Wednesday, June 2, 2010

e-Taalim, web magazine for e-learning in Africa and Middle East

The second in my series of interviews with international experts in the field of open educational resources is with Nadhir Douma, founder of the e-magazine e-Taalim (click on the picture to start the film). E-Taalim is the first website that aims at giving an overview of e-learning in Africa and the Middle East.

The site was launched in November last year and they have worked hard at establishing it as a news channel for e-learning. E-Taalim is available in three languages, Arabic, French and English, and is also active on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. They recognize that the different language groups have different interests and so around half of the material is common to all languages and the rest is more customised.

Net-based education is certainly established in Africa but the number of institutions offering courses is of course small compared with what's on offer in Europe and North America. Some noteable examples are the Virtual University of Tunis, the African Virtual University and the Arab Virtual University. One of the difficulties in the spread of OER is that only 1% of all content on the web is in Arabic so there is a massive need for development in this area. One interesting initiative is the Arab Grid for Learning that is building a portal and community for the development of open learning resources in the region.

The objectives of e-Taalim are as follows:
  • Participate in bridging the digital divide and closing the content gap between the African/Arab  countries and the developed countries
  • Participate in raising awareness about the use of ICT and Media for education within the African and Arab countries’ corporations and organizations including NGOs and CSOs
  • Offer the latest information about corporate e-learning and blended learning for executives and professionals
  • Establish an African/Arab e-learning community that will share and diffuse knowledge
See the video interview with Nadhir Douma.

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