Define key concepts such as Distance Education; and ICTs in light of Ubiquitous technology.
Identify ICT platforms capabilities for University education delivery .
Analyze the opportunities in the provision of ICT to potential learning communities.
Propose way forward for Universities to unleash access to and provision of ICT training facilities for lifelong learning in Zambia.
Suggest strategies for Zambia to break barriers to University education through Information and Communication Technologies.
What is Distance Education?
Educational process in which a significant proportion of the teaching is conducted by someone removed in space and/or time from the learner. Most times distance teaching involves a combination of the media . (Chifwepa, 2008)
What is Information and Communication Technology (ICT)?
There are different definitions for Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Refers to digitalization of information and the electronics industry – the ability to store and process all kinds of information and to communicate it over telephone lines; the invention and marketing of the personal computer (PC) and placed it in the hands of individuals – at work and at home; and the launch of the Internet linking computers and their users together in a global network. (Wild, 2007)
What is ICT? Contd…
The coming together of these three innovations is known as convergence. Convergence enables:
traditional computers (and other devices like personal digital assistants (PDAs),
telecommunications devices (like telephones, fax, satellite, radio, TV), and
networks (like the Internet, private data networks, satellite communications, and fixed and mobile telephone networks) to work together locally, regionally and globally to share and exchange content or information.
These technologies, taken together, are called ICTs.
Types of ICT/Media
Telephone/ Fax/mobile phones
Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs)
Stand alone computer
Digital Video Conferencing
Communication in Distance Education
Synchronous : same time/real time, examples include IM
Asynchronous : different time paces, examples include emails, SMS, Voice mail and Bulletin Boards
Mobile Cellular Segment
31st December 2007, subscriber base was 2,639,026 representing a mobile access rate of 22.5 people per 100 inhabitants.
Potential users of ICTs
Students in schools and colleges, distance learning students- colleges, UNZA, CBU; adult learners, farmers, businessmen/women, medical personnel, other professionals, community and NGOs/interest groups – social/political groups).
Social services delivery: access information on education, health and commerce/business. Examples, ZANACO XAPIT Project - Instant Banking & Mobile Banking for rural areas.
All need skills to get connected through 21 st century tools in 21 st century context.
Opportunities for Use of Mobile Phones in Distance Education
31st December 2007, subscriber base was 2,639,026 (
Estimated subscribers in Sub-Sahara Africa spend at least 20% of disposable income on phone services.
Over 70% of the people with mobile phones in Zambia subscribe to more than one service provider.
100% of distance students have access to mobile phones
Each household has an average of five (5) phones.
What is Educational Technology?
‘Tools used in formal educational practice to disseminate, illustrate, communicate, or immerse learners and teachers in activities purposively designed to induce learning’. (Garrison and Anderson, 2003)
Distance education/eLearning considered as a complex system composed of institutional, individual, technical and social components.
Generations of Distance Education Technology
Ecological view of eLearning:
First generation : printed textbook and course guide-reflected a conversational approach between the absent instructor and the independent student
Second generation: technologies of mass, broadcast media- retained an emphasis on independent study- seldom restriction on time/place (beyond access to the ubiquitous radio and television)
Generations of Distance Education Technology Cont’d ….
Third generation: Both asynchronous and synchronous human interaction provided by variety of telecommunication technologies-audio, video, and computer mediated conferencing.
Fourth generation : combines first three major attributes of the Net: information retrieval of vast amounts of content; interactive capacity of computer mediated communication (CMC); and processing power of locally distributed processing via computer –assisted programming.
Generations of Distance Education Technology Cont’d ….
Fifth generation : Unleashing new models of distance education programming, beyond the capability of integrating CMC and Web resources (such as WebCT, Blackboard), leading to ‘intelligent functions’ flexible learning model- automated responses to FAQ & integration and related access via ‘portals’ to campus-based resources and services.
The technology of e-learning
Internet and on-line learning are on continuum of technology in education that extends to:
Slate drawing boards
Types of Information Unleashed in Distance Education
Clarifications on concerns raised (Q & A)
Enhancing Learner Support through ICT
Increased number of students and applicants using email to communicate- prompt response assured
Social presence: lecturer-student interaction and other support services using mobile phone calls in partnership with ZaiN; developing database for SMS server system beginning 2009.
