The use of m-learning - education disseminated and accessed by means of mobile devices such as smartphones - is one exciting potential way to boost the Senegalese education system. Senegal is one of several countries in Sub-Sahara Africa with an education system that is not accessible to all. This is reflected in the statistics relating to the Senegalese education system. Recent UNICEF statistics show, for example, that female literacy in Senegal is as low as 56.2%. Net enrolment in primary school is just over 76% with not all students making it to the end of their primary school studies. When it comes to enrolment in secondary school, the rates are just over 30% for both male and female students. Something needs to be done in order to ensure that literacy rates improve, especially for girls, and that all students get full access to education. Mobile based learning is a powerful edtech tool for solving this problem. Before we can understand the benefits of m learning in Senegal, though, it is crucial to understand why the education infrastructure as it is is not working for all.
Read the full article about m-learning in Senegal here: M-Learning (Mobile Learning) in Africa
This article was originally published on: http://africabusinesscommunities.com/features/column-jens-ischebeck-m-learning-in-senegal.html
Ghana is a country that does not have a coherent policy for education infrastructure. At the same time, rising rates of mobile phone use among the population make this country ripe for an m-learning revolution. School infrastructure in Ghana can be very poor, with inadequate ventilation, security features (for example, for laboratory equipment) safety for flooring and other issues. These conditions can make it especially difficult for learners with disabilities either to make it to school in the first place or to learn in comfort once they are there. M-learning is a viable nation wide solution to these defects in Ghana's present education infrastructure. M-Learning has the potential to reach all students in the country through the simple medium of their mobile phones. As a result, it would surmount the difficulties inherent in Ghana's less than perfect current educational infrastructure.
Read the full article about m-learning in Ghana here: M-Learning (Mobile Learning) in Africa
This article was originally published on: http://africabusinesscommunities.com/features/column-jens-ischebeck-m-learning-in-ghana.html
M-learning, or 'Mobile Learning', has become increasingly popular in recent years with students participating in courses from all around the globe. The platform allows students to partake in courses offered by top universities and gain recognized qualifications through distance learning. Sub-Sahara Africa has come a long way in terms of development and education with more residents gaining a level of education which was almost unattainable in the past.
Read the full article about m-learning in Kenya here: M-Learning in Sub-Sahara-Africa
This article was originally published on: https://tote.co.ke/m-learning-a-powerful-tool-for-africas-sub-sahara/
Not a fun fact: There are 128 million school-aged children in sub-Sahara Africa; of these, 17 million children will never see a school.
Here’s another: 37 million African children do go to school, but what they learn will never hold them in good stead. So it’s as well that they don’t go to school at all.
Crippled by poverty, overpopulation, linguistic hurdles and lackadaisical governments, sub-Sahara Africa students find it hard to obtain the level of education they want. If you are a student, teacher or educational professional in Africa – you should know that online courses - mobile learning (m-learning) and e-learning is the way to pave Africa’s future. There are many reasons to promote EdTech.
Steady access to education in Africa depends on several factors, as follows:
• Location of the school – this depends on various factors. Some areas of Africa are densely populated, while others are not. There is an effort to start more schools in densely populated areas, but these are little more than sheds. Then again, in lesser developed and lesser populated areas, schools are few in between.
• Aspects such as how many schools are available per region, and what distance must children travel to get to school must be considered. Children are forced to travel long distances to get to school, and the resulting transport and safety issues are many.
• There’s also the cost of schooling. How many parents can afford to send their children to school, paying hard-earned cash for supplies and so on?
• Parent’s attitude towards schooling – not all parents are cognisant of the need for schooling for their children, or its importance. This socio-cultural issue stands at the root of children being pulled out of school.
More than 40 percent of children in seven sub-Sahara Africa countries – including Nigeria, Zambia and Ethiopia – don’t have the basic learning skills expected of a grade 5 student. Dropping out of school at secondary and even primary level is rampant. Half of the children in sub-Sahara Africa will grow up without knowing how to read, write, or count.
Even in regions comprising more educational institutions than usual, the enrolment and progress statistics are not encouraging. Owing to the lack of quality teaching and consistency of teaching resources, there’s a great deal of grade repetition. As a result, the number of children who successfully complete primary grades are few, which means primary schools are fuller than secondary schools.
Speaking of teaching staff, senior staff is paid more than inexperienced ones, as it should be. However, this means that in schools where most of the staff is older, the salary figures are high. This causes schools to hire younger staff and retire the older ones sooner than necessary. All of these factors affect the quality of education provided in these schools. Given all these factors, the present educational system in Africa is not very effective, in terms of helping young people to develop and progress into careers.
