WORKSHOP: Collaborative Learning for Professional Development

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During the IST Africa Conference in Durban, South Africa we organized an interactive workshop during one of the parallel sessions on technology-enhanced learning. The workshop at IST Africa followed from a series discussion about "Universities 2.0", i.e. how the next generation of universities could (and should) look like.
The first face-to-face discussion took place at eLearning Africa in Dakar, Senegal in May 2009, followed by a workshop at the ICDE/EADTU Conference in Maastricht, The Netherlands, and a 3-weeks online discussion on Science Connect. A key outcome of those discussion about a new generation of universities was the fact that the nature of such a university will be strongly influenced by the integration of e-learning into learning and teaching practices.

During our discussions we
  • thought about the role of universities as global learning organizations and the impact of e-learning as a driver for innovation and
  • heard from participants that e-learning would eventually introduce a paradigm shift to a more flexible, mobile, collaborative and student-centered learning approach.

Therefore it seems that those "Universities 2.0" will also need educationalists of a new generation. Can e-learning help to make them fit for those new demands? What exactly does e-learning mean anyways? E-learning can be the application of electronic tools in the support of any kind of learning, from formal to informal, from personal to group to network. E-learning is not the just the technology, but how we use the technology. It is the intersection of technology, process and people in the service of learning, any where, any time, and any place.
This dimension of e-learning is what lead us to think of the change potential that e-learning has for an organization. In order to use this change potential we have to arrive at a clear understanding of which kind of learning environment we want to shape with this learning technology. That is why our workshop at IST Africa was more about our professional development in the "2.0" era. E-learning initiatives have often primarily focused on formal institutional curriculum. Yet the very same technology can be used to support professional development and connect educationalists. Connecting via online communities and networks can be a key professional development strategy.

We'll share slides, pictures and notes after the workshop (probably after we all get back home.) Please feel free to join the wiki and contribute your thoughts, or share it with your colleagues.

Maike Schansker (UNU-ViE), Tony Carr (University Cape Town) and Nancy White (Fullcircle Associates)

Here are some additional pictures of graphic notes Maike and Nancy made of other parelles sessions in the "Technology-enhanced learning" track (Track "c") over the three conference days.

Some pictures are already available on flickr:

Next Steps

After the input about e/merge and triangulation and some group discussions about using online networks and communities for our professional development, participants came up with the following action points for the future:

· 1. Programme, 2. Planning 3. Quality assurance
· I will share the interactive learning model of this session with my colleagues back home in Cairo - thanks, Effat El Shoohy
· 1. Business connection - facilitation 2. Develop infrastructure 3. Improve education 4. model success
· Email people and create (first) direct interaction between the concerned people of EU/Africa
· Research jointly
· Email the people who presented related to my research to get
various information, knowledge, methodology
· I took business cards, pamphlets to refer and communicate in the future
· Video (YouTube) marketing
· Involve school administrators and teachers in online collaboration, particularly brainstorm on the challenges they face
· getting teachers to collaborate for content development towards our wiki and principles also management issues
· establish network with younger people to get their views on social issues around web 2.0
· need to walk my talk; use this in workshops as a model for F2F (Derek)
· creating research; collaboration with Siyakwila Living Lab (and other relevant institutions) for rural WIMAx in order to develop skills within our lab
· Business connection facilitation
· Improve in education
· Natural science
· Visit another institution
· Email people and create (first) direction interaction between the concerned people, esp EU/Africa research and jointly in doing research
· Email to the people who are presenting related to my research international research to get various institutions,
· Knowledge, methodology (scan for clarity)
· I took business cards, pamphlets to refer and communicate in the future