A noticeable narrative that has begun to appear in much of the conversation in the eLearning Africa community is a narrative of resistance, a narrative of struggle, a narrative of access. The above video really taps into these narratives by presenting access, bandwidth, and technology as core units of development, both in this community and overall. These are the currency of the realm, so to speak.

They make sure to link the success of the eLearning Africa community with the success of the continent overall. As goes these educational initiatives, so goes the fate of the continent. So, we can see a sharper narrative than we might see in other digital communities, one linked to historical counterparts. It is a narrative of urgency as well, that these shared goals of access to and use of learning technologies is a time-dependent issue.

It is also a community that appropriates the symbols, rites, and rituals of the physical cultures at times. So, we go from the unifying symbol of the community as found below:

To the following, which chronicles Mozambique post-independence (1975).

An issue of Tempo, a Mozambican magazine that spanned both colonial and post-colonial times. Orange is not accidental in both Tempo and the eLearning Africa logo.

So, we see a connection of the digital community to the historical (physical) perspective. The pursuit of eLearning (as well as other economic initiatives) is a struggle to shed historical bondage, to be competitive, and unified. It strikes me as an indication of a cohesive community bound by shared goals.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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