WorldSpace, LIRNEasia’s partner in the last-mile hazard information project, is promoting a satellite-radio-based mechanism for point-to-multipoint distribution of educational content such as readings and slides. The link below provides a complete description. The excerpt below includes description of an ongoing project in Sri Lanka (not involving LIRNEasia) and the general conclusions drawn by the author, Dr S Rangarajan, a good friend of LIRNEasia and Sri Lanka:
An example of a CLASS network that is set up nationwide is the Sri Lankan Network for e-Health and Alerts (SNeHA). Medical professionals in the remote district centers use this network for continuing medical education, to update their knowledge and pass better health care to their patients.
The table below summarizes the advantage of using WorldSpace in the context of school and higher education.
The underdeveloped regions are characterized by their poor/expensive infrastructure in terms of communications, power and manpower. WorldSpace can deliver with ease audio and/or multimedia content to small portable radios or to PC’s connected to these radios. Without the need for telephone lines or Internet, these computers can be fed with pre-selected Internet content or any other digital data.
As the system supports simultaneous audio and data transmissions, properly synchronized, it can provide high quality Combined Live Audio and Slide Show (CLASS) to extend the reach of the best teachers to more people. In places where an electrical power supply is not available the system can be run on solar-charged batteries. These networks can be created quickly, are scalable and sustainable with local manpower.
Therefore, with an ability to surmount barriers of geography, ethnicity and poverty, WorldSpace system holds a great potential to improve education delivery across Africa and Asia.
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