Edtech and Digital Literacy

My Reflections from Social Media Week Lagos as a Volunteer and Partner

Written by Elvis Boniface

At some point, it was the most anticipated event in the continent. How time flies! The social media week, Lagos have come and gone. Was it worth it? An emphatic yes is my answer. The emergence of social networks about a decade ago have no doubt redefined marketing, communication, networking, and even influence matrix.

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Africa is a continent reputed for adopting innovations late. Special thanks to crowdcentric, the company behind the social media week. We are experiencing one of the biggest shift in how we communicate in human history.  Not only is communication affected, marketing, business, and  my area of concentration in this blog, education have been disrupted for good. For instance, Salmon Khan’s Khan Academy, Mike Feerick, Alison, coursera, Udacity, edx, and reputable universities open courseware have put quality education at the reach of just any person that can afford a computer and internet subscription.

Education technologists are fighting to be part of this innovation. Today  in education new areas of focus that never existed five years ago are birthed and promoted. These include blended learning flipped classroom and so forth.

So what is this Social Media Week

Social Media Week is a leading media platform and event with global reach across five continents, including Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Asia that explores the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. Twice a year (in February and September) the week long conference and festival is held in multiple cities across the globe simultaneously. The organizer’s mission is to help people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and the sharing of ideas and information.

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SMW Lagos is only in it’s 2nd year and has already claimed its place as the largest, tech, new media and business conference on the continent of Africa. It attracts some of the continents most forward thinkers, brands, learners and creators. With a population of over 20M Lagos is the largest black city in the world and is arguably the epicenter of the continent and home to the powerhouses of Africa’s creative, business and tech communities. Recognizing the importance of a connected continent, while aiming to encourage collaboration, the 2014 conference them was: A CONNECTED AFRICA IS THE FUTURE.

A Jamboree or objectively directed?

I stop attending events a wide ago-parties, unnecessary meetings, and motivational talk shows. I believe in “doing”. This is because as a once customer of the above, I know it is usually time wrongly and poorly spent. But truth be told, the programmes of the event were objectively directed and specific time allocation duly adhered to(in this part of the clime, we are poor time managers). It will not be an exaggeration to say it is the most impactful day of any focused attendee in 2014. Permit me to be a soothsayer of the remaining ten months of the years.

Venue

From an education standpoint, we believe environment plays a very vital role in knowledge acquisition. Not overlooking interest, pedagogy, instructional materials, and teachers. The organisers of the events balanced all the factors necessary for a great experience.  Four venues were used. Though my bit was #NOKIAEDU @ 4 Points. I visited other venues twice for some interesting programmes I registered  for. The experience and conduit were the same. Great.

Programmes

The programmes were splendid, rightly tailored to the appropriate sector(s), and superbly delivered by the best persons in the field. I know what am doing is a crime in Africa, telling someone how sweet the food is after eating it. But don’t worry; I wanted to taste it first. Next year, if you continue to visit this blog, you’ll be guided appropriately to ensure you don’t miss this mega event.

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Day 1, Monday, 17th February

Two programmes were it for me; Ethics, Etiquette and Political Activism. While the moderator, Ayo Alli was diplomatic, Gbenga Sesan wanted to apply the omojuwa syndrome-always finding fault with the government. As a well package event that hosted intelligentsia, a guy from the audience and a woman called him to order.

WordPress Nigeria: SEO + Security + Payment – Best Practices for Website and Blog Management. This was particularly impactful because my blog is wordpress. What more should I explain?

Day 2, Tuesday, 18th February

Using Social Media to Create a Great Personal or Corporate Reputation. C.Moore Media, the event host did a good job by exposing us to several ways and strategy to maximize the use of social media as individuals, and corporations whose communications heads, PRO executives, and heads were represented.

Day 3, Wednesday, 19th February

Ovie Brume Foundation’s Life through the Lens of Lagos Youth: I travel around Nigeria a lot, except the North. Don’t ask me why. This presentation was an eye opener of the differences I had and continue to between us Lagosians(youth) and those from other cities in Nigeria. The myths of the Lagos Youth were perfectly documented.

Day 4, Thursday, 20th February

Passnownow.com: How Nigerian Secondary Schools are Moving to Digital: Toyosi Akerele Rise group needs no introduction to Lagos Youths in particular, and students of federal universities across the country. Rise brain child, passnownow is a website I visit regularly. It is a social initiative whose importance cannot be overemphasize in the educational sojourn of the Nigerian child, mostly at this time in our National life where education is suffering greatly. The programme’s highlight was the launching of the passnownow app, developed by Mtel.

Day 5, Friday, 21 February

TechCabal Battlefield: TechCabal BattleField was a competition for young Nigerians to come up with business ideas that are technology driven. The winning group, PrepClass carted away $20,000,000. My joy; the winning group was from my university. Two alumni and two undergraduates from the same faculty, engineering. Without mincing words, their business/project stood out.

 Treatment

The ushers who were mainly volunteers demonstrated high professionalism and treated everybody highly. As an insider, I feel the volunteers coordinators live a little below expectation by been bossy to the volunteers.

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My grievance

With the above positives of the events described above. Why the grievance? I am angry that an event of this magnitude that stagnated Lagos had only one education centric programme. Many entertainment, Art, Activism, and technology programmes took place. So why is education left out. Our universities, polytechnics, colleges of education, highbrow private schools and individual scholars should have come up with their innovations in Edtech to show the Nigerian child is well educated with 21st century skill to fits in anywhere in the world.

 

My wish

It is my expectation to intern for the mother company, Crowdcentric in charge of the Social Media Week. To sit as a panellist in 2015 and discuss EdTech, education advocacy, the creative and technology-education integration/balance.

About the author

Elvis Boniface

Ordained Evangelist of the Education Ministry. Learning is my lifestyle, credo and religion. On a mission to disrupt and redirect Africa's Education conversation using Technology and Media. We can do it. Open to discuss any Education initiative and idea. #peace

Speedy reach: +2348185787349 & elvis@edugist.org

2 Comments

  • hi elvis,

    you should definitely do a couple of education focused events at the next smwlagos

    please email me – if you want a hand (or pointer about getting that done or in the programmes) – i’ll discuss it at our next advisory board meeting. capital idea

    make it happen….

  • hi elvis,

    you should definitely do a couple of education focused events at the next smwlagos

    please email me – if you want a hand (or pointer about getting that done or in the programmes) – i’ll discuss it at our next advisory board meeting. capital idea

    make it happen….

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