Looking at the top elearning tools for African Higher Education. Presented at Cloud Computing in Higher Education Conference, Johannesburg, 28 August 2014. Discusses free and open online learning tools.
New Media Consortium (NMC) – international community of educational technology experts – research looks at impact of educational technology globally in next 5 years Social media – students and staff use social media to share & find information & developments, possibilities for learning communities Integration – best of both f2f and network, more universities turning to it Access – drive to increase numbers – need academic background to be successful Fluency – no staff training on digital literacy Relevant – rethink the value, other business models
Benefits of cloud server hosting: flexibility, cost savings and access to data for employees wherever they are Also the trend toward BYOD (bring-your-own-device), as staff and students use mobile apps on their smartphone and rely on cloud data to make them more productive
Image: “Flipped Learning Design in VET” Vanguard Visions [CC-BY] https://www.flickr.com/photos/77018488@N03/9315194075/
While internet access is becoming easily available across urban cities in Africa – rural dwellings are still poorly provided with ICT infrastructure and services. Access inequalities are even more visible when you look at marginalised groups, such as women, people with disabilities and in least developed countries in general. For some, schools, libraries and internet cafes still remain the only way to access the internet. Even if they everyone gets a smart phone or tablet, research done by the Washinton University’s Technology and Social Change Group shows that people still want technical or content support and an accessible safe space out of the home or work environment. In rural areas, energy is a key limitation. Using solar energy costs ten times as much as electrification. May be too much focus on mobile and not enough on cross cutting technology that needs cross sector collaboration, especially at the government level. National broadband strategies have been adopted widely but lack targets for affordability or accessibility and rely too much on mobile operators to meet demand, rather than opening markets to drive competition and lower prices There exists a “content divide”. Technology can help create, preserve, record and disseminate local content.
So… challenges to overcome BUT increasing public access e.g. wifi areas
Differentiation = traditional universities, universities of technology, comprehensive universities. Differentiation between large undergraduate institutions to specialised research-intensive institution offering mix and level of programmes Access and success = new universities and growth; central application system; improve student support, performance and through-put. In 2012 = 1 million students, in 2030 = 1.6 million (from 17% to 25% of participation) Research = growing research, improving quality, aligned to skills development Staffing: levels of staff and staff capacity, improve equity Affordable = financial aid, rising student fees Other issues: development of humanities and African languages; Community engagement, Internationalisation
Note: Number of web apps Number of “non-educational” apps Number of Social networking tools
Compare to what are your most useful tools…?
Software distributed along with its source code. Well-known open source projects are the Linux operating system, the Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the OpenOffice.org productivity suite
Image: Per Erik Strandberg – A Toolbox – [CC-BY-SA} http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:20060513_toolbox.jpg
Image: Adapted from: Fred Cavazza, Social Media Landscape [CC-BY-NC-SA] http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredcavazza/2564571564
Image: Moodle 2.0 by Unknown (2010) (PD) http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moodle-v2.0-comments-box.png
Image: Search Engine People Blog (2009) [CC-BY] https://www.flickr.com/photos/sepblog/3545328529/
Image: Facebook Connection. Simon (2013). [PD] http://pixabay.com/en/facebook-connection-social-network-76531/
Image: YouTube Screenshot. Das Schäfchen (2012) [CC-BY-SA] http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:YouTube-Startseite.png
Image: Skype Meeting. Nancy Jones (2008). [CC-BY]. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skype_meeting_ayvak_%26_nancyajones_2008oct16.jpg
Image: Artur Coelho (2013) [CC-BY] http://intergalacticrobot.blogspot.com/2013/12/level-up.html
Image: “Playing with Media” Wesley Fryer CC-BY http://www.flickr.com/photos/wfryer/7842702898/ Strategy to use learning technologies in support of enhancing T&L …
Technology must be seen as a supportive tool, the use of technology needs to add value Categories ICT Infrastructure and Applications Connectivity/Internet Access Programme, Course, and Materials Development and Delivery Licensing of e-Learning Materials Capacity Building Quality Assurance, Monitoring, and Evaluation Change Management
Top eLearning Tools for African Higher Education
Top eLearning Tools for
African Higher Education
Cloud Computing in Higher Education
28 August 2014
Context – Drivers and Constraints
Key Trends and Challenges
Top Free Learning Tools
Principles for Success
Context: Motivation and Constraints
Take a quick poll:
Global Trends and Challenges
The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Higher Education Edition
Growing Usage of Social Media
Integration of Online, Blended & Collaborative Learning
Low Digital Fluency of Staff
Keeping Education Relevant
Moving to the cloud?
Image: Vanguard Visions [CC-BY]
• Driven by end of useful life of
• Hosted vs buying hardware &
maintenance & support
• Monthly cost vs time to
Constraints for Cloud Computing in Africa
• Rural areas still outside coverage areas
• Cost of access is high
• Energy still a problem
Rapid internet access growth, but
• Comparatively low speeds
Mobile broadband readily adopted, but
Lack of available local content
Free and Open Source Software
• Lower-cost technology
• Able to use and/or
modify the code
Free and Open Learning Tools
• Easy to Use
• Automatic upgrades
• Lack of integration
• Record of data
• Lack of institutional
• Privacy Concerns
Free / Open Source
Adapted from: Cavazza, Social Media Landscape [CC-BY-NC-SA] http://www.flickr.com/photos/fredcavazza/2564571564/
Do you have a plan or strategy for using learning
technologies in your learning?
Academics - Where to start?
Select tools best aligned to outcomes & activities
Become familiar with the tools before use
Allocate sufficient time to orient students
Provide ongoing support
In alignment with:
Vision / Mission
Quiz: Best Learning Tools
a quick online
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
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