learning landscapes in southern africa


E-Learning 2.0 - Why the New Tools?

Stephen Downes
Research Officer
NRC Institute for Information Technology

Why do we need e-learning 2.0 at all? This presentation will outline some of the tools involved in e-learning 2.0, things like blogs and wikis and podcasting. It will compare the learning enabled in these tools with the learning supported by more traditional online and distance learning technologies, such as conferencing and learning management systems. Underlying e-learning 2.0, it will be argued, is not merely a new approach to online learning technology, but also a pedagogy enabled by the new technology, one that supports meaningful and important learning.

The limits and possibilities of e-learning in Africa: A brief expose of the AVU experiences

Kuzvinetsa Peter Dzvimbo
Rector of the African Virtual University

ICTs as an Enabler for the Development of the Education Sector in Mozambique

Venancio Massingue
Mozambican Minister of Science and Technology

Education has been declared as one of the national priority sectors for the poverty reduction strategy for years 2006-2009 by the Government of Mozambique. The sector has defined an ambitious strategy for years 2006-2011, which outlines the priority areas and introduces new approaches for strengthening the delivery of education services through revised curricula’s, enhanced teacher training and better management of human resources and the whole education network. Challenges remain considerable but both qualitative and quantitative indicators show that progress has been made.

To strengthen and to complement sectoral strategies, Government of Mozambique has elaborated and approved a comprehensive strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), which supports the development of education services, from primary education to tertiary institutions and places special weight on national research capacities. STI strategy develops tools and innovative concepts for building a comprehensive innovation framework, combining applied research, private sector product development with spearhead innovations. The strategy has a clear focus on pro-poor solutions, benefiting the least privileged members of the society. This applies also to identifying technologies for supporting development of the education sector, including science and computer laboratories, distance learning platforms with appropriate contents and tools for managing the expanding education network.

Designing staff development and support services for eLearning on an evidence base created within one's own university

Carmel McNaught
Professor of Learning Enhancement
Centre for Learning Enhancement and Research
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Staff development is a sales job. Academic staff developers sell ideas and strategies to academic teachers. The academy is built on evidence-based scholarship and therefore our ‘sales’ pitch needs to be evidence-based and scholarly. This presentation will describe how staff at the Centre for Learning Enhancement And Research (CLEAR) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have used clear and directed research to articulate teachers’ eLearning needs to the University administration. Multiple sources of data were collected, including site logs, experts’ review of selected active websites, and interviews with 26 active eTeachers. This approach has enabled us to obtain additional resources to enable us to work with each department in the University. Interwoven into this research into eLearning at CUHK is a set of principles for excellent teaching based on interviews with 18 CUHK teachers who obtained Exemplary Teaching Awards. So, we base our staff development work on what the best teachers at our University believe and how they enact those beliefs. These stories resonate with colleagues in the community of our University.