North Africa Maghreb culture based on initial expansion of Islam. Arabic primary languages although English/French
Question: Are we sure that E-Learning is not considered prestigious in Africa? Maghreb gene
Infrastructure may not be readily available but that does not always prevent Internet access. This WiFi antenna was made to enable participants and facilitators to access the Internet. These were also located at some tourist sites. Picture taken in Dakar, Senegal February 2008.
Hand digging in preparation for laying the fiber optic cable for Internet. Kenya March 2007
Many African countries have implemented mandatory schooling, or have extended the ages for mandatory schooling. (For example Kenya). This mandatory schooling has increased the need for teachers, and an increase in teacher qualifications. The teachers need to be able to teach their students and continue to study. E-Learning, especially for remote locations is one way to enable teachers to be able to upgrade. Health Care There is a demand for health care workers, nurses, doctors, etc. These professionals can not afford to take time to attend continuing medical education, or more importantly the remote communities they serve can not afford to do without these professions for even a few days. Therefore, e-learning is one viable option.
Many institutions in Africa desparately want to have e-learning as it is in Europe and North America. The lack of stable electricity, stable affordable Internet is often not considered, or 'we will have Internet soon' is often used. As seen in the previous slide existing effective approaches are being phased out in some areas, and mobile devices that are everywhere are not being used to their potential for education purposes. Education in Africa could jump over the desktop style e-learning and go to mobile learning, just as many people have jumped over the land line phone and went from no phone to a mobile phone.
Website for AVU is www.avu.org. AV is a consortium of 50 academic institutions across 27 sub-Saharian countries as well as some corporations. The major focus is on Open and Distance e-Learning. (ODeL) AVU adn the institutions have a strong background in print based distance education. The manuals would put many of our institutions to shame. (Daph, personal observation, March 2007) In the last few years there has been a focus on teacher preparation and upgrading. Many countries have implemented mandatory schooling, or have recently expanded the ages for mandatory schooling, and therefore there is a shortage of teachers. The AVU may work in partnership with other institutions to offer programs. For example Laval University is offering a computer science degree for francophone members of AVU.
Printing Materials @ Kiruyu Learning Centre of the University of Nairobi. (A rural learning centre.) Equipment was donated by a German institution when the institution replaced its printing equipment. Picture taken March 2007
Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is a voluntary organization of more than 50 independent sovereign stated that work together to provide support and to work towards international goals. L3 Farmers focuses on helping farmers development skills that will enhance productivity and a sustainable local economy. ** Take a look @ VUSSC as well
This was on a truck at Kiruyu Learning Centre of the University of Nairobi. Although this form of education/learning was useful, it was being phased our in favour of online learning, even though the farmers do not have computers or Internet. Strong desire to emulate Western model
Discussion of mobile use here? * Very cheap, very common * Easy to buy and switch out phone chip * but NOT iPhone or other smart phone popular in North America
~ 49% of South African homes have leisure reading books, and very few have more than 40 books. Usually it is the more wealthy who have books. This has an impact on literacy and academics. There was a similar project in Japan that this one was based on. The infrastructure for mobile devices is in place. Teens, generally, have and use mobile phones. (Most families have skilled the land line, and have gone from no phone to mobile phone.) 50 teens from lower ioncome neighbourhoods of Langa and Guguletu participated in the study.
Not all participants enjoyed the novel or reading on their cell phones, but the majority did. Participants discussed the novel with others using social media and their phones. Some participants reported getting up early to get the next chapter read before starting their day. There is a fear that participants may decrease their reading adn writing skills due to the use of txtspk. In the future, there are hopes of doing more novels for this age group, and having the novels related to the curriculum
There are several projects that focus on capacity building of faculty and required support for Open and Distance e-Learning. A couple of examples: ACEP in ODeL (2007-2009) This was a project of the African Virtual University. 14 Anglophone and 8 francophone institutions across sub-Sahara Africa too part in the 24 months of training. Each institution had a team 3 or 6 members, with members being equally divided with responsibilities for the following 3 components: Governance, Design and Development and Technology. Over the course of 24 months each team worked on an institutional project and developed a course for this project. Many of the institutions were successful at completing their projects many of which focused on further development of faculty within their institution. Southern African Development Community Secretariat (SADC) This project focuses on the Capacity Enhancement of faculty at thje Malawi College of Distance Education and the Open University of Tanzania. At both institutions, they will focus on the development of faculty and materials for Open and Distance Learning for Secondary School Teachers. This project is still in the preliminary stages.
Or is it the tip of Mt Kilamanjaro?
A Snapshot of E & M-Learning in Africa Tony Bates, Tony Bates Assoc. Daph Crane, Memorial University Gerona McGrath, Memorial University Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Penn State Lawrence Ragan, Penn State
Steve Vosloo of the Shuttleworth Foundation in South Africa has worked on a series of stories for teens to read to improve literacy.
Mid-Sweden University has produced a series of videos viewable on phones that promote informal learning groups
In Kenya and South Africa phones are used to deliver on-going medical education for practioners.
"They often travel many kilometres by bus or walking to take this exam. Some students do not have enough money to take the bus home, and sleep on the campus until they get their results." "It will become important for African lifelong learners/graduates to have access to courses or programs that draw on the research and expertise being developed in the research universities."
"Incidentally mobile learning always features at eLearning Africa (just think of it as "Online Educa ported to Africa") .... interesting to hear the mobile learning projects and stories but worrying to watch the Africa keen to 'catch up' with Western European desktop e- learning when (rumour has it) there are more mobiles in Rwanda than light bulbs (or PCs presumably)."
Traxler, J. (2010, May 25). M-Learning Research: A Brief Hello. [Electronic mailing list message].
Consortium of 50 academic partners in 27 countries across sub-Sahara Africa
Focus on Open and Distance e-Learning (ODeL) with the goal of developing capacity to offer more distance learning opportunities
Often distance courses are print based or provided on a CD or DVD. Students attend a rural learning centre for a few days, return home with study materials and return to the learning centre to write exams.
As part of the capacity development and sustainability component of a recent AVU project with Canadian partners, each of the 10 institutions that participated were asked to develop a project that would combine the skills of instructional designers, media specialists and ICT professionals.
Most of the projects involved teacher education or the development of a specific course that is difficult for students to get on-campus.
The University of Zambia, for example, has produced modules for a fast-track teacher education program for the Ministry of Education.
Printing Press at Kiruyu Learning Center, University of Nairobi