Director, Nxt Lvl E-Volve.
Paul West is ICT and education innovator, acknowledged leader-author in the field of Open Education Resources (OER), and a knowledge management leader with broad experience in Africa and the 54 developing countries of the Commonwealth of Nations where Kenya is a member. As a strategic thinker, conceptualiser and pragmatic implementer, Paul West has shown the ability to bring together new and emerging ICT technologies and turn them into customer-focused solutions.
For example, Mr. West initiated an internet portal and cloud service solution for all Commonwealth of Learning (COL) global education content and data which he shrewdly based in Kenya due to location, low cost, and availability of local IT talent. Of particular note to the MoHEST-Kuza Biashara partnership and incubation centers is Paul West’s experience in developing and running first-time efforts and innovations where there is little or no prior experience to build on.
Paul West’s ICT and education expertise is now focused on building South African’s first national Career Advice Service. This multi-channel service will help learners of all ages at intervals throughout their working lives. The new career service being launched in phases will use a range of technologies including a radio campaign reaching 2 million people, career exhibitions and festivals, telephone helpline (currently more than 4,000 calls per day), wireless technology via Smartphone and SMS/text messaging, social networking and the Internet.
Paul West’s prior post was Director of Knowledge Management and Information Technology at the Commonwealth of Learning in Vancouver, Canada where he worked for nine years. COL is an intergovernmental organisation created by the Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning and distance education knowledge, resources and technologies. COL helps developing nations improve access to quality education and training.
While at COL, Paul West created the “COL knowledge finder” in 2002, an Internet based aggregated search facility for open and distance learning. He encouraged the use of open source software and open educational resources to expand access to quality learning content; and innovative IT systems to support teaching and learning. West led the creation of the multi-national “Virtual University for the Small States of the Commonwealth” initiative, a collaboration of Ministries of Education in 32 countries. Paul also led COL’s work in copyright policy with emphasis on the use of Creative Commons licenses in education.
Before COL, Paul West worked at Technikon SA (now University of South Africa) for 12 years where he lectured in management; established non-formal education programs; supported the creation of technical training institutes and the establishment of ICT Centres to support learners. He also designed and established the African Digital Library, a service that provides full-text eBooks to residents of African countries via the Internet.