Dear Colleague,

We hope you are well and making good progress with your teaching and research projects in this last quarter of the year. In this newsletter, we share the following updates: 

  • Special Call to participate - Workshop on 4th Industrial Revolution

  • Facilitating Online course - Join the waiting list for 2020!

  • e/merge Africa Arabic - Arabic language webinars launched since August 2019 and on going

  • Upcoming events - future online events by e/merge Africa and friends

  • UCT Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology

  • Upcoming conferences - current relevant face-to-face conferences and webinars


Call to Present/Participate: Workshop on 4th Industrial Revolution

Do you care about the 4th Industrial Revolution? Over the last year the term "Fourth Industrial Revolution" (4IR) has become pervasive. We are exhorted to catch up and get with the programme but what does this mean in African Higher Education where we are still grappling with the dynamics of the Third Industrial Revolution across our varied contexts?

The e/merge Africa team is planning a series of online events to inform, facilitate and provoke critical engagement with the implications of 4IR (as both emerging reality and as hype), for higher education in Africa. This will need presenters who think way beyond the hype or even describing how our institutions will need to change. Please let us know if you think you should present in this series or have someone else who you would strongly recommend who is willing to be part of a panel about university responses to the 4IR. 

 Send us an email or contact us via Twitter (@emergeafrica) or Facebook (


 Facilitating Online Course 2020


 facilitating online

Submission of applications for the last 2019 run of the Facilitating Online course is now closed. If you would like to join a cohort in 2020, please register here to receive more information about course dates when available.

Do you want to become an effective online facilitator? We invite applications to our fully online 8-week online facilitation course. 

 Facilitating Online provides a solid foundation for facilitating online events and courses. It is registered as a short course at the University of Cape Town (UCT). Facilitating Online was developed by the Centre for Innovation in Learning and Teaching (CILT) at UCT and is funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as part of its support for e/merge Africa network. This course is aimed at change agent educational technologists and educators within the African Higher Educational sector. 

 Please apply early as spaces are always limited. We offer up to two FREE places per African higher education institution subject to constraints on the class size. Please get in touch if you want to involve a larger group of colleagues from your institution for a fee. To see if a fee may apply to your application please refer to our fee information here. Further info and online application available here.



e/merge Africa events in Arabic

Led by team e/merge Africa team member Dr. Mohamed Ahmed of Mansoura University, Egypt, we have so far piloted five online seminars in Arabic. These sessions have been very well attended already. We have planned for colleagues located in the Middle East and Arabic speaking Africa to present mainly on Friday afternoons 4–5 pm (Cairo time – see your local time zone here). This time slot is subject to change in the future and individual events may also be scheduled for other times. For more details for Arabic events and to sign up please go to e/merge Africa Arabic. Once signed up, we will send you details on how to attend. 

For questions and thoughts about this initiative we welcome your comments. If you wish to present in Arabic please use the Presenter’s form which is available via the e/merge Africa Arabic website.

Thursday 10 October 2019: Hologram in Education, 3-4pm SAST/Cairo Time 

Presenter: Dr. Heba Mohamed Abdel-Latif, Educational technology and e-learning, Supreme Council of Universities

Date and Time:  Thursday, 10 October 2019, 3-4pm SAST/Cairo Time

For Registration and more information please go to

Other Arabic language events include:  

Friday 18 October 2019: Face Recognition in Education, 4-5pm SAST/Cairo Time

For Registration and more information please go to

Friday 15 November 2019: Methods of Building the Storyboard and Employing it in the Educational Content, 4-5pm SAST/Cairo Time 

 For Registration and more information please go to

 As we are having more events confirmed these will be announced on both our English and Arabic language platforms.


e/merge Africa events in English

Thursday, 17 October 2019: Differentiation in Access to, and the Use and Sharing of (Open) Educational Resources among Students and Lecturers in Ghana and Kenya

 Presenter: Dr. Judith Pete, Tangaza University College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa, Kenya  

 Date and Time: Thursday 17 October 2019 12:30 pm (SAST)

Description: In order to obtain a fair ‘OER picture’ for the Global South, a large-scale study has been carried out for a series of countries, including Kenya. In this webinar, I report on the Kenyan study, run at four universities that have been selected with randomly sampled students and lecturers. Empirical data have been generated by the use of a student and a lecturer questionnaire to which in total 798 students and 43 lecturers have responded.

