USIU-Africa takes part in the 17th International Conference & Exhibition on Digital Education in Kigali

By Brenda Odhiambo

USIU-Africa recently participated in the 17th International Conference & Exhibition on Digital Education, Training & Skills Development, hosted by e-Learning Africa at the Kigali Convention Centre in Kigali, Rwanda, from May 29-31. The conference brought together educational leaders and innovators from across the globe to discuss and share advancements in digital education.

Clifford Olemo, representing the Mastercard Foundation Scholars Program e-Learning Initiative, was a panel member in a session titled ‘Academic Bridges: Connecting Universities Globally.’ Held on May 31, this session explored the mechanics of successful university partnerships, strategies for fostering global connections, facilitating impactful research, and enhancing cultural exchanges. His presentation focused on the lessons learned from the Faculty for Quality and Inclusive e-Learning in Eight African Universities, highlighting evolving faculty perspectives and experiences. His presentation emphasized the importance of inclusive e-learning and the transformative impact of collaborative efforts among African universities.

USIU-Africa was also represented at the conference by the Director, USIU-Africa Online, Dr. Philip Machoka, who conducted a workshop through Quality Matters titled ‘The Crucial and Multi-Faceted Role of Faculty in Ensuring Academic Integrity and Helping all Students Succeed in the AI-Enabled Digital Learning Environment.’ This workshop underscored the extensive digital transformation investments made by educational communities worldwide to enhance resilience and preparedness for future uncertainties. Dr. Machoka, along with Yaping Gao from Quality Matters, Eliud Chemweno from the Mastercard Foundation, and Rachid Elaasri from ENSET at Hassan II University of Casablanca, Morocco, engaged participants in examining the changing roles of educators post-pandemic. They discussed strategies for effectively engaging students in various learning modalities while maintaining academic integrity in an AI-enabled society.

Dr. Machoka also took part in a panel discussion on ‘AI Meets Education: ChatGPT in Schools' Classrooms.’ This timely session explored the potential and challenges of integrating ChatGPT, a large language model, into the classroom. Panelists, including Rodney Bollie (Institute of Basic Technology, USA), Esther Nyambura Kamenwa (Centre for Mathematics, Science and Technology Education in Africa, Kenya), and moderator Ify Obidi Essien (Tech-Savvy Teacher International, Nigeria), discussed how to leverage this technology strategically, addressing socio-economic disparities, ethical considerations, and unlocking new educational opportunities. Dr. Machoka's contribution focused on achieving a balance between automation and human interaction to ensure a rich and impactful learning experience for students.

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