Last month, LabXchange’s Head of Instructional Technology Kerisha Raghunandan and African Growth Consultant Andrew Minor attended the 2023 eLearning Africa conference in Dakar, Senegal. Held this year from May 24–26, the annual conference attracts hundreds of education professionals and policy makers from across Africa and Europe. This was the 16th edition of the conference and was an important gathering focused on exploring the intersection of education, technology, and development in Africa.
The conference aimed to address the crucial need for prioritizing education as a means to a prosperous future in the continent, requiring a comprehensive agenda aligned with the African Union's 2063 Vision, investment in education and training, and a focus on sustainable and equitable development, with the goal of positioning Africa as a global leader in cooperation and community-building.
Key themes discussed during the conference included the impact of AI on education, the role of technology in expanding access to education, and the importance of building digital infrastructure and skills to support e-learning initiatives. Although the use of AI in education is still in its early stages, there were a few promising proposals and projects discussed, including the use of AI in translating English-language learning materials to languages with smaller speaker bases in which such materials are not readily available.
Speakers and participants from various sectors, including government officials, educators, technology experts, and policymakers, shared their experiences, insights, and best practices in leveraging technology for education in Africa. The conference provided a platform for networking, collaboration, and the exchange of ideas among stakeholders involved in advancing e-learning in the region. We were able to meet with our friends at PhET Interactive Simulations, who had a booth set up to show off some of their impressive learning resources. (Read more about our new collaboration with PhET!)
Important topics covered at the conference included the use of online learning platforms, mobile technologies, and open educational resources to enhance learning outcomes, promote inclusivity, and bridge the digital divide. Discussions also touched upon the challenges that Africa faces in expanding digital learning, including connectivity infrastructure, affordability of devices and the internet, and the need for capacity building among teachers and learners with a focus on digital literacy.
Overall, the eLearning Africa conference fostered a vibrant and dynamic environment to explore innovative approaches to education in Africa, with a strong emphasis on harnessing the power of technology to drive educational transformation and empower individuals and communities across the continent. We look forward to attending again in the future!