March 2021

Dear Colleague,

Thank you to those who participated in  the “Looking back, looking forward together” workshop.  We learnt a lot and we will include your ideas and suggestions into this year's events and work to keep building this community. We also celebrated International Women's Day recently and celebrate the experience, expertise and commitment of all the female educators, researchers and educational technologists in e/merge Africa. 

In the March newsletter we have:

  1. Facilitating Online course - Applications open for the rest of 2021
  2. Upcoming e/merge Africa events/webinars in English and Arabic
  3. Upcoming Online events/webinars by e/merge Africa friends
  4. Activities and ideas to help build a sense of community online
  5. EDUCAUSE 2021 Horizon report - your African submission 
  6. Designing online conferences
  7. Opportunities and jobs
  8. COVID-19 OERs, Resources and Articles
  9. Recent publications by some of our members
  10. Ways of getting involved in the e/merge Africa Network 



Apply for Facilitating Online Course in 2021

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

facilitating online

Facilitating Online Global course application for 2021 second run is now open. The course dates are:

  • 17 May - 9 July 2021 (Apply by 9 April 2021)
  •  2 Aug - 23 Sept 2021 (Apply by 25 June 2021)
  •  18 Oct - 10 Dec 2021 (Apply by 10 Sept 2021)

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 the e/merge Africa network.

This course is aimed at change-agent educational technologists, educators and trainers within the African Higher Educational sector and beyond. Course participation is entirely online and will require up to 8 hours of participation per week. We can offer up to two free places per state funded higher education institution in Africa subject to admission requirements. Participants from other sectors and continents who meet the admission requirements can join us for a fee of ZAR 8000 per participant. 

Please use the link below for full information and to access the online application form.




e/merge Africa events in English


Wednesday, 24 March 2021:  Postgraduate Supervision Online Before and During the Pandemic 

Date and Time: Wednesday, 24 March 2021: :2:00 - 3.00 pm SAST

For more information and sign-up  here

Description of the Webinar: 

While online supervision is an emerging practice in African universities, there was already a need for more flexible forms of postgraduate supervision prior to the pandemic. Developing online supervision skills has become increasingly important for academics supervising postgraduate students. 

This webinar aims at discussing some of the challenges and approaches to supervision of students’ theses and dissertations during and beyond the Covid19 pandemic. We will focus on our diverse experiences of supervising postgraduate students in three African universities as well as drawing on data from both supervisor and student experiences of supervision during the pandemic.

In conclusion, the facilitators will highlight what has worked for them and propose recommendations for improved postgraduate supervision online. 

Karen undertook research for the DIES/CREST online course for doctoral supervisors and will share what doctoral supervisors experienced during the Covid19 pandemic, in particular between March and September 2020. Personally, she supervised one MA and one PhD student in the same period. 

Nompilo is currently supervising both Masters and PhD students, and is also involved in research on doctoral education. Her presentation will focus on the results of a survey administered to postgraduate students at three South African universities during the 2020 lockdown period. The data presents both the disruptive and enabling environment presented by the pandemic and the role of technology in mediating the supervisory relationship. 

Nicola has been supervising postgraduate students online before the pandemic. At the moment she is supervising a Masters student and co-teaching an online doctoral programme as part of a supervision team. The supervision team meets regularly to discuss feedback from students and incorporate insights into their programme. Nicola will share her experiences of different approaches to supervision (one-on-one vs. group) and what is involved when more flexible forms of postgraduate supervision are taken online. 

Facilitated by: 

Dr. Nompilo Tshuma: Researcher and Lecturer in Educational Technology at the Centre for Higher and Adult Education at Stellenbosch University, South Africa. She has been working with educational technology since 2005 as both a lecturer and an academic developer. In her current role she is the institutional coordinator for a regional PG Diploma in Higher Education. She also teaches modules in the Centre's two MPhil programmes and supervises Masters and PhD students. As a critical educational technology researcher, she uses social and critical theories to explore the context and politics of higher education, and their impact on educational technology practices.