Even though some government-sponsored schools are free, students in many African countries have to pay for school supplies and uniforms. An average high-school education costs about $500 a year in most African countries. Only those Africans who are employed in top industries (mining, agriculture and oil & gas) are able to afford schooling for their children.
That’s the gap where e-learning providers can enter the market and bring affordable access to education to many more of the unschooled children.
The medium of instruction is another reason for mass school dropouts. Children have to travel considerable distances to get to school; given sub-Sahara Africa’s cultural diversity, there’s always a dialect or language mismatch. It’s difficult for children to study in a language other than their own.
This can be a high fence for classical education tools based on printouts and face-to-face lessons. For edtech based lessons with software the linguistic hurdled can be decreased with the help of translation programs, already installed in the elearning products.
M-learning bridges several gaps – cultural, geographical, demographical, and economical. Anyone can join online courses, no matter what their age. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are free online courses for those with access to the Internet. These courses do not offer academic credit, though they are the same as university courses. The African Virtual University (AVU) connects students with universities in developed countries to provide MOOC edtech. There are many other organisations offering excellent MOOC edtech programs.
There are online courses even for those African students who’ve only cleared primary or secondary level schooling. Schools and universities use special MOOC software to teach, and keep in touch with their students via video tools such as Skype and WhatsApp.
Many parts of Africa have regular power interruptions and poor Internet access. Even though mobile learning is catching up, it’ll take some time for m-learning programs to spread over the continent. The good news is, even with poor online connectivity, the web has penetrated into every African country. People transfer money via the Internet, connect with friends over social media, and even do shopping. More Africans access the Internet via their PCs and laptops rather than their smartphones. With mobile learning MOOC edtech, people can study as they go about their work. Motivating people to sign up for mobile learning, or m-learning, will help online courses reach more people.
African politicians are quick to realise and leverage the advantages presented by MOOC edtech. 19 sub-Saharan African countries have signed up with AVU to establish e-learning as their long-term strategy for educational development.
In addition to governmental initiatives, there are commercial companies filling up the gap. Initiatives like the African Leadership University (ALU) program aim to establish a network of universities to teach leadership skills to as many African students as possible.
African governments are working with various developed countries and NGOs to establish school networks through the Internet all over sub-Saharan Africa. The new technology-driven policies we’re seeing in African countries are behind this venture.
However, along with the policies, Africa needs a streamlined process to ensure proper technical maintenance of m-learning networks. Also, content development and instructional processes for mobile learning edtech need to be consistent. Africa has to put in a lot of effort to make m-learning accessible to all, while sustaining and maintaining indigenous capacities.
This article was originally published on: https://elearningindustry.com/how-close-skills-gap-in-africa
Learning through mobile phones is a revolutionary new type of edtech that enables people to learn remotely. M-learning is particularly useful in countries where literacy rates are low, and where school children struggle to complete their education - whether due to poor school facilities, the prevalence of child labour or poor transport infrastructure making it hard for children physically to reach the classroom. Through their mobile phones, learners can engage with all kinds of courses, such as adult education courses, exam revision, diplomas, language qualifications and MOOC.
Thus, m-learning has great potential for improving a population's access to education in any region of the world. In West Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa in particular, mobile learning and edtech offers some very exciting possibilities.
But what about the specific case of Nigeria? Knowing whether or not these types of technology will have a positive impact on a given country will depend on many factors, including the population's mobile phone use rates, existing educational facilities, the economic situation of the country and the quality of telecommunications infrastructure. So, let's look more closely at each of these factors for Nigeria.
Read this full article about online courses here: M-Learning (Mobile Learning) in Africa
This article was originally published on: http://africabusinesscommunities.com/features/column-jens-ischebeck-the-potential-for-m-learning-in-nigeria.html
Education, it has been said, is the key to success. One easy to access education tool are online courses. Online courses are available for nearly every topic.
In a similar fashion, there is no doubt that knowledge is power. Indeed, education is a sure way for individuals to achieve their personal dreams and aspirations. At the same time, it is one of
the critical ways through which countries can individually and collectively attain their set development goals. Africa, and especially Sub-Sahara Africa, is home to some of the fastest growing
economies in the world. The continent boasts a large youthful population, which is a key ingredient for economic takeoff. There is also an increase in the use of mobile phones across the continent,
with a good number of both urban and rural populations enjoying related services. What holds even greater promise for Sub-Sahara Africa is the fast growing rate of internet access as well as the
proliferation of smartphones.
