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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Aside

Creative and innovative applications of ICTs have long been seen as important potential tools to enable educational reform
processes improving both access to education, and the quality of that education. That said, let’s be honest: based on their use
to date, there is very little compelling, rigorously gathered evidence that ICTs can provide positive, cost-effective impact on
the way education is delivered and practiced across Africa – nor on the impact of this use on student learning. Does that mean
we should simply wait until we have incontrovertible ‘proof’ before moving forward?
Data from the World Bank (2011) suggest that much of what is happening in many classrooms across Africa is not yielding
much impact. Business as usual, then, is not working. Might ICTs catalyse and enable ‘business unusual’, helping usher in
new approaches to meet some of the most pressing educational challenges being facing? At the same time they might
help learners achieve not just minimal thresholds for acceptable results, but also to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes that will help make them both globally competitive and informed, ethical citizens of their local communities. This is
the hope of many.
More often than not, and despite rhetoric to the contrary, most initial educational technology programs across the Continent
to date have focused largely on the technology itself. They have placed very little emphasis on the practical implications of the use of ICTs to meet broad educational and developmental objectives, instead engaging more narrowly and tackling issues related to basic ‘ICT literacy’. This has been an understandable and perhaps necessary first step in many circumstances, but it
is far from enough. As African communities become increasingly digitised the question should be asked: to what extent will
Africans rely on ICT tools created by others that are engines for economic growth and which assume increasingly large roles in
daily life, and to what extent will they innovate, evolve and create these technology tools themselves?
We need to ensure that African schools not only graduate future consumers of ICT-related goods and services developed
and marketed by firms from the rest of the world but, more importantly, educate future generations of innovators and
entrepreneurs who will export their products, services and ideas across the continent, and to the world.
It is often hoped that key decisions related to the use and potential of ICTs in education are based on dispassionate and
rigorous scientific analysis. However, we must concede that cold political calculus – such as politicians cutting ribbons at
school computer labs – often plays a more decisive role. Fear and faith play equally important roles. How well we harness
such fears, and tap into the aspirational components of such faith, are the challenges before us. These challenges must be
faced head on by those in the education community who believe in the promise and potentially transformative power of technologies for african learners in 2012 and beyond.

Why invest in using ICT in education in Africa?

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

TRENDS THAT WILL IMPACT EDUCATION AND TECHNOLOGY IN AFRICA IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS

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There has been a shift in the way the world at large sees Africa when it comes to development and the realization that for real change to occur, it needs to be completely sustainable.

Great strides have been made in recent years in terms of breaking down the barriers to physical accessibility to computing resources, as well as access to knowledge. There has been significant investment into providing ICT education to educators themselves so that they can not only pass the knowledge on, but understand how to maximise the benefit of the various technologies in the classroom.

In coming years, a higher availability of bandwidth across the Continent will create the opportunity for eLearning in the truest sense of the word, but there will still be considerable challenges to overcome in order to make this a reality for all African children.

New Technologies that look to reduce the total cost of investment on automation are also rapidly becoming household names in Africa,these include LG Zero Client Network Monitor,N-computing to name but a few.Though making a huge Impact LG which has a higher value proposition.(we shall discuss later).

Innovation, and an investment in innovation by all parties involved in education which include government and ICT development stake-holders, is the only way we will see substantial progress in African terms of the Millennium Development Goals and education in particular ,these best exemplified by the Government of Kenya through her ICT board which overlooks most ICT initiatives.

I think everyone that is deeply involved in ICT development in Africa is struck by the catch-22 that although we need to bring 21st century technology to the Continent to address its challenges, the reality is that those same challenges prevent this from being done – unless of course, we find innovative ways to do it. A prime example, there is no benefit to be derived from computers whatsoever if there isn’t access to an adequate power supply.Hence the need to invest on low power technologies like LG Network Monitors and N-computing which use a low as 40 watts of power,electricity being a major issue in Africa.

Also, people tend to think of Africa as innately ‘behind’ the rest of the world; that the Continent relies on the Western world for guidance yet most innovations and investments in regard to these technologies have been deployed mostly in Africa.

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized