I’m spending a couple of days in Dakar for the “Innovation, Transformation, and sustainable futures in Africa”– conference organized by American Anthropological Association, African Studies Association, Codesria and WARA-WARC. The hashtag for the conference is virtual reality. I am giving one flash presentation (five minutes, 15 PowerPoint slides) and on Saturday a three hour workshop. My collaborators Dr Gordon Adomdza, Design professor at Ashesi, and Mr Kabiru Seidu, Ashesi alumni involved in VR with his company NubianVR, could not make it, so I have a big job to do!
Here are the blurbs.
Flash Presentation: Re-thinking “Education under Trees”
Where do you teach? In a classroom? Or a larger lecture hall, perhaps? Is it a place where you feel inspired? Your students feel inspired? Let me ask you: Is it an African space? Where you feel connected to the continent? Or is it mostly practical?
At the same time as “education under trees” or education without resources is being challenged in the African political space, the “education that never happens under trees” or does not relate to the physical world outside the campus must be problematized. Many schools and universities lock themselves away on beautiful campuses, while the purpose of any learning institution is to have a positive impact on the surrounding society. In addition, many classrooms are designed almost like stages for professors, instead of empowering students. Therefore, I feel static classrooms must be challenged and convenient, economically sustainable alternatives must arise.
In this flash presentation, I want to share innovation, transformation and sustainable futures of the African lecture hall and classroom.
Workshop: Learning Engagement in the Age of Social Media and Emerging Virtual Reality
This is a workshop on engaging, simple, and efficient use of Virtual Reality and Social Media in the classroom.
Recent developments of information technology offer new ways of teaching with small or no additional investments. With the use of Internet infrastructure already available on campuses around the continent and students’ own smart or feature phones, this workshop will show you how to bring social media and virtual reality into your syllabus. While there are many real world examples or experiences that could be made available to students, some experiences take time to acquire or do not occur at the most appropriate time in the learning cycle to achieve the desired learning goals. As a result, we explore opportunities to simulate real world examples and experiences through the design and development of virtual reality content with relevant social media integration to achieve learning goals.
The workshop will be a unique meeting between educators and will hone their different experiences and backgrounds. Based on teaching interests discussed in the first session, participants will be placed in groups that will work together on brainstorming a VR material to be produced. Alongside, practical tips on how to get started with VR and social media will be shared. Participants are encouraged to contribute. A tangible outcome and takeaway can be a crowd-sourced and active toolkit for learning engagement in the age of social media and emerging virtual reality.
…and finally here I am hanging out with a Senegalese rapper who speaks Swedish! Maxi Krezy!
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— Kajsa Hallberg Adu (@kajsaha) June 2, 2016