Pan African Observatory on ICTs in Education

The wonderful thing about social software is that it enables everyone to have a voice, to publish, and everyone to participate. As researchers and educators, our participation in the processes of change enables us to shape, share and collaboratively build development knowledge. And it is incredibly important that this knowledge is open and freely available to researchers everywhere so that everyone can use it and build on it.

The aim of the PanAf Observatory is to better understand how the integration of ICT can enhance the quality of teaching and learning in Africa. In its initial phase, energy and investment will be focused on the development of an open Observatory for researchers and practitioners in the field to collect and share data. Whilst not wanting to distract energy from this excellent aim, I do feel that the site could be improved by providing a more interesting landing page.

The PanAf Observatory is an open knowledge-sharing resource for research on the pedagogical integration of ICT. Three search functions are available: Simple Search — which allows you to view indicators from institutions in a single country, Advanced Search — which allows you to compare indicators in different institutions and countries, and Summary Search — which allows you to browse a mapping of ICT in education summaries from the institutions and countries participating in the project.

You are highly encouraged to leave a comment, or suggest modifications to any indicator by clicking on the associated icons throughout the Observatory.

The site says that it is also easy to add and modify data on the Observatory - all you need is an identifier and password to log in. To sign up, you contact info@observatoiretic.org. I guess this is to try to avoid spammers, but an online form would have been better.

This PanAf Observatory project is grounded in multi-institutional partnership, with a focus on tertiary level research institutions, attached to universities, in the participating countries. The partner countries will work under the scientific and technical coordination of ERNWACA (Educational Research Network for West And Central Africa), and the Université de Montréal. Consult ERNWACA's PanAfrican Research Agenda on the Pedagogical Integration of ICTs web portal for more details. The PanAf Observatory has external partner organisations including infoDev and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

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