The eBrain Forum of Zambia would like to see the Zambian education system improve to a level where access to education will no longer be limited by distance and fewer places in Schools, Colleges and Universities.
In an interview with eBrain Chairperson, Lee Muzala said the eBrain Forum of Zambia’s mission was to contribute to the improvement of quality of life through promoting the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) for purposes of development by raising awareness, conducting monthly meetings, baseline surveys, research as well as building capacity among members.
Explaining their role in the eLearning Africa Conference, Muzala said eBrain Forum of Zambia had representation on the eLearning Africa 2010 Organising Committee, and was playing a key role in ensuring that Zambia was prepared to host the event.
“We have also managed to bring on board our funders who will be supporting the preparations by providing and paying for Coordinating Officer as well as paying for a survey to measure the extent of eLearning usage in Zambia,” explained Muzala.
He added that eBrain together with their cooperating partners, the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) will be exhibiting at the conference, and that they have several members that will make presentations during the conference, as well as chair some of the parallel sessions.
He explained that the eBrain Forum willl also be having a special event called “Teachers Forum”, on the pre-conference day, which will enable around 50 pre-service and in-service teachers to share their experiences of using ICT in the classroom. Some will be familiar with ICT in the classroom, others will have little or no experience of ICT.
The goal is to allow Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and teachers to showcase a wide range of tried-and-tested ICT initiatives and tools. This will be done in an informal ‘Market Place’ environment with a view to inspire teachers to replicate similar activities in their own schools, where possible. IICD and the eBrain Forum of Zambia are co-organising this half-day event, which includes space for an interactive discussion and presentations.
Muzala noted that hosting the conference brings with it, its own benefits as pointing out that it will allow local firms, teachers, schools heads, government officials and other interested parties to see technologies being applied in the area of eLearning through the various organisations that will be exhibiting. He said hosting the eLearning Africa event in Zambia will also help give insight to the country as to cases of eLearning in other countries.
He looked at eLearning not look at eLearning as a technology but a process that is there to help students learn even better and differently.
“I would like to believe that eLearning brings with it several benefits such as reducing some of the costs associated with education if implemented correctly. He said it also allows schools to educate people they could not previously like those working for a living and those people who are geographically dispersed and many other kinds of people.
Muzala also added that studies have shown that students who would not raise a hand in class will be very active in posting to discussion boards showing that they communicate better in a web based environment than in the traditional classroom.
Meanwhile, Muzala who is also Managing Director of Trio Consult/Global Teenager Project (GTP) will be part of a discussion panel to discuss issues of content generated during GTP activities and how best they can be packaged and re-used by other students as referal materials. They will also be looking at the benefits of adopting the concept of Learning Circles used as the core activity of GTP, and how they can be used locally to enable learning among Zambian students.