Thursday, 24 May 2012

@eLaconference #ICT4D #eLearning Africa report covers a lot of ground

ICWE people who organize the conferences Online Educa Berlin and eLearning Africa have just published a report on the status of eLearning in Africa (which is organized in Benin this year). The report is published at the beginning of the conference, which I think is a wonderful idea. It is a free report and can be downloaded here

The publishers indicate that the eLearning Africa 2012 report is a collaborative endeavor to enrich the conversation on ICT-enhanced learning and training in Africa. It seeks to inform and inspire, providing thought
leadership and shaping policy and practice across the Continent. Now who would not be interested in that?

In short the report covers:
  • What technologies are used, and in which context?
  • Why do people use ICT and how do they decide what to use?
  • What constrains ICT-enhanced learning and training at the country level?
  • What determines ICT enhanced learning and training at the organisational level?
  • Government - the most important change agent
  • The place of radio
  • Critical content and communication capabilities: foundational for African education in a digitally-mediated age
  • Appropriate and sustainable technology solutions for education in Africa
  • Africa’s choice: digitise traditional knowledge or lose culture and development
  • How the education sector produces eWaste in Kenya and why it should be responsible for eWaste management
  • Why invest in using ICT in education in Africa?
  • African youth, identity formation and social media
  • How African entrepreneurs are training for new opportunities
  • Teaching Cape Flats ex-gangsters and moms how to tweet and blog for change
  • Early reading acquisition using mobile learning in Africa: the case of Graphogame adaptations in Kenya
  • The challenges faced by Portuguesespeaking universities in Africa
  • Financing and sustainability of ICT solutions in higher education in Benin
  • Security and technology-assisted learning in Africa
  • mLearning: a connection to opportunity
A nice side note of the report is this one "
Whilst noting the positive energy revealed, The eLearning Africa 2012 Report also wants to caution against feeding exaggerated expectations about what is possible with technologies. The Report wishes to encourage more critical and open engagement with the messy complexity that technologies are also instilling within our systems. This requires ongoing exploration of those aspects that are beneficial, of which there are potentially many, and those that are a lot more challenging. In turn, this requires adopting a culture of openness regarding failures, the ways in which systems break down and whether technologies also play a role in precipitating further damage."

The reason I like this critical side note is that all over the world technology is sometimes seen as an instant solution for everything and that simply is not the case. It will still be us humans, becoming more human and empathic that will alleviate the worlds challenges, creating a better world for all of us. Technology is only a tool, not the actor.

As the world is taking about emerging countries China, India and Brazil, I can see how Africa is becoming a strong continent. The diversity is so rich that people and organizations are cross pollinating each other. For when the world is looking in a different direction, the road to innovation and personal creativity is wide open. 

Just take a look at the wide variety of topics covered in this promotional video. It is promotional so skip the first minute, but ... once the speakers share their thoughts it becomes inspiring, you cannot deny the topics shared.