However, for Africa to reach its growth point, it is imperative that the young population is equipped with education and the skills necessary to run a complex and modern economy. It is only in this way that the continent’s potential will be harnessed.
E-learning, a concept that came into being with the advent of technology and the internet, is one of the ways through which access to education has been enhanced over recent years. E-learning, which means learning through electronic media, has greatly reduced hurdles associated with accessing education. Moreover, the development of edtech has seen many people on the continent access online courses from the comfort of their homes and offices.
Read this full article about online courses here: 10 Popular Online Courses in 2017
This e-learning article was originally published on ChickAboutTown: www.chickabouttown.com/10-popular-online-courses-pursue-sub-saharan-africa/
Rwanda is a small country in Eastern Africa, near but not a part of the Horn of Africa. In the 1990s it suffered from the effects of a civil war involving genocide, but like many countries
following a war, it has holistically made attempts to recover.
One form Rwanda's recovery manifests in is improving education for its people: President Paul Kagame has allocated about 20% of the national budget to education.
This, combined with Rwanda's desire to modernize and improve in other areas, has resulted in its synergistic adoption of edtech such as online courses, even MOOC (massive open online courses).
The goal of the President's plan is primarily to improve the education level of most citizens so they can get high-income jobs. If national outcomes are any indication this plan is working well,
with Rwanda steadily on course to become a middle income country by 2020.
Part of the reason the government's education efforts have been so effective is because of ICT, its plan for information and communications technology. This plan, together with the desire to increase accessibility of education, has resulted in a surge in the use of e-learning in Rwanda.
The key benefit is that physical inaccessibility is not a large obstacle when communications technology is used to bridge the gap between prospective students and teachers.
This means many different areas of Rwanda can access e-learning, particularly m-learning, which makes use of ultra-portable devices such as tablets to deliver access to education to all areas of Rwanda.
Rwanda also benefits from East Africa as a whole becoming more tech-savvy. The M-Pesa service, which provides access to digital financial transactions in its origin country of Kenya and many others, is one example of Africa's tech growth.
Thus, with its neighbors also enjoying technological growth, Rwanda is uniquely poised to take advantage of edtech, and is definitely doing so: online courses are available for a wide variety of purposes, with the variety of courses expanding alongside technology in Rwanda and Africa as a whole.
The University of Rwanda has in fact integrated an e-learning module into its supply, signalling that as time goes on, e-learning and m-learning will become a significant part of university education in Rwanda as well.
Currently, the largest roadblock to education in Rwanda is a lack of teacher training. Teachers are not exceptionally common in Rwanda, and teachers qualified to provide m-learning are not common even in certain high-income countries.
This makes Rwanda an excellent choice for private education businesses, or individual teachers willing to learn the necessary skills. Educators who come to Rwanda are well-supported by the
government, and those from first-world countries in particular bring skillsets that Rwanda needs in its time of educational growth.
Due to the online nature of edtech, some companies can even provide education services to Rwanda without much or any physical relocation. For example, a company that provides MOOCs in the US can take steps to do the same in Rwanda, which will ultimately benefit both company and country.
Even when not directly providing their own services to Rwanda and its citizens, educators can profit from providing necessary knowledge to educators in Rwanda. For example, a small business that helps manage exam results in the United Kingdom could potentially aid a Rwandan online school in learning to perform exam preparations.
And once again, it's important to keep in mind that there is a huge student base in Rwanda. Online courses are increasingly able to reach citizens in the Rwandan frontier who previously had absolute no Internet access. This has naturally resulted in increasing demand for all manner of education-related services.
In other words, with Rwanda, we are looking at a country where m-learning is bridging the gap between citizens and paying jobs, and where edtech allows knowledge to cross continents and empower a
growing country. And due to the government's excellent support for online learning, educators interested in Rwanda are generally looking at a very, very good ROI.
Overall, Rwanda is doing very well for itself, particularly in education but also in areas such as health care, and edtech is a major stepping stone to improving life for many of Rwanda's citizens, from the bottom up. Both for profit and for humanitarian reasons, online course providers and other education businesses would do well to look at their options in Rwanda.
This e-learning article was originally published on eLearning Industry: elearningindustry.com/rwandas-education-technology
With wealth increasing in Sub-Sahara Africa, now is most definitely the time to explore the potential for edtech to revolutionise e-learning in this region of the continent. This article explains some of the implications of recent studies and statistics relation to edtech in Tanzania, and formulates some strategies for implementing m-learning technologies in this country.
