Tag Archives: elearning

Mobile Phones – Are They Transforming Education In Africa?

How Mobile Phones Are Transforming Education In Africa

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Access to quality education is one of the biggest challenges across Africa. Several students, who wish to study a university degree, are unable to achieve their academic dreams. 18 year old Lesego, who resides in a remote village in Botswana found it nearly impossible to travel to her nearest university located many hundred miles away towards the eastern region of the country. Moreover, relocation was not an option for her either. However, still she is pursuing higher education directly from the convenience of her own home. How?

Mobile Phone eLearning

                       Source – bit.ly/1N9eHbq

Lesego is studying online, but not from a computer or laptop. As her family cannot afford a computer and the electricity supply in the region faces frequent outages, She is learning on her new smartphone that offers her instant access to the Internet and a wide array of online courses. Most of the courses are developed and offered by leading and reputed universities worldwide.

Does it sound too good to be true? This might be an imaginary situation, but our educators and policymakers are now gearing up to turn this into a reality for aspiring learners who live in such conditions. Mobile phone ownership across Africa is rising as a result of reducing cost and shortage of fixed phone line connections. It is now revolutionising every aspect of African lives from healthcare and banking to politics and agriculture. Now it’s time to transform education. However, the probabilities are being hyped to some extent.

Transforming education 

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 In the previous year, CNN announced that mobile technology has “immense” potential which can revolutionise “dysfunctional educational system” in Africa “as mobile phones, cheaper to own and easier to run than PCs, gain ground as tools for delivering teaching content”.

This successfully caught the focus of the international development community. Back in 2011, the Mobile for Education for Development ( m4Ed4Dev) event was organised by the US Agency for International Development and Stanford University. This round-table discussion was held to find out how mobile devices can be used to improve education in developing nations. Moreover, the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) published a report titled Turning on Mobile Learning: In Africa and the Middle East.

UNESCO recently hosted the 2nd annual Mobile Learning Week conference where experts explored the potential of mobile learning in helping the “Education for All” goals. Smartphones are already being used for enhancing teacher training and and also to boost communication between educators and university students. However, can mobile phones actually improve access to quality higher education in a significant way?

Potential of mobile technology

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  At present, there are more mobile phone users in Africa than in the US. In 2014, it was found that there were more than 650 million people with a mobile phone subscription in Africa. As per a 2012 report by GSMA, sub-Saharan Africa has over 475 million mobile connections, compared to only 12.3 million fixed phone line connections. So, it is highly possible that smartphones can bring about the necessary change which the African education system needs.

Steve Vosloo, senior project officer at UNESCO mobile learning division for teacher development and higher education, said “Mobile phones are having a profound impact on so many levels of society in Africa – communication, banking, entertainment. In terms of access, it is like no other ICT before. Obviously radio and television are huge, and play a massive role, but they are broadcast media, whereas mobile technology is an interactive medium. In terms of uptake it has massively surpassed PCs, so we feel that it warrants particular attention.”

If you wish to add to the discussion, then simply share your views in the comments section below.

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Online Education shows Career Changers a Good Way to Study with Pleasure

In the recent years, a lot of post-secondary institutions have come up with a wide range of online courses. According to Dr. Gwen Hillesheim, a senior academic instructor working in one of the world’s reputed universities said that the internet has brought drastic modifications not only in the thinking abilities of students but most importantly in the education system conducted on a global basis. He further said that the career changers have never felt so easy in flexibly pursuing career programs like what they are doing now with the initiation of online education.

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Online Learning encourages people over 40s

According to reports published by Career Education Corporation, it was found that nearly 35% of the students pursuing higher education were career changers. Bilita Mates working in the Harrisburg University of Science and Technology also said that a huge percentage of online students over 25 have experienced major developments in higher education. In fact, those who are 45 and above are no more required to fall into embarrassments by joining campuses for a full-time course. Online educators will be taking the major initiative to fulfill their dreams.

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The changing workplace

Mattes however came up with another declaration that online education despite offering flexibility and convenience to individuals above 40 cannot be considered a primary alternative for the career changers. Owing to constant changes in the nature of work and job demands, the emphasis has been laid more on cognitive and decision making skills. The society at present runs on the basis of technology which was not so around 10 to 15 years ago.

Online learning is always advantageous

Online education has indeed been quite advantageous. The two factors – Flexibility and Convenience have altogether made this learning mode score higher than traditional classroom learning. A group of scholars came up with positive approaches towards the concept of receiving education online. They expressed wonder that what could have been better than getting an opportunity to study from home, work and handle family responsibilities at the same time?

According to Shelley Dixon, the online classrooms usually involve asynchronous learning ambiances where an individual gets the opportunity to fix one’s own schedules in order to cope up with his/her personal responsibilities. A student will be able to log in after completing his/her work shift and can thereafter pursue a career program with ease. Experts have moreover said that those potential students who take their online lessons casually might not fetch good results in the end. One should be rather serious enough to meet one’s own responsibility and get the assignments done as directed by the online educators.