Selected from the very rich source two major outcomes are: (i) there is a significant digital differentiation among lecturers and students at urban versus rural universities in terms of their proficiency and internet accessibility; and (ii) the awareness and appreciation of the OER concept and open licensing is low but from the actual processing by respondents of educational resources (not necessarily open) a ‘preparedness for openness’ can be derived that promises well for the future.

Dr. Judith Pete is a Lecturer and Research Coordinator at the Tangaza University College of the Catholic University of Eastern Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. She recently graduated with her PhD from the Open University Nederlands at the Faculty of Management, Science and Technology; with her thesis on OER Differentiation, a cross-country study in three countries in Africa. She is part of the GO-GN network and was one of the researchers involved in the ROER4D project. She has also been a consultant with Hewlett Foundation through GO-GN on Diversity Equity and Inclusion project

Monday, 28 October 2019: The Use of TurnItIn in the Higher Education: uses, abuses and myths 

Presenter: Sioux McKenna, Rhodes University, South Africa (

Presenter: Amanda Mphahlele, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Time and Date: Webinar 28 October 2019 2 pm (SAST)  

Description: The misuse of text-matching software in universities actively encourages students to plagiarise. While there is no doubt that plagiarism needs to be addressed to maintain academic standards and to safeguard the integrity of the academic project, there is a significant misunderstanding about what text-matching technologies do. This presentation draws from Amanda’s PhD study and a number of co-publications that Amanda and Sioux have produced to look at how text-matching software has been understood across the South African higher education sector. An analysis of institutional policies from public universities across South Africa and interviews with members of institutional plagiarism committees reveals that technology is a key facet in these universities' attempts to reduce the incidents of plagiarism and that Turnitin is the most favoured text-matching tool. However, the software is misunderstood to be a plagiarism detection tool and is used mainly for policing purposes, ignoring its educational potential for student development. These misunderstandings were found to direct students to behave in undesirable ways.

Professor Sioux McKenna is the Director of Postgraduate Studies at Rhodes University where she runs a number of support initiatives for supervisors and scholars. Sioux also runs a large PhD programme in higher education studies, with research focusing on teaching and learning, national qualification frameworks, the development of institutional policy, university governance, and alignment between policy and teaching, learning and assessment. 

Sioux’ particular concern is with who gets access to higher education and how the norms and values of the institution emerge as literacy practices. She has authored over sixty articles and book chapters, including co-authoring two books: Going to University (2018, African Minds) and Calling for Change (forthcoming, UKZN Press). Sioux has extensive experience in higher education having served on the South African accreditation committee for seven years and participating in institutional reviews in South Africa, Oman, Egypt and Bahrain.  Sioux is also the project manager for a number of international collaborations, including a national supervision development course, Strengthening Postgraduate Supervision (, and an online Creative Commons site, Enhancing Postgraduate Environments (

Amanda Mphahlele is a lecturer in Business Management at the University of Johannesburg and researching plagiarism for her PhD in Higher Education Studies through Rhodes University. 

 Please go here for more info and to sign up for the webinar.


Call for papers: Promoting Social Inclusion through Educational Technology. 

The Italian Journal of Educational Technology (IJET) is publishing a special issue aimed at contributing to reflection on how technologies can contribute to support social inclusion mechanisms, with particular reference to the contexts of education and training.  Read more:

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Contributions should be submitted via the journal website by October 28th, 2019


UCT Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology 

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Study For a University of Cape Town Postgraduate Diploma in Educational Technology
Equip yourself for the challenges of 21st century higher education in Africa. 
 For more info:

Apply now: Closing date 31 Oct 


International Association of Facilitators (IAF) - Online Facilitation Unconference 


Monday, 7 October 2019 to Sunday, 13 October 2019: International Facilitation Week Events

Your favorite online unconference on the art and practice of facilitating in virtual environments is back! Join us to our 6th edition of the Online Facilitation Unconference during International Facilitation Week in October 7-13, 2019!