Prof. Karen Meyers-Ferreira: is the Coordinator Modern Languages/Linguistics of the Institute of Distance Education at the University of Eswatini.  She obtained various qualifications: MA Romance Philology (French-Spanish), Honours Portuguese, Post-Graduate Diploma Translation (French-English-French), MA Linguistics, LLM Degree (Legal aspects of new technologies), PhD in French (feminine Francophone autofiction). She has published a monograph on Francophone autofiction, several articles (autofictional feminine writing, crime fiction, 20th and 21st Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone African authors, distance and e-learning), participates regularly in international conferences and is a keen translator and interpreter.

Dr. Nicola Palitt: Coordinates the efforts of the Educational Technology Unit in the Centre for Higher Education Research,Teaching and Learning (CHERTL) at Rhodes University and offers professional development opportunities for academics to use technologies effectively in their roles as educators and researchers. Nicola supervises postgraduate students and co-teaches on formal courses in Higher Education. She enjoys meeting EdTech practitioners and researchers from across the globe. 

For more information and sign-up here


e/merge Africa events in Arabic

Led by e/merge Africa team member Dr. Mohamed Ahmed of Mansoura University, Egypt, we have already had many online events in Arabic in 2020 and will continue this year. These events will be held on Friday afternoons 4–5 pm (Cairo time). For more details of Arabic events and how to sign up please go to e/merge Africa Arabic


Friday, 13 March 2021: الشرود الذهني في التعليم عن بعد (Attention Deficit in Online Learning)

Date and Time:  Friday 13th March 2021, 4:00pm SAST/Cairo Time 

For more information and sign-up  here

Description: The current global circumstances have led to an almost complete dependence on distance learning platforms, every online learner should have the opportunity to benefit from your eLearning course, regardless of behavioural disorders or developmental difficulties.

In this webinar, we will discuss the foundations that must be taken into account to achieve the greatest amount of mental focus in distance education, and we will also explain the role of (teacher / student / educational institution / family management) in achieving this.

Presenter: Ibrahim Hassan Saleh,  E-learning & Training Expert  Training and Quality Manager @Classera

For more information and sign-up  here

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.


Upcoming Events 


Saturday, 17 April 2021: TEACHER TECH SUMMIT


The global pandemic has demonstrated the need for schools to adopt and adapt new practices to ensure our children continue to receive a high-quality education.

We know teachers have been adapting and sharing their practices informally during the pandemic. We also know that teachers are key to ensuring schools can fulfil their ambitions.

So, we want to provide teachers with a platform to share their expertise and practical experiences using educational technology, with a global audience.

Like all of our events, our Teacher Tech Summit is free to attend.  More information on the event and registration here


In order to share opportunities and make sure you do not miss anything, we have created this document which will be updated throughout the year with quality research opportunities, upcoming conferences, calls for chapters and journal articles and much more.

You can follow the updated through this link  



EdTech Hub is launching a call for proposals for at-scale research investigating EdTech’s role in high potential but low evidence areas in low- and middle-income countries. The purpose of this call is to increase the amount of high-quality research evidence available regarding the impact of technology-based solutions to improve learning and education. For more information EdTech Hub


Call for proposals for #AECT21! This year's theme: "Homecoming (Homestaying): A Return to Learning through Innovation." Submit your proposals by 31 March 2021. Details at Call for proposal  

digiTAL 2021 Conference - Call for Abstract submissions 

We invite submissions for the digiTAL 2021 conference. Abstract submissions deadline: 15th June. See the CFP for more details or visit our website

Applications for AFRIKA KOMMT! 2021-2023 

The programme AFRIKA KOMMT! brings together the most visionary young leaders from Africa and leading German companies. Companies benefit from the expertise, knowledge, local network and unique African perspective of the young professionals. The African fellows dive deep into the German corporate specifics, German business spirit and the German culture. Empowered with international experience, technical skills and German language they become African change agents for the sake of both: the German business relations with Africa as well as for economic and social growth in the fellows’ home countries and communities.

More details about the programme and how to apply  Afrika Kommt 

Activities and ideas to help build a sense of community online




OneHE announced that they have teamed up with Maha Bali and Equity Unbound to develop some open educational resources for online community-building. Equity Unbound is an emergent, collaborative curriculum which aims to create equity-focused, open, connected, intercultural learning experiences across classes, countries and contexts. 

