Tag Archive for africa

Academic Computing in Africa

A former student recently asked whether I could point him in the direction of resources on the effects of computing on schools in Africa. As the academic computing activities of an entire continent are far too diverse to capture in a single response, I collected a few links to identify some activities that might help provide some insight.

AfriGadget While not specifically about academic computing, AfriGadget uses grassroots reporting to collect stories of technical ingenuity under conditions of extreme resource limitation. AfriGadget best captures everyday Africa.

Konrad Glogowski: South Africa, A Reflection Konrad visits Cape Town to help teachers learn to integrate Web 2.0 tools into their instruction. He grapples with the relative modernity of South Africa and the huge differences in access to resources within the country.

dvGarage in Zimbabwe: Alex Lindsay teaches Zimbabweans professional 3D animation and compositing techniques. He seeks to create a PixelCorps of media developers worldwide for the new economy.

One Laptop Per Child Africa: the heavily scrutinized ubiquitous computing project has several test sites listed on this page. (Go to the parent page to find the link to South Africa.)

Ndiyo: a different approach to ubiquitous computing, developing a new thin-client, Linux desktop for community technology centers and schools.

In the mid 90’s, I was involved in academic computing initiatives in Botswana secondary schools. This Google search result suggests that some academic papers exist on this topic, though most require membership to access.

African connected

Catlin Gabel hosts one exchange student from Maru-a-Pula School in Botswana each year. Yesterday, our new student arrived in the States for the first time, but he had been in touch with his host family for weeks … through Facebook. He also asked where to pick up a SIM card for his phone. This is the first time I have welcomed such a well-connected student from Botswana to the States! Now, if only we could find him a Euro-to-U.S. power adapter …