Boom time – Africa will be largest continent for smartphone use by 2020
Africa is getting its digital revolution. A large growth in the demand for higher education in sub Saharan Africa has been underway in recent times. Some publications have been asking if this is the start of a ‘golden age’.
At the end of last year IT News Africa publicised that partnerships between public and private organisations have been contributing to improvements in all areas of education. At the same time a UNESCO report mentioned that e-learning between 2011 and 2016 doubled. Smartphone use and ownership is booming and by 2020, Africa will have overtaken all other continents in this respect (according to GSMA Intelligence)
How then can businesses benefit from using online courses and online training?
Cost effective work-based learning.
Online training reduces the need for the physical classroom, which means that if you are an employer, you can save on costs. You don’t need to print physical copies of learning materials. Perhaps more importantly, your staff won’t have to cut into office hours with their learning.
From basic skills training to specific and more advanced certification, there are vast possibilities for work-related training. This is the case whether it be in the field of Agriculture, Human Resources, Computer Science, Education and others.
Also, learning can be faster as employees will be able to put into practice in their work, what they have been digesting. This leads us to another point; learning does not mean having to be in one place at a particular time.
Download and study at anytime and anywhere – elearning in Africa
With many people being able to use the internet through phones and tablets, the problem is still the high cost of mobile data.
When it comes to online learning, though, users can download learning materials and offline learning can commence. This means not having to rely on Wifi the whole time. It allows learners to use the lesson content at a later time, for example a quiet period during the working day, on a commute or when they are back home. In short, the learner can engage with lessons or the VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) at any time. This is in contrast to having to study at a particular time (as in traditional classroom education).
Fill the skills gap
Earlier this year The world Economic Forum published a report which found that a high priority for Sub Saharan Africa should be to adapt to future job requirements. Among its findings was that employers believe there is a shortfall in skills among the workforce. The report mentioned this as a major problem for businesses. However, providing online learning can help to effectively close the gap.
Up until recently there were things missing that were fundamental for education to take place, for many Africans. but these are no longer necessary with online learning. A child could be gifted and capable but without access to books and teachers, he or she would unlikely be able to progress. In contrast, an online education can come to people without the need for printed materials or real time facilitators.
elearning Africa hold an annual conference dedicated to this. You can find details of the forthcoming annual conference here: elearning Africa 2017
Attract and retain young adults – elearning in Africa
Today’s tech savvy millennials are generally keen to develop and not stagnate. They are digital natives, who naturally expect to connect to cyberspace via their phones, tablets or laptops. They also, some say, have a more wavering attention span with limited loyalty, if they don’t feel they are developing in their work.
If you are an employer you could offer training though, you could motivate he or she to feel more valuable in her role. This is in addition to enabling your employee to do the job more effectively.
When it comes to corporate elearning culture, organizations are embracing collaborative learning. Online forums, social media groups, video sharing and online discussions are just a few aspects of this. With peer- review and feedback, work colleagues can converse on topics related to their training. This can enable active and collaborative route to learning, which is why forum discussions are used in many of the USA’s top universities. University-created online courses also make use of forums. These can also take the burden off the instructor, who is unlikely to have time to respond to a mass of queries.
You can find courses on many different subjects on Yeslearnfast’s website. For example, take a look at:
- Project management; intensive short course
- Event Management
- Bookkeeping Applications
- Trees For Rehabilitation (Landcare-Reafforestation)