Designing Online Conferences to Promote Professional Development in AfricaReport as inadecuate




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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, v12 n2 p80-104 2016

This article considers how online conferences can support professional development across Africa and reviews elements of the literatures of social learning, online professional development and online conferences. The e/merge online conference is then described in terms of design features and participation metrics. This sets context for discussion of the results of a qualitative analysis of statements by engaged online conference participants concerning the affordances of the online conference and their experiences of learning during the conference. Online conferences have become an increasingly well-accepted mode of delivery and interaction for professional development processes. This is partly driven by changing online conference designs, improved bandwidth and increasing take-up of internet services globally. The growth of online conferences is also in part a response to the travel costs, security fears, and ecological impacts related to traditional face-to-face conferences. The "e/merge" online conference series on the use of educational technology in Africa is an example of how online conferences can enhance professional networking and development of practitioners and researchers. Such conferences can bring together professionals with shared practices, facilitate learning at the boundaries of overlapping communities of practice and bring African and global experiences into a shared conversation about new opportunities and local contexts.

Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Conferences (Gatherings), Computer Mediated Communication, Program Design, Online Systems, Delivery Systems, Faculty Development, Educational Technology, Technology Uses in Education, Communities of Practice, Social Networks, Usability, Barriers, Participant Satisfaction, Interaction

International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. University of the West Indies Open Campus, Dave Hill, St. Michael BB11000, Barbados. Tel: 868-663-9021; Fax: 868-645-9741; Web site: http://ijedict.dec.uwi.edu/





Author: Carr, Tony

Source: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=1457&id=EJ1111518







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