Penetration of digital platforms, coupled with the availability of affordable digital products has facilitated the rise of e-learning and mobile learning in Africa. Digital learning has been touted as a more effective way of teaching. This is why governments and institutions in Africa are drumming up support for digital education. The Kenyan and Rwandan governments, for example, have a “one laptop per child” initiative. The initiative provides laptops to primary pupils pre-installed with digital educational content (Kunle, 2016).
Institutions of higher learning in Africa have been upfront in championing digital education. Institutions like Makerere University, Kenyatta University, and the University of Rwanda have created e-learning platforms for their students.
Likewise, major institutions like Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, and Intel, have created digital content that can be easily accessed on their digital and online platforms. Although digital education is still in its infancy in Africa, it has transformed lives. Here are the impacts of digital education in Africa:
Digital education has facilitated easy access to educational content from anywhere and at any time. The learners are able to learn at their own speed and time, hence, increasing content consumption and understanding.
A research carried out by Gioko revealed that digital education enables learners to easily understand concepts and reduces teachers’ workload, making the learning experience more efficient (Gioko, 2015).
Improved literacy and education
Digital education has also created a culture of reading among students. The students are more inclined to read e-books than physical books due to accessibility, affordability and visual attractiveness.
Availability of e-books has been fostered by technological startups like e-kitabu, elimu, and Intel. There is also the distribution of kindle style books in nine African countries which has reached 600,000 children and has improved pupils’ performances in educational tests (Gioko, 2016).
Digital education has also improved the socio-economic status of the adult learners.
An example of this is the online learning platform launched by Intel Corporation. The platform dubbed, “she will connect-my digital journey,’ has provided women with an opportunity to learn and connect online. It has provided this opportunity to women and girls in Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya. Through this platform, the women are able to gain new skills, improve self-esteem, improve economic status and also, their participation in social and political activities (Mwandada, 2016).
These are but a few examples of how the availability of digital education can impart skills, improve knowledge and transform lives.