Bring on the change! – A look into the Digital Education Show Africa 2016
A look into the Digital Education Show Africa 2016
Whether the pen and paper will become obsolete in the future, time will tell but, the globe is moving rapidly towards complete digital intergration.
Children are growing up in a world where they are exposed to technology from an early stage, making them, as digital natives, more tech savvy than the adults who are meant to guide them through life’s little milestones.
Although the African continent is still lagging behind when it comes to the use of technology in schools, several steps are being taken to catch up with what the rest of the world is doing.
One such initiative is the annual Digital Education Show Africa, the 2nd edition of which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 18th – 19th October, 2016.
The event, which takes the shape of both an exhibition and a VIP conference aims to give insight into what the rest of the world, and Africa, is doing when it comes to E-learning and the use of digital innovation to make the classroom experience more interactive.
Over 100 exhibitors showcased their work at this year’s event, which caters for teachers, education specialists, parents, learners, and anyone else that has an interest in the evolution of education.
There was a great deal of attention around the early childhood development stands at the exhibition which, in a way, highlights the importance of understanding when and how children are exposed to technology, in all its forms.
Meanwhile, the Learning Desk Stand drew a lot of school teachers, which makes sense since the platform is designed to assist educators with E-learning training using fun and interactive methods to make the transition into what is, for many, an intimidating space.
For a more hands-on approach, visitors could actively take part in some of the interaction at the Via Afrika stand. With portals that tested General Knowledge and one’s ability to navigate various gadgets, adults were seen hogging tablets and concentrating on large screens in the hopes of scoring the highest marks in the fun and interactive quizzes which were set up for all to enjoy.
The speakers at this year’s conference gave insights into the changes in the digital education space as well as the integration of E-learning into African schools.
Jordan Casey, a 16-year old Irish entrepreneur and CEO of Wrehouse is the brains behind Casey Games, which is an apps development firm.
Casey games is one of the flagship projects created under the umbrella of Wrehouse.
He spoke about the challenges he faces as a young person with plenty of ideas on how to make daily activities easier with the use of technology.
He explained to those in attendance that running a business at such a young age is a difficult task daily as one often encounters people that don’t take you seriously.
He also highlighted the importance of getting children moving in the same direction as the rest of the globe when it comes to innovation
“I believe that education needs to move at the same pace as technology. With the right kind of government funding this can be achieved.” he said.
Another interesting concept, which was presented by Keshma Patel, who is a teacher at the Micklefield School in Cape Town, is Gamification. This is the use of gaming concepts in the classroom to motivate learners perform at their best.
Patel said the idea is to introduce different levels to learning with a prize of sorts awarded to learners upon the completion of the different levels.
“I have seen a major improvement in my learners since I started using the concept in my classroom. The learners are even taking initiative to come up with new ideas,” she added.
If this year was anything to go by, next year should build on everything and move us even further forward. Innovation happens daily across the world. Ours is to make it work in the spaces that need it most, like education.