A network for capacity building in Software Engineering Free Software In Africa
Google Tech Talks
May 1, 2007
Prof Derek Keats, Executive Director, Information & Communication Services, The University of the Western Cape, Bellville (Cape Town), South Africa.
The African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources (AVOIR) project is a collaborative effort among several African higher education institutions to support capacity building in Free and Open Source software engineering. The main core activity of capacity building is undertaken through software design, development, deployment and support. The core area for software development has been e-learning but in 2006 a new application framework, called Chisimba, was designed and developed and with it AVOIR members can can work in almost any domain. Chisimba supports many of the technologies of Web 2.0, and incorporating new technologies into its modular architecture is simple and quick.
Applications developed by this project are in use in various organizations around Africa and elsewhere, with a major implementation project currently underway in Afghanistan. With the network and capacity to develop cutting-edge software, we have turned our attention to researching the potential of Web 2.0 and related technologies, social networks, and the choices made by digital natives to change the landscape of higher education in Africa. We refer to this new landscape as Education 3.0, and the talk will discuss some of its characteristics as well as the potential if African institutions can embrace its potential.