Started diversifying media from print to digitalizing interactive content
Distance students scheduled to train in use of computer resources
Unleashing distance learning through ICT
Equipping distance education Media Centre for materials development through AVU.
Availability of on-line International Journals through the University library
Distance students to use on-line registration developed by the Computer Centre.
Expectations- ‘running like Gazelles’
Uploading of Multimedia course materials.
Develop systems to use 21 st Century tools in 21 st Century context such as use of Webnars.
Lead and learn with technology through Problem-Based Learning (PBL) e.g. WebQuests
“ Educational Technology in Curriculum Devpt” course developed to equip teachers with skills of designing learning–centred environments; unleashing learning theories that encourage knowledge creation, inventions and critical thinking in learners.
Expectations: Making use of “mLearning” in Distance Education
Future of the Internet is in ‘your hand’ to provide flexible learning schedules.
Emerging technologies: Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) increasing access to the Internet via mobile phones and wireless data over long distances. (content through phones, PDAs & tablets)
WiMAX: “Nomadic connectivity”, will provide broadband access to places where it has been economically unviable.
Internet to be dominated by mobile devices as opposed to traditional computers. Has time finally come? When ?
Way forward of unleashing ICT hotspots for community and educational technology training
Carry out research in design and development of models of E-learning platforms: e.g. Mobile Internet Vehicles.
Mauritius’ Cyber Caravan Project Model; and
the UK Internet Mobile Van
Mobile Internet Vehicle
Way forward Cont’d
2. Computer Kiosks (South African model- ‘hole in the wall’).
3. Partnerships with institutions of learning to develop knowledge, skills, values and ownership of programmes: UNZA, private ICT service providers.
Strategies for Zambia to break barriers to University education through ICTs
Collaboration with other ministries such as MoE, MSVT, MAAC, MLG and MCSS; and private institutions to establish ICT hotspots Learning Centres
Reduced or zero-rated tax on ICT equipment such as VSAT for organizations such as ISPs supporting or investing in eLearning.
Universities such as UNZA (with the largest Network in the country) be allowed to own ISP licence.
Provide grants to universities for research in ICTs e.g. 5G technologies, nanotech and engineering that have the potential to overcome issues of speed and/or terrain/distance
There is high demand for ICT in distance education in Zambia. No more
procrastination- writings on the wall are clear:
“ time of formulating of strategies for
Real investment in E-learning is NOW”.
BBC, “ World Debate ” TV programme on January 13, 2008.
BBC, “Marketplace Middle East” TV programme on July 2008.
Bennett, M. “Internet Connectivity in Zambia: Opportunities and Challenges.” A paper presented at the e-Brain Forum Monthly Meeting at Lusaka Hotel on Thursday, June 26, 2008.
Brownstone IT: Vehicle mounted mobile satellite internet access terminal. ( From PRESS RELEASE by Brownstone IT - East Sussex, UK 14th March 2005 ). Retrieved on September 5, 2008 from http://www. satsig .net/brownstone-mobile.htm .
Commonwealth of Learning ( June 2008). The Future of the Internet is in your hand. Connections: Learning for Development, 13 (2), 16.
Communications Authority of Zambia (2008). Analysis Report the Market Entry of a Fourth Mobile Cellular Operator in Zambia . Lusaka: CAZ.
Executive Issues for September 2008 Volume 3 (Online publication)
Farrell, G and SHafika, I. (2007). Survey of ICT and Education in Africa: A Summary Report, Based on 53 Country Surveys . Washington, DC: inforDev / World Bank.
Mulozi, D. “Internet Connectivity in Zambia: Opportunities and Challenges.” A paper presented at the e-Brain Forum Monthly Meeting at Lusaka Hotel on Thursday, June 26, 2008.
(“The Post Newspaper”, September 5, 2008)
Wild, K. (28 th November 2007). What is ICT? From http://www.itrainonline.org