MULTIMEDIA DISTANCE EDUCATION VIA THE WORLDSPACE RADIOS.
In Feb 2004, UNESCO and WorldSpace piloted a joint project of distance education (DE) which aimed at delivering a short course on Community Development in Africa (based on the “Telecentre Cookbook” previously published by UNESCO).
The course consisted in lectures, speech and data which was sent via a telephone line from the lecture’s locations to a WorldSpace uplink station in Toulouse and broadcasted via AfriStar to the African continent. The lectures were specifically targeted at Telecentre user groups and managers, decision makers in the area of Distance Education (DE) and application for ICTs for development and to national and international NGOs.
There were 15 sponsored English-speaking learner sites in five African countries; Ethiopia, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Each country had a national coordinator and a distance education expert in each country to evaluate the course.
In Uganda, there were for four learning centres namely:
- Nakaseke Multipurpose Community Telecentre (Listener Site only).
- National Curriculum Development Centre (Kyambogo) (Both a Listener. and Lecturer site).
- WOUGNET offices (Listener Site).
- Wanyange Girls School, Jinja (Listener site) .
National Country Coordinators
- Mr. Berhanu Seboka Desta (Manager, Global Learning Network Center, Ethiopia).
- Mr. Mathew T. Hailai (Namibia Community Radio Network, Namibia).
- Mr. Ali Ayub Kalufya (Principal scientific Officer, COSTECH, Tanzania).
- Mr. Daniel Kakinda (National Coordinator, SchoolNet Uganda).
- Mr. Bornwell Mwewa (Partnership/Volunteer Editors Coordinator, OneWorld Africa (OWA), Zambia).
The roles of the National Coordinators included:
- Ensuring that all of the national learning centres participate with at least six trainees at each site and to promote the course nationally inviting all other relevant institutions with appropriate technical support equipment to participate.
- Organize and participate in the course along with the National Evaluator and to submit to UNESCO a report of activity including an evaluation of the course incorporating learner feedback according to the methodology provided by UNESCO.
Three lecturers located in Africa and Latin America gave two 1-hour lectures each in English, including interactive exchange with the learners, as follows:
- Technological support, including satellite services, and its impact on sustainability (Lecturer: Klaus Stoll, Chasquinet, Ecuador).
- Community telecentre organization and outreach, including policy facilitation (Lecturer: Polly Gaster, Eduardo Mondlane University, Maputo, Mozambique).
- Educational content and services at the community level (Lecturer: Grace Baguma, National Curriculum Development Centre, Kampala, Uganda).
How the lectures were delivered.
The course was delivered using the Combined Live Audio and Slide Show (CLASS) technology of WorldSpace Corporation, which provided its facilities to UNESCO free of charge for this pilot activity. In order to participate, a learning centre required a personal computer running under Windows with the CLASS system installed, a WorldSpace digital radio receiver and a digital data interface for data transmission from the radio to the computer (alternatively, there was the possibility of using a PC card which functions as a radio with integrated digital interface).
WorldSpace’s combined service, called CLASS (Combined Live Audio and Slide Show) was developed specifically for use in the context of Distance Education (DE). It allows a speaker through phone lines to deliver a presentation to the distant students. The presentation file is preferably transmitted at the beginning of the session. The teacher voice is transmitted live. The teacher controls the presentation (slide back/forward) and his annotations are displayed in real-time on all virtual student whiteboards.
At SchoolNet Uganda, the project was coordinated by Kakinda Daniel.
A presentation on the pilot project can be downloaded using the link below
A copy of the evaluation of the pilot project can be downloaded using the link below