Biljon, Judy
    Indigenous or local researchers from developing countries have not made a leading contribution to development informatics (DI) or information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) research. This is noteworthy since these researchers should be in a prominent position to contribute to the discourse, where context knowledge is regarded as vital. Furthermore, a dependence on foreign scholarly direction can create a gap between research and reality in a way that affects the success of ICT programmes in African countries. Extant literature highlights this problem, but most studies stop short of considering the causes and proposing how to amplify the voice of developing country researchers. This paper documents the ICT4D/DI research discourse that took place during four seminal academic events in South Africa during the period 2012 to 2015. Those discussions are presented and analysed here to contribute to the wider discourse on ICT research and practice in developing countries, with the aim of enhancing the research contribution of developing countries. An interpretivist, involved researcher analysis of the workshop reports is conducted to gain an improved understanding of the South African ICT4D/DI researcher’s challenges to proportional participation. While this study takes a South African perspective, many of the findings could apply to researchers in other developing countries.
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    The Value of Knowledge Acquired via Online Social Capital: LinkedIn, a South African Perspective
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Maharaj, Niresh; Naicker, Visvanathan
    This study investigated the value of a member’s online social capital, in the social networking platform LinkedIn, in the following areas: member’s subject matter proficiency, member’s firm’s problem solving ability, and member’s firm’s innovation process. The analytical framework used the concepts of social networks and online social networks (OSNs); social network ties; social capital and online social capital; knowledge and novel knowledge; communities of practice (CoPs); problem solving; and innovation. Quantitative methods were used, involving analysis of data collected from a sample of LinkedIn members residing in South Africa. It was apparent from the analysis that knowledge acquired on LinkedIn, relating to a member’s subject matter proficiency, benefited the member's firm. It was also evident that this knowledge contributed to the firm’s problem solving process. The data did not, however, confirm or refute the proposition that knowledge acquired by members on LinkedIn contributed to their firms’ innovation. An overall observation from the data was that members did not perceive substantial value from the knowledge available on LinkedIn. The authors therefore recommend that greater initiative be taken by members and firms to adopt open networking approaches, using online social networks such as LinkedIn, starting with attitudinal and policy considerations on the part of firms.
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    Symbolic Narratives and the Role of Meaning: Encountering Technology in South African Primary Education
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-12-15) Van Zyl, Izak; Sabiescu, Amalia
    This article draws on the results of a long-term, design-based research study with South African primary school teachers to discuss the role of subjectively assigned meanings and symbolisms of technology, as key factors affecting the adoption, appropriation and use of educational technology in urban poor and under-resourced environments. The paper examines how teachers’ engagements with technology are framed, conditioned, and embedded in multi-levelled “technology encounters”. These encounters give rise to meaningful representations of technology that ultimately transform both the teaching and learning process, and culminate in the emergence of “symbolic narratives”: complex assemblages of symbolisms, meanings and interpretations that arise through and therefore come to influence further technology engagements. We argue that a closer examination of teachers’ symbolic narratives can shed light on the motivations that underpin the appropriation, integration -- or conversely, rejection -- of educational technology in urban poor and under-resourced environments.
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    Design and Evaluation of a “Gamified” System for Improving Career Knowledge in Computing Sciences
    (LINK Centre, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), Johannesburg, 2016-10-31) Scholtz, Brenda; Raga, Larissa; Baxter, Gavin; https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Brenda_Scholtz; https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gavin_Baxter
    “Gamification”, or the use of game elements outside the gaming context, is a recent trend in learning approaches and has been used to digitally engage and motivate people to accomplish their learning objectives. The study described in this article investigated components of a gamification system and the impact of these components on user experience, usability and education usability. The Mechanics, Dynamics and Aesthetics (MDA) classification framework for gamification design was used to guide the authors’ design of a gamification system intended to improve learners’ knowledge of careers in computing sciences (CS). Criteria for evaluating e-learning systems were derived from literature and used to extend the MDA framework via addition of criteria for evaluating usability, user experience (UX) and educational usability of a gamification system. The extended MDA framework was found to be successful in guiding the design, development and evaluation of the system prototype, and the results gathered from the summative usability evaluation indicated that positive UX and educational usability were achieved. The results suggest that gamification designed for UX and educational usability can potentially play an important role in equipping young people in South Africa with a knowledge of CS-related careers.
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