Happening alongside and as part of International Facilitation Week, this event provides a space for practitioners of all skill levels, from various backgrounds, and from all around the world to co-create a program based on everybody’s most pressing interests and needs. Discover new tools, learn new tricks, get input on your latest project, challenge or idea and discover new solutions – whatever you can think of that might benefit from picking an extraordinarily diverse and inspiring global brain pool.  More information Online Facilitation Unconference 2019.  Online Facilitation Unconference! Registration here 


Association for Educational Communications & Technology (AECT) convention & discount for e/merge Africa members

The 2019 AECT International Convention will take place from 21 to 25 October in Las Vegas, Nevada.This conference will bring together participants from around the world, offering practical applications, cutting-edge research, hands-on workshops, and demonstrations of new technologies in teaching and learning.The 2019 convention registration is now available. The programme has over 500 peer reviewed sessions and professional development workshops. Read more…

Members of the e/merge Africa network who have membership with the AECT also qualify for the discounted international registration fee for the convention. Further info...



International Association of Facilitators (IAF) Africa Conference 2019

The IAF Africa Conference will take place in Lome, Togo from 22 to 26 October 2019. Facilitation in Africa is as broad and diverse as the continent itself. Made up of 54 countries, with as many as 2,000 different spoken languages and at least as many ethnic groups, the continent is rich in its approaches to facilitation. The theme is ‘Developing Professional Facilitation in Africa’. Read more...


eLearning Africa

The 14th International Conference & Exhibition on ICT for Education, Training & Skills Development will be hosted in Côte d'Ivoire and take place from 23 to 25 October 2019. The conference is organised by ICWE GmbH and the Government of Côte d'Ivoire under the overall theme "The Keys to the Future: Learnability and Employability". Read more...



South African Education Research Association (SAERA)


The 7th SAERA Conference is hosted by Durban University of Technology and will take place from 23 to 25 Oct 2019 at the Southern Sun Elangeni Maharani in Durban, South Africa. The theme is “Beyond boundaries: Exploring possibilities through research and innovation”. Read more...



SA’s national teaching and learning conference will take place at Rhodes University from the 27th to 29th November. The conference aims to reclaim a voice for Southern African researchers and practitioners by inviting delegates to consider the notion of ‘pedagogies in context’. Register by 14 October. Read more...



e/merge Africa is a platform for learning and connecting. It provides an opportunity to join a growing Africa-wide network of eLearning professionals. We offer a number of ways for you to get involved and engage with colleagues across the continent: 

Propose an event

Whether you are a seasoned lecturer or PhD-student engaged in research you would like to share with our network, please propose a webinar, a seminar or even an online workshop. Perhaps you’ve attended an e-learning related conference recently and willing to share a report back.  

Be part of a peer-assist

Even professionals get stuck at times when facing daunting challenges. If you are one of them, how about considering a Peer-Assist session? Contact us to engage with one of our  online facilitators with your challenge. We will then set up a peer-assist session and invite members of our network to provide feedback on your challenge. Renew your ideas and get a new perspective!

Nominate a presenter

Is there a mentor, supervisor, colleague whose research could  be shared with our network? Please get in touch to nominate a presenter!

Share with us via social media

Perhaps you’ve found or created a useful resource or published a paper of interest to other educational technology professionals? Please share via our Facebook group or via Twitter

 Looking for conference and publishing opportunities? Go to opportunities on the e/merge Africa website

Best Wishes,

The e/merge Africa Team

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2019 e/merge Africa.

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Connect via Twitter Connect via Twitter
Join our Facebook Group Join our Facebook Group
Visit our website Visit our website
View our YouTube Channel View our YouTube Channel
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2019 e/merge Africa.

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