Read this full article about m-learning in Tanzania here: M-Learning (Mobile Learning) in Africa
This e-learning article was originally published on African Business Communities: africabusinesscommunities.com/features/
What is the potential for e-learning via smartphones via online courses such as MOOC and other mobile based edtech solutions (collectively known as m-learning strategies) for East Africa? Home to key mobile phone using economies such as Kenya and Egypt, East Africa has great potential to start off with. But, how might mobile based learning change the educational landscape of East Africa? East Africa is a varied region of Africa, comprising some booming economies and others that are struggling, some of Africa's top economies and some countries that are classed as very low income. So, one key question to ask here is whether it is advisable (or even feasible) to implement a region wide solution for all of East Africa or to take things on a country by country basis.
Read this full article about online courses here: M-Learning (Mobile Learning) in Africa
This e-learning article was originally published on African Business Communities: http://africabusinesscommunities.com/
Coursera announces an optimization in its payment model
Coursera.org is one of the successful global e-learning providers. It offers MOOC (massive open online courses) from top universities. That way, Coursera provides universal access to the world’s best education, partnering with top universities and organizations to offer courses online.
Now Coursera announces an optimized payment model taking into consideration the different learning speeds doing e-learning. Since m-learning with mobile phones and e-learning with PCs or Notebooks becomes more and more popular, Coursera reflects the various needs of students by updating its way of payment.
If you want to get familiar with online courses of Coursera, just click here.
Here you can read the full announcement of the recent change, published on the Coursera blog page:
“Introducing Subscriptions for Specializations
By Tom Willerer, Chief Product Officer of Coursera
At Coursera, we believe education is a lifelong pursuit, and we want to empower you to achieve your goals throughout your life and career. We’re continually working to improve our courses and platform to give you access to relevant content, and to help you learn more efficiently and effectively.
Today, we’re excited to announce Specialization subscriptions - a new payment model that allows you to purchase access to all content in a Specialization on a month-by-month or annual basis, so that you’re paying only for the amount of time you need to learn the material and earn your Certificate.
You can now subscribe to some Specializations on Coursera for a monthly fee rather than paying up front for an entire course or Specialization, and this payment model will be rolled out to many of our most popular Specializations over the coming months. Subscriptions are typically priced from $39 to $89 per month for access to one Specialization, with no long-term commitment required. Subscribing to a Specialization gives you access to all content in every course in the Specialization for as long as your subscription is active. Based on the completion times that we typically see for our most popular Specializations, the subscription model has the potential to reduce costs for many learners.
Our subscription model is designed to help you:
Pay for the time you actually spend learning. With all courses in subscription-based Specializations running at least monthly, you can complete a Specialization in as little as a month (if, for example, you’re already familiar with some of the material), or over several months (if the topic is completely new to you). Either way, rather than paying up front for the entire Specialization, you’ll pay a price based on the time you actually spend engaging with the Specialization content.
Consistently achieve your learning goals. In tests of the subscription model, we saw that learners who paid for a monthly subscription were about 2.5x more likely to complete a Specialization as compared to learners who paid the full price of each course or the entire Specialization up front. We believe that, by rewarding faster completion, the subscription model will give you a powerful incentive to achieve your goals.
Adjust your learning schedule to fit your lifestyle. Our subscription model allows you to start and stop your Specialization progress at any time - there are no startup or cancellation fees, and your work will be saved so you can always pick up where you left off.
Subscriptions will be available worldwide in select Specializations starting this week. We’ll be gradually increasing the number of subscription-based Specializations throughout the remainder of 2016.”
Leadership and getting leadership skills is a hot topic for many African students or young management people. There is a common sense that there is a huge opportunity for many African societies and economies to improve their living standard based on an improved leadership education of the future generation of management leaders.
Now, the question for all students is how to get these leadership skills. And which are the leadership skills.
The basis for each secondary and tertiary education must be the established educational institutions such as colleges and universities. They are the first point of access to the needed knowledge. Nevertheless, sometimes there might be occur the need for additional know how or the need to get the know how in a different manner.
Acquire successful leadership skills with e-learning
And that’s the point where the so called e-learning enters the discussion. E-learning means mainly the participation in online courses via PC or Notebook. On the market exist several providers (commercial and academic) of such online courses enabling distance education for the students. Even more specialized there is also the term m-learning which stands for mobile learning. M-learning is characterized by using mobile phones, smartphones or tablets for the online learning.
Back to our leadership skills. I imagine you are a student or a postgraduate with management tasks. You should lead people and wonder how you can do it. Or you do it already and want to improve your leader qualities.
