The Inaugural North South VCET ICT Conference held at the Spier Hotel and Convention Centre in Stellenbosch, Cape Town during 2012 was hailed as a great success by many and has subsequently attracted the attention of several potential sponsors for the 2013 event. The event showcased various E-learning and ICT related initiatives, within public Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges, and also sought to track technological innovations generally within education. An exhibition and demonstration area also accompanied the programme, where leading ICT and E-Learning manufacturers, suppliers and service providers presented their latest products and services. Although designed to be of local focus and interest, the conference has become an international event based on its partnership arrangement with a Norwegian Upper Secondary Vocational School, and through the participation of a few UK based organisations. The partnership between the College of Cape Town, False Bay College and Haugaland Skole was essentially developed to assist each other with the support and development of institutional Information & Communication Technology (ICT). The partnership was kick- started by the hosting of the ICT Conference aimed at supporting teaching and learning practice through the incorporation of ICTs.
Last year, the Main Sponsor of the conference was Telkom Business Solutions who are now succeeded by Future Managers. At a recent meeting at the False Bay College, Pieter Bruwer (CEO, Future Managers) expressed his desire to contribute to the development of the FET Sector by becoming the major sponsor of the event which he sees as his company “giving back” to the system that has supported his business substantially over the past few years. His view on moving into the digital era through the eBook Initiative is very clear and sees the opportunity of involving Future Managers with the North South VCET ICT Conference as very strategic, as the company’s initial focus for the eBook engagement would be on lecturing staff of FET Colleges.
Many of the FET College Libraries and Open Learning Centres recognize that eBooks offer an ideal opportunity to increase existing collections while enhancing users’ research experiences at the same time. Some OLC’s have adopted significant eBook acquisition programs: however, it seems that eBook adoption is still in its early days and that the market for eBooks is just developing. eBooks offer numerous advantages to libraries and OLC’s, including the following:
- Expanded Offerings
- Expanded Usage
- Reduced personnel requirements
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Enhanced functionality
- Usage statistics
The Future Managers focus on eBooks for FET Colleges will primarily target college lecturers; however, it will endeavour to find models for broader implementation at colleges. This could include initiatives such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategies as well as Tablet Pilots and Mobile Computer Labs that makes use of Desktop eBook distribution or via Android[TM5] or Apple devices.
Future Managers eBooks match the existing range of trusted educational material they have delivered over many years to more than 280 campuses across the country. By using technology, lecturers and students are invited into a world that offers them a new method to better enhance both the teaching and the internalisation of subject matter for learners.
Multimedia applications, video clips, images and relevant online links are just some of the enrichment used that unites with trusted teaching methods to stimulate understanding and boost interest in a subject.
Last year’s conference realised a healthy participation rate that included approximately 200 delegates from 28 FET Colleges. The 2013 event promises to be of high quality with several high profile speakers and specialists in the field showcasing the very latest in Educational Technologies. This year’s conference theme is “Enhancing Classroom performance through Learning Technologies: E-Learning Trends, Strategies and Applications” with two tracks viz. “e-Pedagogy / Strategy” and “ELearning Applications” therefore it is will be of great value for academic staff to attend to learn more about the new teaching technologies which will enhance the overall lecturing experience for them.
To find out more, visit the conference website at www.northsouthconference.co.za. Additionally, you can either email the Event Organisers directly at[email protected] or [email protected] or via conference email at [email protected].
Article issued by College of Cape Town.