2012 eLearning Africa Experience – Cotonou, Benin

29 Jun

Just like in 2011, I was invited to Co-chair the Youth Session at the eLearning Africa Conference 2012. Additionally, I acted in a role play on Mobile Learning as a student; which was the first session time we were having such a session at the annual event.

eLearning Africa  is the Africa Continent’s premier annual conference on ICT-enhanced learning. The annual eLearning Africa conference is the key networking event for practitioners and professionals from Africa and all over the world and provides opportunities for showcase a wealth of proposals that stimulate thought and discussion.

This year’s conference, which was held in Cotonou, Benin, from 23rd – 25th May, attracting close to 1500 participants from Africa and beyond with a total of 66 countries represented. The event was graced with lots of exciting key notes, presentations, research papers and networking sessions; giving opportunities to many ICT4D enthusiasts around Africa and the World at large to interact and learn from each other.

One interesting session I cannot fail to highlight was the Keynote Prof. Sugata Mitra of the Hole in the Wall experiment that really opened up my eyes to start thinking of the relevance of our current education system and the kind of people it is bound to raise. At the end of his keynote he asked a number of questions that really challenged me. These include:

  • What is the relevance of Education? Is it learning or competition among students?
  • Is cheating good or bad?
  • What is the relevance of national exams?
  • Does one’s poor performance in exams

And many other questions. Such questions help us reflect on the work we are doing as educators and how our education system can be made relevant in the 21st Century.

Personally I co-chaired the youth session entitled “How Technologies Support Young Africans to Live, Learn, Love and Succeed” where youth at the conference exchanged ideas on how they use, experience and appropriate technologies in ways in which they believe are helpful to them. I was also part of the “Managing Conflicting Stakeholder Perspectives on Mobile Learning: A Role Play Session” a session on fostering favorable policies for mobile learning in Africa. Both sessions were really insightful and have helped me shape and improve my understanding on how innovations can be framed to suit the current needs of young people in school.

With this experience, I am personally drafting a number of projects I hope to implement both locally and globally. It is really exciting being a part of the big family meeting of ICT4D Enthusiasts and look forward to eLearning Africa 2013 in Namibia.

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