Equity Unbound has developed these wonderful and diverse activities for educators to use with their classes (for higher education mainly, but many can work for school age students as well). In this email you will find details of the first five activities we launched earlier this week and the further three resources that we released today. We want to hear you feedback and suggestions for other activities we can include. Get in touch by email or complete the form you will find on each activity page. 

HELTASA Collaborative Learning Communities (CLCs)

We welcome your suggestions, participation in and engagement with our CLCs. Please visit our website for more information on their workshops, publications and other activities here .



Request for submissions: Represent Africa in the 2021 EDUCAUSE Horizon report (Deadline 15 March 2021)

Once a year EDUCAUSE publishes their Horizon reports that interrogate educational technologies and analyse future trends and scenarios. There is an opportunity for e/merge Africa members to share information about our projects.

This work can be in almost any form: production or pilot programs, research projects, faculty undertakings, emerging technology trials, or evaluation/assessment projects. Three exemplary projects for each of the six technologies and practices listed below will be represented in the EDUCAUSE Horizon Report. A subset of the authors of the submissions will be invited to write up their work in the post for the EDUCAUSE Review Teaching and Learning channel, or present this work in other venues including conferences or webinars.

The six emerging technologies and practices selected by the expert panel for 2021 are:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Growth of micro-credentialing for educators and students
  • Learning analytics
  • Open educational resources (OER)
  • Proliferation of blended/hybrid modes/teaching models
  • Shift from remote teaching to quality online learning

The submission form can be accessed here The deadline for submission is March 15, 2021 You can view the 2020 Horizon Report here 


Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Centre for Innovative Educational Technology (CIET) is recruiting a lecturer - an Educational Technologist for their District Six Campus - Cape Town, WC ZA (Primary).  How to apply and more details,  here is the link 

Rhodes University - work remotely as an Educational Technology Support Specialist in the Centre for Higher Education, Research, Teaching and Learning (1 year contract, remote work, online).   Attached is the job profile for further details. Interested applicants may apply by submitting a CV, a Letter of Motivation and a copy of the relevant qualification to   Closing Date:  29 March 2021


Designing Online Conferences

Here are some resources related to designing online conferences:


COVID-19 OERs, Resources and Articles

We invite you to share OERs and other resources related to emergency remote teaching on our Facebook page.

Examples of COVID-19 resources: 

Articles of interest:

Recent publications by some of our members

Gachago, D., Pallitt, N., & Bali, M. 2020. No Size Fits All: Design Considerations for Networked Professional Development in Higher Education. Proceedings of the Networked Learning Conference. Denmark, online:

Belluigi, D., Czerniewicz, L., Khoo, S., Algers, A., Buckley, LA., Prinsloo, P., Mgqwashu, E., Camps, C., Brink, C., Marx, R., Wissing, G., & Pallitt, N. 2020. “Needs Must”? Critical reflections on the implications of the Covid19 ‘pivot online’ for equity in higher education. Digital Culture and Education. 

Czerniewicz, L.; Agherdien, N.; Badenhorst, J.; Belluigi, D.; Chambers, T.; Chili, M.; de Villiers, M.; Felix, A.; Gachago, D.; Gokhale, C.; Ivala, E.; Kramm, N.; Madiba, M.; Mistri, G.; Mgqwashu, E.; Pallitt, N.; Prinsloo, P.; Solomon, S[MOU1] .; Strydom, S.; Swanepoel, M.; Waghid, F. & Wissing, G. 2020. A Wake-Up Call: Equity, Inequality and Covid-19 Emergency Remote Teaching and Learning. Postdigital Science and  Education.



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 are willing to participate in a report back.  

Be part of a peer-assist

Have you got stuck with a daunting challenge in your work where there are no technical fixes? We can arrange a Peer-Assist session where you access insight, experience, new perspectives and potential solutions from e/merge Africa colleagues.Contact us on and we will pull this together and facilitate the process. 

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. Please subscribe to our e/merge Africa YouTube Channel 

Best Wishes

The e/merge Africa team

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
2021 e/merge Africa.

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