Tag Archives: online education

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 

                    Source – bit.ly/1Bo6mPY

 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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Nigerian Students can Now Exploit Multi-Beneficial Online Courses through UK Universities

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Source: bit.ly/1cRhmDY

Online education has been the saviour amidst every sort of educational crisis.  Especially, when career-oriented leaning to be addressed, online learning earns a good reputation for itself.  For a number of factors getting simplified with this online mode of education, universities are rapidly developing multiple varieties of online courses. As well, a huge number of students are making congregations around this online university programmes with the aim of gaining experiential learning and attracting employers’ attention more persuasively.

Technology-based Learning

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Source: bit.ly/1jgiiqg

The reason behind online education becoming so enormously popular is people’s fondness to go with the trend. The advancement of technology has prepared human mind to do a work technologically, with maximum outcome fetched out of minimum effort given. For this predominant attitude powerfully present among people, traditional methods of education in so-called brick and mortar institutions are fast becoming obsolete and to complement them is emerged the technology-based online education. Over the time online learning has earned huge public confidence on account of its efficacy to impart knowledge so swiftly and engage the students to understand the applied aspects of every subject taught.

Online Courses Reign

 

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Source: bit.ly/1k5OgTG

In spite of the dominating scepticism over online learning it has successfully announced its efficacy for nurturing natural abilities to flourish into expected professional skills. This special attention to one’s career possibility is the exceptionality of online education which is barely found in conventional educational structure.

These sort of interesting learning, though lately, is now within the reach of students belong to relatively under-developed countries. Students from countries like Nigeria have now every reason to advance their further education through online learning programmes for far better career possibilities against nominal efforts. Students all over the world have recognised the true essence of virtual learning and acknowledged its superiority of experiential learning. Nigerian students need to understand all the advantages associated with online education and take benefits of them.

Flexible Study Schedules

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Source: bit.ly/IDQSfH

Online courses in Nigeria announce studying beyond the traditional boundaries whereby Nigerian students can now have the privilege to earn and learn together. They can exploit a new dimension of unrestrained learning designed by eminent UK universities that allows them to study as per their convenience, instead of being bound to follow the schedules of any institutional routine. Now, when they have the liberty to study as per their own flexible time they also have a great length of time in hand in which they can be involved in some experience-generating work, relevant to their curriculum.

Affordability

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Source: bit.ly/IIUFcu

Another great benefit of online courses is low-cost fees structure. With as minimal as just a fraction of amount charged by traditional universities students can continue their course of higher studies. Besides, the opportunity of doing jobs parallel to study enables the students managing their other requirements. With just an internet connection and few simple devices like PC, or tablet or mobile phone students can always get connected to their study materials and faculty wherever they are and whenever they want.

This design of online education prepares students experientially rich as well as theoretically strong. The successful combination of their online learning and on-industry involvement makes them somewhat superior than the on-campus students whose work experiences in most of the cases are nil. Nigerian students must exploit so numerous advantages of online learning. It will suit everyone’s life’s obligations and fit around everyone’s need.

Online Education and its Role in the Development of a Generation

Despite this being the second decade of the new millennium, education is a myth for many countries across the world. This is especially true in the case of higher education and specialised studies. In addition to the absence of a holistic educational system, there are many educational myths that cause more harm than good. An example of this is the strong bias against distance education. With the arrival of the internet and the World Wide Web, education was now available in the most remote areas, the most war torn countries, the most underdeveloped sections of society, but this mythical bias left few takers. Thankfully, many educators across the globe are working to dispel any wrong notions about studying online.

Group of smiling young people in training courseImage Courtesy: goo.gl/ZP4ot

The usual suspects, when it comes to criticizing online education, are the following:

Out of all these, none of them are true anymore. Course materials are being developed by the best and the brightest educators at universities that rank as the best centres of education in the world; exams are either open book or proctored and various other methods of assessments like reports and papers are a must; students can now associate with other students (via social media) across the globe and develop an international educational support system while teachers are available on audio or video chat and through e-mails. And the last stereotype about employers couldn’t be farthest from the truth. In fact, employers encourage existing employees to enhance their knowledge by studying online.

Once one can look past these misconceptions about online education, one will be able to see how immensely helpful it is and how it can become the educational backbone of developing nations and bring them at par with other nations. For example, think of Nigeria. A country steeped in political turmoil and social unrest, its education system has been unable to provide a quality education to those who want to pursue higher academics with the intention of bettering their lives. Those that have access to the internet can find details about the online courses conducted by renowned universities. Armed with a global degree, students of such courses would have the capacity to not only change their own lives, but the lives of others around them. It could lead to the birth of a new generation that can work towards the development of its country.

Studying Online Is a Great Initiative for Career Enthusiasts

The advancement in technology has not only brought about a change in the way people communicate and obtain information but the concept of education as well. Quite different from the traditional ways of learning with lecture packed crowded classes, universities are now offering online degree courses to learners all across the world.

Learning Online

With this kind of system everything goes online like attending classes, working on projects, taking exams and asking questions. This system of learning is known as online education or distance learning. There are many advantages that studying online can offer can provide you:

  • These courses are highly beneficial for those who are working professionals and employed students as they have a hectic schedule. It is a great way for working individuals to make a career move as it does not demand the student attending classes in a traditional setting. The education and training will help you improve your expertise in your field of career. You get the freedom of selecting any subject specific to your interest.
  • Some of the universities offering distance learning courses offer extra services like advice online, student associations and newspapers. With the advancement of technology every passing day, online education gains popularity. It gives students the opportunity of pursuing their education while attending other responsibilities and commitments in their personal life.
  • Online courses do not require you taking courses at the campus. It saves the time and money of commuting. From the comfort of your home you will be able to watch lectures by trained professionals and you can question them if you need any help.
  • Now your favorite college will come to you as you no longer will be confined by geographical borders. Degrees from universities and colleges from any hook and corner of the world can be achieved by enrolling for these online courses.

The importance of studying online and its advantages are many. Success however depends on the leaner how he makes use of the available resources in the best possible way to reach his goals.