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eLearning Africa 2011
Start Date: May 25, 2011
End Date: May 27, 2011
Venue: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Meeting the networking needs of the pan-African eLearning and distance education sector, the annual eLearning Africa conference is the key networking venue for practitioners and professionals from Africa and all over the world.

This year eLearning Africa will showcase a wealth of proposals that promise to stimulate thought and discussion. Many of the proposals focus on the affordability, sustainability and pedagogical integration of ICTs in ways that can improve the chances of African youth to learn, live and find employment.

Cheryl Brown from the University of Cape Town, South Africa will present the results of her seven-year research project on South African university students and their range of ICT experiences. She will share her findings about ‘digital strangers’ who lacked any previous ICT access and experience upon entering university life.

Daniel Lugudde Kakinda from SchoolNet Uganda will discuss how the integration of 21st century pedagogy with sexuality education has made the topic more engaging for African youth. This project draws on sexuality education curricula based on informed practice in schools and among teachers and health educators across the world.

Mobile learning in health, education and agriculture is a rapidly emerging phenomenon in Africa, and it occupies a prominent position at eLearning Africa this year. Arndt Bubenzer from Common Sense in Austria and Denis Mazali, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania, will discuss their partnership with the Tanzanian health sector to develop a mobile learning application which enables story telling in text, multimedia and audio formats and has content created by regional experts and speakers in local languages via an online authoring interface. Ryan Littman-Quinn from Botswana-UPenn Partnership discusses how smart-phone tele-mentoring has extended access to medical knowledge to physicians and trainee physicians, enabling point-of-care clinical decision making.

A number of papers will address gender equality and women’s empowerment through the use of ICTs. Françoise Bibiane Yoda from Réseau Femmes en Action, Burkina Faso will show us how networks and communities provide access to information and knowledge, thereby empowering women and challenging poverty in rural areas.

Olukunle Daramola from Development Empowerment and Awareness Centre (DEAC), Nigeria will reveal the findings of his study on awareness and knowledge of eBusiness among women in Nigeria’s Edo State. He will suggest that, despite their access to ICTs and tertiary education, women remain marginalized from mainstream commercial and economic empowerment.

This year we will pay attention to nurturing the growth of African research and encourage conversation on eLearning theory. We will feature a dedicated ‘research stream,’ which promises an intellectually-rich contribution to African knowledge production on ICTs in Education.

For example, Alaba Agbatogun from Nigeria, who is based at the University of Edinburgh, UK, will highlight the importance of teacher preparedness in the educational use of interactive technologies. Based on a sample of 17 Nigerian primary school teachers and their use of a Personal Response System (PRS) in classrooms where English is a second language, his study examines teacher attitudes in classroom practice. His findings provide thought-provoking insights into the relationship between the authentic contexts of teachers and their integration of technologies in teaching and learning.

The school sector has always led the way in the integration of ICTs in learning, teaching and education management. Alioune Moustapha Diouf from FASTEF-UCAD, Senegal will share his research findings and recommendations on school governance in six Francophone African countries.

A substantial number of proposals submitted in response to the Call for Papers focussed on the growth of the Open Education Resources (OER) movement globally and in Africa. These include current research and policy guidelines on OERs. In view of the popularity of OERs as an issue, the eLearning Africa Debate will provide the platform for argument about the controversies at the heart of the OER enterprise. Intellectual property rights are just one of these contentious issues.

Open source software features highly on our agenda this year as many proposals share ideas on tools, solutions and research findings. Mark James Leclair from Farm Radio International, Canada will talk about how he uses the Open Source Learning Management System Moodle, to train radio broadcasters in rural areas in Africa. He will discuss the value of agriculture broadcasting in Africa and show how this extends the reach of information and knowledge on low cost farm methods to increase food supplies among Africa’s small scale farmers.

These are only some of the ‘tanzanite’ submissions among the many high quality proposals we received. We hope that this exciting agenda, together with the new networks and communities that will be forged at the conference, will help to ensure that eLearning Africa makes a real contribution towards improving the prospects of young people in Africa.

Website: http://www.elearning-africa.com/
Created By: DPADM / UNDESA
Organizers: ICWE GmbH, www.icwe.net, Government of the Republic of Tanzania
Participation Requirements: Open

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