Future for online learners is bright

Future predictions are absolutely bright for online learners. A good number of high school teachers have predicted that the online learners will take absolute pleasure in playing with latest learning tools and software applications. This will surely fetch better results to individuals in getting updated compared to those spending long hours in the brick and mortar classrooms.

In fact, the African countries have started making developments in their education systems. This is one of the reasons why the option of distance learning in Nigeria has become a craze for career changers residing throughout Africa. In other words, online learning has achieved omnipresence which will continue to inspire career changers till eternity. Whether it’s Africa, America or Asia, online education will rule at every nook and corner.

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Exploring Nigeria’s Education System for Progress of Society

The past few years have witnessed considerable progress in Nigeria’s education system. Here, the education system is supervised by the state. It is an impressive educational structure that has been making a steady growth with superior progress in primary, secondary and higher educational system. As a whole, the country is significantly contributing to the various sectors of the society for its overall expansion.

English: Atlantic Hall, Poka-Epe

Atlantic Hall, Poka-Epe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some facts about Nigeria’s Education Structure

  • Nigeria’s present literacy rate is 72%, which is ever-rising.
  • The country boasts of 27 federal and state-owned polytechnics
  • Primary education level spans over 6 years, which is mandatory

The Present Scenario

With a reasonable number of state colleges, universities and school; the country’s local and state governments manage and administer the primary and secondary level of education. Higher education is the responsibility of both federal and state government. However, as part of formal educational system, the major points are as follows.

  • 6 years of primary schooling
  • 3 years of junior level secondary schooling
  • 3 years of senior level secondary schooling
  • 4 years of university level education, directing to a bachelor’s degree in almost all the subjects

How Education is the Reason of Progress for the Society?

The above structure is productively designed to the contribution in different sectors for an evolving societal system. A few decades back, the introduction of primary and higher education in marked the benchmark for remarkable progresses in fields of employment, production and revenue growth. The technique triggered impressive progress of the society as a whole that brought about great economic boost. Today, Nigeria is developing towards huge progress with education being the prime basis of foundation.

How is Open learning contributing to the society?

Open learning is referred to policies and practices that enable learning with minimum barriers with no restriction of gender, age and time, however, with recognition of prior learning. Since the introduction of open learning in the country, there has been noteworthy progress with access of education becoming easy. This particular mode of education can accommodate the diverse educational and learning styles thus rendering access to normally inaccessible and remote areas by under-represented groups in the society.

Distance Learning in the Context of the Nation’s Growth

Open learning is synonymous to distance learning, which is accomplished over the internet. Many students and professional enthusiasts access distance learning through the online medium, which holds many advantages like flexibility, quality and good value for money. The system brings many underprivileged aspirants under the scanner thus rendering impetus to their contribution and ensuring economic growth. Today, Nigeria is striding ahead with super-fast advancement in industries that is by increasing employment and rooting financial stability of the nation.

Hence, Online Learning in Nigeria and the overall educational structure are designed to enlighten the nation’s population with determination and objective to contribute productively to the society for great progress.

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Internet is the modern Messiah for Education

The technological progression is always on the go and is always looking forward to come up with new inventions for the benefits of the people. And the most useful technological product is computer as with this amazing gadget people can carry out all sorts of work. In third world countries like Nigeria people find it quite difficult to earn higher degree qualification and this is one main reason why most of them prefer doing their bachelor or master degree courses online.

In Nigeria though there are colleges and universities, most of them are not that up to mark like those in the UK. They are still in the process to become more refine and standard so that students can obtain reputed degrees that will help them to enhance their career in future. But with the invention of internet people have access to thousands of things all over the world. Internet is like god for the people.

People are able to get hold of a lot of things jut at one click that would have not been possible if internet did not exist. Well you must be aware of:

  • What internet is all about?
  • How did it come into existence?
  • What makes it the modern messiah for education?

The history of the Internet began with the development of electronic computers in the 1950s. The public was first introduced to the Internet when a message was sent from computer science Professor Leonard Klein rock’s laboratory at University of California, Los Angeles, after the second piece of network equipment was installed at Stanford Research Institute. This connection not only enabled the first transmission to be made, but is also considered to be the first Internet backbone.

Internet is one such essential tool that it is used for different kinds of functions related to education. Some of the educational function carried out by internet is as follows:

  • Helps to learn or study
  • Find study materials or resources
  • Do a full time course through internet which is known as online course
  • Internet helps one to remain connected with others better known as networking

So for a country like Nigeria having access to internet is indeed a blessing as they can fulfill their desire of obtaining a degree from UK at a reasonable cost. And most of the people of Nigeria aspire to do their studies from UK and hence opting for UK online study is the best choice  for them. Here is a depiction of the topic through an awesome info-graphic.

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