E-Learning Africa 2012

eLearning Africa 2012 is the 7th international conference fon ICT for development, education, and training.  It is Africa’s largest gathering of policy & decision makers, and practitioners from education, business, and government. This comprehensive group will come together in Cotonou, Benin from May 23-May 25 to focus on eLearning and sustainability. According to the conference website, eLA2012 will focus on ” the key themes of sustainable technologies and infrastructure; eLearning for sustainable communities; sustainable change management; eLearning and sustainable resources; and sustainable economy, culture and society.” Part of the conference includes a showcase, where exhibitors can show their latest ICT products and programs.

Check it out: http://www.elearning-africa.com/index.php

Do you think this type of conference will spur ICT development in education, or is it more of a “show” and less focused on actual change?

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4 responses to “E-Learning Africa 2012

  • daniellekraus

    I think this conference has to potential to greatly increase interest in e-Learning, and while I’m sure that there will be great ideas coming from the presentations, debates, focus groups, networking opportunities and knowledge exchange sessions (listed on website as sections of the conference’s programme), I think that the most excitement will come from the aspect you mentioned- the showcase where people can physically view new technologies and products. Like Laura explained to us last week in class, even though there are many products on the market to solve Rose’s problem of charging her phone, many of them are too fragile, not portable, don’t ft her model, may be stolen if they have to be left out in the sun, etc. I think in terms of ICT projects that are introducing new technologies directly into people lives, it is most important to really interact with the products to determine if they would actually be solving problems or only providing a temporary solution. I think having a showcase where conference attendees can interact with the technology before they try to use it in a real-life situation would give them a good sense of its potential in development.

  • emswiet

    I agree that various developing ICTs need to be physically touched and interacted with in order to determine if they can practically be applied to specific individuals lives and contexts. However, I also think that it is equally important for the vendors of ICTs at eLearning to have intimate interactions with their potential markets, which would occur in the space of the conference. This way, ICT developers would be able to hear first-hand accounts of why their product would or would not work for their customers. This would allow the voice of real people to make an impact on the ICTs they desire, and the developers to gain a better understanding of the true needs of people in developing countries. In this sense, the physical, real-time interaction of the eLearning conference between inventors and buyers gives the event the potential to be truly successful and sustainable.

  • jtriplet

    This conference seems like a great way for practitioners and policymakers to get together and share ideas and best practices for improving the delivery and usage of ICT for e-Education. I really like the inclusive aspect of the conference, as several stakeholders are represented: academics, the public sector, corporations, and members of civil society. While the conference fee (290 euros [100 for students]) may prove to be cost prohibitive to the actual beneficiaries of such projects, hopefully the NGOs of the civil society sector are in-tune with the needs of the communities which they serve and are practicing human-centered projects. It is tempting to use such an event simply to showcase and identify potential buyers for the latest teaching technologies, but since this conference also incorporates workshops and other informative activities, the capitalist/consumerist aspect of the conference may be curbed by people genuinely wanting to know what projects have worked in which places and how similar ones may be applied elsehwere.

  • julianguelig

    I also think the conference has great potential for success in spreading E-learning awareness and interest. It’s great that the conference is open to anyone interested in ICT and that there isn’t a fee to attend, making it readily available for everyone. It’s important for the population in need of the ICT tools, to interact with the actual policy makers and developers. It’s surprising to me that it is the largest gathering of policy makers in Africa; hopefully this means we will see a significant impact after the conference.

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