Attending WordCampUSA Philly, the annual WordPress conference, was a great opportunity to join over 1800 bloggers, developers, programmers, users and even educators. Joining together to learn, share, and collaborate on a platform that allows for dynamic content to be posted in diverse digital environments. Attending with my students Joshua Rodriguez, a junior studying Biology and Johnathan Gregory a junior studying elementary education, both from Edward Waters College, the event provided an opportunity to apply what they are learning in the classroom in real world situations. These situations are not just educational, it involves business, commerce and entrepreneurial opportunities.
As Africans expand their educational opportunities, there should be participation in tech conferences like WordCamp, EdCamp and others. Technology builds leaders in diverse disciplines building content creators and innovators. In order for this to be successful in Africa students must be exposed to industry leaders, developers, programmers and marketers. These provide a vision to grow towards and creates mentors. Conferences like WordCamp allow for exposure, encourage interaction and engagement. Entrepreneurial ideas to start new businesses are fuelled, which influences the economics of communities. If Africans are not involved they may lose the chance to be inspired and be encouraged to think beyond their current community and even economic levels.
Learning from conferences is ‘Dope’ and ‘Lit’ as this generation’s teens and young adults like to say. More Africans need to have the opportunity to join in on the discussions to learn and contribute. To move beyond consumers to change into developers of new areas leading to education, business and commerce.
African nations should continue to prioritize learning on a foundational level to liberate the thinking of the application and integration of technology to produce, not just consume. African students are smart creative, dynamic innovators and embrace entrepreneurialism, which opens doors to build people and nations. Each opportunity to attend conferences is a chance to take back to schools, communities and peers new knowledge to share, to inspire, to ignite the fires of discovery that change the way African children, youth, teens and young adults see themselves.
WordCamp, EdCamp, Bar Camps, Writing Camps and other technology initiatives should be taken advantage of to bolster and reinforce that innovation still has value and the ability to influence global markets. Attendance builds knowledge and networking, this influences collaboration and integration. Economics can be empowered and strengthened.
Thank you to William Jackson (@wmjackson) for his view on how more technology camps can create even more potential in Africa’s youth. Encouraging students, both male and female, to the technology field, will create a huge skill base that, in the future, could be the foundation of many of the worlds tech innovations.