Education is Innovation: Opening Frontiers to the Future
We live in an information age, an age in which the simple click of a mouse can unveil unceasing innovation. In this digital world, technology can be a catalyst to education, independent of geography, socio-economics, gender, age, and other “qualifying” factors. This innovative environment has made the unknown known, has shattered roadblocks to collaboration and knowledge-sharing, and has created a space in which everyone with an Internet connection can contribute to their own intellectual advancement. The African continent is at the forefront of such innovation, teeming with entrepreneurial genius that has led to the expanse of innovation hubs, hacker spaces, sustainable design and production, and all things eLearning.
eLearning Africa 2014 and the GIZ
eLearning Africa (eLA) celebrates this age of innovation by bringing together eLearning and ICT professionals from across the globe. One of the largest of its kind, this year’s 3 day eLearning conference will be taking place in Kampala, Uganda, a cutting-edge incubator of knowledge and progress. eLA will look at Africa as a continent rife with ethnic, cultural, and linguistic diversity in a fast-paced, interconnected world.
The AIZ Division „Global Knowledge Sharing and Learning“ at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH will be exploring some key themes before and during the eLA conference. These interactive sessions bring together innovative expertise and revolutionary ideas.
The interactive pre-conference workshops include:
1. Hubs Are Doing It for Themselves: Creating Skill and Capacity Development Opportunities for Entrepreneurs
Christian Gmelin, Seynabou Fachinger and Geraldine de Bastion
This 1-day hands-on workshop will explore ICT methods, start-up incubation, local infrastructure, and so on for capacity building with the goal of demonstrating how grassroots organizations can best interact with macro-level institutions. Input from hub managers, start-up founders, and other experts will enable a thorough discussion of effective future strategies in collaborative innovation.
2. Quality Assurance in eLearning: Best Practices and Strategies
Volker Lichtenthäler and Maria Holguera Baez
This cutting-edge 1-day workshop will provide a detailed account of eLearning quality assurance and maintenance using the Open ECBCheck tool. Initiated in conjunction with EFQUEL, the GIZ is helping to enlarge a community of quality-assured organizations; those that will succeed in contributing to a higher standard of eLearning through courses offering better usability, appropriate and effective content, and an increased participant success rate.
The sessions during the eLA conference will be:
1. Innovators Meet Policy Makers
Guenter Podlacha, Christian Gmelin & Seynabou Fachinger
How can governments support and collaborate with private sector and citizen initiatives creating local infrastructure solutions and education opportunities? What innovative approaches coming out of collaborative learning environments like innovation hubs, hacker spaces and maker spaces can be incorporated into government practices and what can these initiatives contribute toward reaching overarching development goals?
In a round table meeting, representatives from the innovation community will meet government ministers to exchange ideas and discuss collaboration potentials. Concrete examples from the area of education, infrastructure and business development will be presented as examples of how digital and disruptive innovation can impact on development on a local and national scale.
This fascinating session will connect innovators with policy makers, bringing grassroots to the macro-level.
2. MRT (Ministerial Round Table)
A round table of ministers and representatives from all across Africa is due to convene at eLearning Africa, the seventh of its kind to date. During this meeting, young entrepreneurs will be able to interact with the MRT attendees in a discussion about innovative new methods and human capacity development using new & social media (reaping the real benefits of good opportunities). This MRT will follow the Innovation Lab of the same name so that the lab’s findings might be incorporated into the MRT, if possible.
The head of the E-Academy Division, Dr. Guenter Podlacha, will attend this session.
3. Presentation: “Sage Femme Zone – Get future midwives and teachers skilled and connected via mobile learning scenarios – quite a challenge, but…”
This session will present the Sage Femme Zone mobile application, highlighting the combined practical use of tablet-and PC-learning for [vital] capacity development. This application will train healthcare professionals on up-to-date practices, pre-and-postnatal care, and more, to the benefit of countless women in Cameroon and beyond. This is one way in which eLearning could, one day, contribute to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), i.e. reduce maternal and child mortality.
4. Knowledge Exchange Session: “Certifying Quality in eLearning: The Open ECB Check Initiative”
Maria Holguera Baez, Volker Lichtenthäler
This riveting session will touch on the pre-conference workshop of the same name. An interactive exchange of opinion and expertise will bring life to eLearning quality assurance and maintenance using the Open ECBCheck tool. Collaboration and innovative future strategies will be generated through debate, experience-sharing, and best practice tips from across the globe.
Special Focus Session: “Making, Hacking, Innovating: Creating Co-Creation and Collaborative Learning Experiences”
Christian Gmelin, Geraldine de Bastion, NN
This session will focus on innovation through doing as experts discuss their experiences in collaborative innovation. Learn about hacking, making, entrepreneuring, co-creating, and all around innovating from people who do it on a daily basis.
I would like to contact Maria Halguera Baez or Volker Lichtenthaler about their experience with the Open ECB Check initiative. At ILRI, we are working to achieve high standards in eLearning and, tied to this, have been trying to contact this organisation for some months. However, we are yet to get a response.