vader-fail

I’ve (almost) always worked in the Higher Education sector of South Africa and I find this report from University World News very very disturbing:

A shocking results of pilot national benchmark tests revealed that:

  • only 7% of first-year students are proficient in mathematics
  • only25% are fully quantitatively literate
  • less than 50% have the academic literacy skills needed to succeed without support

What are they teaching our kids at school!? How on earth can you go through 12 years of schooling and 75% of students are quantitatively ILLITERATE?

The rest of the report was just too depressing to read on a Friday, maybe I’ll be able to stomach it on Monday….

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I love Twitter not because I want to know what Stephen Fry or Ashton Kutcher are up to but because if I follow the right people (like Guy Kawasaki , Mashable, DavidLeeKing, Chuck Green, Seth Godin, mattChevy or TEDTalks) I am constantly getting new and interesting websites and people to connect to!

And one such gem I found this morning in my Twitter feed comes courtesy of Guy Kawasaki.

It’s featured in TIME’s 50 Best Websites 2009 and I can see why!

Aviary academicearth-org Picture 1

Academic Earth has at it’s heart the mission to give everyone on earth access to a world class education. And while this may sound like an almost impossible task it’s really not – if you break it down.

give everyone access – yup they do this by posting the video’s online. If you’ve got internet connection on your mobile, laptop or PC you’re in!

world class education – well, with Berkeley, HarvardMITPrinceton, Stanford, UCLA, and Yale on board they’ve got the world class thing sorted as well!

And it’s not just the “popular” classes Academic Earth is posting they are covering subjects such as:

Each topic can be further subdivided and the quality of the lectures and lecturers are really good.

The editors have also created “themes” of lectures and these look quite interesting and entertaining (when was the last time you used those two words together with lecture?) First Day of Freshman Year – 4 Lectures , Love Is In the Air – 6 Lectures, Wars Throughout History – 7 Lectures, Living a Good Life – 6 Lectures, Building a Company with Great People – 7 Lectures

So now I can benefit from learning from some of the best minds in higher education, without the high tuition fee and in Africa nogals!

Follow them on Twitter, subscribe to their Facebook fan page or subscribe to their emails.

I really like this slideshow from Eshaam Rabaney over on Slideshare it gives a very nice overview of social media -networks and users in SA.

If you like it too please vote for it in the SlideShare’s World’s Best Presentations 2009 competition – it would really be cool if a South African won a prize!

This was my presentation @ the University of Pretoria Library last week.

Welcome to my newest endeavor!

Hopefully this blog will:

  • keep you up to date on what’s going on with academic publishing in Africa/South Africa (think calls for papers, conferences etc)
  • keep you informed about what’s happening in libraries in Africa/South Africa (if it happens and I hear about it, so will you!)
  • remind you that not everyone thinks like you (young people, older people and even older people all think and work differently – so prepare to broaden your mind!)
  • keep you entertained! (I would never read a boring blog, so why should you?)

I’m sure the path will be filled with broken links, un-upload-able pictures, typos and entries that won’t always resonate with you – but I’m just as sure there will be more than enough interesting stories, fascinating people and good times to make up for that!

So buckle up and enjoy the ride!