AFRICAN SCHOOLNET TOOLKIT
African Schoolnet Toolkit
© Commonwealth of Learning and SchoolNet Africa, 2005 ISBN: 1-894975-16-2
COL and SchoolNet Africa (SNA) have developed a toolkit for developing schoolnets in Africa. Similar to a resource developed last year by UNESCO (Bangkok) and COL, the African Schoolnet Toolkit is designed to support education policy-makers and practitioners in their use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to improve the value and quality of education.
"The African Schoolnet Toolkit is an admirably clear, well written and most useful document," noted Sir John Daniel, COL's President and CEO. "It presents schoolnets as part of a wider vision for school development, not simply as technical achievements. I am sure that this excellent text will reassure those who would like to become in involved in a schoolnet but fear they do not have the technical background or infrastructure to do so."
"It is important that this toolkit now be used as a basis for developing the growing network of schoolnet practitioners in a structured way and that it becomes a living document giving expressions to our learning as a community of practice," said Ms. Shafika Isaacs-Bardien, Executive Director of SNA.
The African Schoolnet Toolkit begins with an overview that lays the groundwork and defines what schoolnets are, followed by sections aimed at policymakers, schoolnet builders and practitioners. The toolkit addresses, from a policy perspective, issues on the knowledge society, the role of ICT, what are schoolnets and their functions. The section on planning schoolnet programmes takes readers through a series of steps that can be considered to plan and implement the programmes that a schoolnet could deliver. In doing so, the toolkit also focuses on practical steps that can be taken at the school level. It includes school-based plans and policies, issues of integrating ICTs into the school, creating content, professional teacher development and tips with respect to technology options.
This toolkit also explores the issue of using ICTs within African schools. At the time when using technology within the education system is increasing in Africa, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is implementing its e-Schools Demonstration Project, SNA is conducting further projects in this area and other development agencies are seeing the value of using ICTs, this toolkit offers useful and practical ways to make technology an important support to quality education and in so doing, to help achieve the Education for All goal.
The primary author of the toolkit is Stephen Marquad of South Africa.
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