I studied several e-learning providers for online courses on my website. There are a set of established commercial providers:
In this article I focus on leadership online courses presented by Udemy.com. As my top three answers for gaining leader qualities I recommend:
22 Practical lessons in leadership
Leadership skills mastery
Leadership beginner to advance
Online course description, taken from Udemy.com:
Do you want to become a Leadership Expert? Do you want to advance your career or land a new job? Do you need to do Professional Development? Or are you just wanting to learn a new skill?
Preconditions: no prerequisites
Adresses whom: This course is ideal for anyone who wishes to develop an understanding in leadership theory.
Scope: 23 lessons, duration is one hour
Price: 20 USD
Click here to register now: Leadership beginner to Advance
Online course description, taken from Udemy.com:
Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and David Beckham. Know what they did right as leaders and what you can learn from them!
Through this 22 video course, you will receive precious nuggets of advice on how to become a leader in your own right. Armed with these practical skills, you can now thrive in your organisation and make a positive difference!
You can be a leader, and the time to take action is NOW!
Preconditions: You need to be willing to take action and apply leadership skills to your everyday life. A burning desire to become an outstanding leader.
Adresses whom: This course is for anyone who wants simple and yet actionable steps to build their leadership skills. For those that may be in a position of influence. For example: Teachers, Managers etc.
Scope: 22 lessons, duration is 1.5 hours
Price: 45 USD
Click here to register now: 22 Practical lessons in leadership
Online course description, taken from Udemy.com:
How to Become a Leader and Increase Your Leadership Influence, Loyalty & Income
Leadership is uncommon. Some people believe that you're either born with leadership skills and leadership qualities, or your not.
The good news is that leadership skills can be learned and practiced, which means you can can increase your leadership abilities.
This is currently a Best-Selling Leadership Course: 10,300+ students in 157 Countries
Preconditions: An Open Mind, Internet Access, Willingness to Apply What is Learned
Adresses whom: This course is primarily for beginning and intermediate level leaders; This course is also for experienced Leaders who are not getting the results they are looking for; This course is not for veteran Leaders who are happy with their results
Scope: 33 lessons, duration is 3.5 hours
Price: 200 USD
Click here to register now: Leadership skills mastery
There are many, many more offered online courses dealing with e-learning of leadership skills. But anyhow, everybody needs a starting point and I think the above described online courses are good to get a first touch. Visit Udemy to find many for of such online courses.
On www.apps-for-learning.com we follow this subject closely. We see the demand for e-learning and online courses and we see the great willingness of students and many interested people to integrate online learning into their daily life.
E-learning and m-learning are huge fields of knowhow, facts and development. To give you a better understanding of it, we publish here articles which try to explain the mobile learning market and its players. In addition, we study the mobile market situation and development in regards to some African regions like East Africa or even some African countries. E.g. the KING countries (Kenya, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Ghana) have high internet penetration rates and are deemed to be able to develop very well their distance learning projects.
The online portals offered by smartphone applications are ideal for academic learning and business training alike; numerous subjects and course titles are available as well as programmes for the public sector, civil servants and government related topics.
Some courses are free of charge and may be offered as a public service or with company sponsorship. Alternatively, other paid courses have a fee structure with prices varying from provider to provider, at reasonable and affordable rates for aspiring learners with a smartphone. Importantly, there are also no travelling expenses (or time) or college fees.
Learning-related apps are one of the most recent developments for students and professionals to acquire new knowledge and skills, conveniently. Simple to download and install on a smartphone, this
modern method and contemporary approach represents a marked change from traditional lessons in a classroom. Naturally, formal teaching methodologies continue to have their place in the educative
system, complemented by these newer and fresher methods which modern technology now offers. Students can discover new concepts via an exciting and interesting platform, through an intuitive interface
which has been designed to support progress towards course objectives.
Additionally, many employers find job applicants more attractive if they have taken positive steps towards their self-development. We advise potential students who are considering this modern methodology to explore the websites of two leading providers, udemy.com and lecturio.com. In addition to listing an extensive choice of subjects and titles, these easy-to-use platforms provide powerful course search facilities and even offer occasional special promotions for subscribers.
Typical issues and questions are such as:
How can I learn online? How can I study online? How can I graduate online?
Are online courses available? How can I find online courses?
I look for an app teaching online, an e-learning app, where do I find it?
Given that smartphones are becoming increasingly popular with students for mobile assisted learning, at apps-for-learning.com we will be delighted to help you to save time and make an informed choice.