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Notable points from PanAf Edu’s newsletter

March 12, 2010  »  EducationNo Comment
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Pedagogical integration is the future

PanAf Edu Vol. 2, N°1 on ICT research in education in Africa (27pp, 3.5MB) is a must-read for those interested in the field of African education. The publication contains a dozen first-hand reports focus on how computer-based ICT has been utilized in West African secondary schools. All articles in the publication revolve around the theme of physical vs. pedagogical ICT integration. In short, physical integration would be any use of modern ICT to teach students whereas pedagogical integration would entail routine instruction via multiple sources. At the moment, physical integration of ICT is the standard practice in the surveyed schools, but the authors hope to change this practice in the coming months and years.

Notable passages from the newsletter:

  • The majority of the Internet is written in English with translation often taking the place of cognitive thinking. (5)
  • A conceptual model known as the ‘knowledge ladder’ helps focus the objectives of ICT education. Students can even plot their own course. (8)
  • Teacher-trainers often do not have proper training (most have fewer than 50 hours of instruction).  (11)
  • Online communication via a forum is as socially durable as classical classroom learning. (15)
  • Tunisia uses computer-aided testing in classrooms. (16)
  • Secondary school educators in Cote d’Ivoire uses a variety of ICT vehicles, but only for 1-3 hours per week. (17)
  • In Mozambique, few schools are connected to the Internet, but those that are perform better than others. With the advent of ICTs, teachers spend less time teaching and more time synthesizing the material. (21)
  • In Cameroonian secondary schools, ICT benefits are notable. However, many teachers do not see the benefit to themselves for utilizing ICT in the classroom. Plus, computer accessibility and anti-virus software are issues. (22)

Ten minutes of reading the PanAf newsletter will provide hours of thought.

The PanAf network (Panafrican Research Agenda on the pedagogical integration of ICT) is a project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC, www.idrc.ca) and managed by the Educational Research Network for West and Central Africa (ERNWACA www.ernwaca.org) and the University of Montreal (www.umontreal.ca ).