WACREN’s Digital Education Programme taking shape with increased scope

WACREN is playing a key role in revolutionising research, teaching, and learning across West and Central Africa. Our Digital Education Programme (DEP) is taking shape with an increased scope and geographical footprint. Through robust infrastructure, cutting-edge resources, advocacy, and strategic partnerships, WACREN steadily enhances access to quality digital education through innovative open education approaches. 

With our high-speed, reliable connectivity, video resources, and other cloud platforms, WACREN empowers education communities and communities of practice with unlimited possibilities to contribute to the knowledge economy in our region and beyond.

Through the support of the AfricaConnect3 (AC3) and the Africa Digital Campus (ADC), WACREN is creating a sustainable and scalable digital education ecosystem that transcends technological and geographical barriers. This will ultimately drive socio-economic development and foster a culture of lifelong learning in the region. 

Though WACREN DEP is anchored by connectivity, it is driven by video. Under the AC3 project, WACREN has connected six countries (Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Burkina Faso, and Benin) to its high-speed, dedicated connectivity, creating the solid bedrock for our digital education strategy. Atop this is the suite of video resources deployed to enhance the delivery to the academy community. 

Our scalable video system comprises a web-based video storage platform, a mobile lecture kit (for recording, streaming and archiving lecture videos) and an open-source, web-based video collaboration service. Under the ADC project, WACREN provides the connectivity on which the video-for-learning systems will be cradled. The ADC beneficiary institutions and educators will deliver their online classes through the open-source video collaboration service, record and stream classes via the video lecture kit, and archive the videos on the web-based video storage platform laced with engagement features. All these resources can be integrated into institutional learning management systems (LMS).

WACREN seeks to make these platforms interoperable with each other and other video resources on the market. With the WACREN video solutions, data and academic resources can be centralised and tenanted on our systems, and institutions can localise their resources. 

Among the advocacy efforts to drive change and uptake of digital education systems is organising the Digital Education Day in the week of the WACREN Conference. The African Centre of Excellence for Technology-Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) and the Nigeria Open University hosted the WACREN Digital Education Day to discuss infrastructure,  competencies and approaches required to ensure impactful digital education. Key stakeholders discussed use cases of various integrated digital learning systems and approaches, including governments, telecom providers, research and education networks, researchers, university leadership, and education policy-makers.