e/merge 2012 – Open to Change was the fourth virtual conference on educational technology in Africa and built on the e/merge conferences in 2004, 2006 and 2008. e/merge 2012 took place online from 9 – 20 July 2012. The conference was primarily designed to share good practice and knowledge about educational technology innovation within the further and higher education sectors in the region, as well as to strengthen communities of researchers and practitioners.
In African universities educational technologists and educators who teach with technology are confronted with rapid and persistent changes including policy and institutional change, improving infrastructure and bandwidth, disruptive technologies, emerging digital practices and pedagogies, expanded use of mobile and social media,and the rise of the open education and open research movements. e/merge 2012 focuses primarily on how the use of educational technology in African universities is responding to (and sometimes anticipating) profound changes in the environment experienced by university management, educational technologists, educators and students.
The conversations in e/merge 2012 engaged with the African context of unequal access to technology and to education within a global context of changes in teaching and learning tools and practices. Thus we will also considered proposals relating to emerging practices in educational technology use globally and to the effective use of educational technology in primary and secondary education in Africa. Proposals from colleagues in other regions were also welcomed.
Who was the conference for?
e/merge 2012 was primarily for educational technology researchers and practitioners based in Africa. Participants from other regions who had an interest in the use of educational technology in Africa were also warmly welcomed.
Who organised the conference?
e/merge 2012 was organised by the Centre for Educational Technology at the University of Cape Town and funded by the Ford Foundation.
What is an online conference?
In a conventional conference everyone travels to one physical location to debate conference papers and to network. In an online conference we use a website as the conference venue. We can view selected presentations, read conference papers, share useful resources, take part in debate, share best practices and network informally.
Mostly these online meetings are spread over a few days to allow us the flexibility to take part when we choose. There will also be some live meetings online which enhance the sense of shared presence and energise the conference. Overall, an online conference creates opportunities for rich conversations which grow knowledge in a community involving experts and practitioners.
After the end of the e/merge2012 conference, another forum with smaller seminars on educational technology has appeared, know as e/merge Africa. For more information, please go here.