WESTERN CAPE, South Africa, and SINT-NIKLAAS, Belgium, 14 November 2014. Satellite solution provider Yazmi today announced a new e-learning scheme using the first satellite-enabled tablet, called Odyssey™, and Newtec’s multicast technology to deliver content via satellite to rural, remote and low income regions in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The end-to-end content delivery system aims to improve performance outcomes for students and teachers in areas where there is weak computing and Internet infrastructure. The first pilots of the technology are taking place in India (with 30,000 licenses) and the sub-Saharan region in Africa, with the latest trials in two schools in South Africa, in Rietkol, in Mpumalanga Province, and at Heathfield, in Western Cape.
In Western Cape, tablets have been deployed for the pilot, which started in October during the fourth term of the current academic year and will continue until December. Each student in Grade 6 has received an Odyssey 700 tablet and can now access live lectures, as well as supplementary material, via classroom servers installed at each school using the WLAN interface. Solar chargers have also been provided.
“We believe satellite is the perfect candidate for e-learning connectivity,” said Noah Samara, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yazmi. “With our system in place the possibilities are endless – lectures can be live streamed from any location, teacher training courses can be offered and having a connected device for multimedia consumption allows teachers and students to access and store high quality educational content. Empowered with Newtec’s multicast gear it is quite unique in the market.”
Yazmi’s solution utilizes the AfriStar and AsiaStar data multicasting satellites and the world’s first truly satellite-enabled tablet to provide Governments with access to a special e-learning channel. Approved educational content can then be transmitted to all tablet users via one single transmission thanks to TelliCast, Newtec’s multicast distribution software platform.
As well as transmitting live lectures from a remote teacher, Odyssey also enables the sharing of digital textbooks and notebooks, educational apps, preparatory materials and other files. Teachers can also use the tablet to access live training modules, helping them to be better prepared and more confident in the classroom.
“We are proud to be a part of this very important scheme which has the potential to create sustainable economic growth through a more educated and healthier community,” said Newtec’s CEO Serge Van Herck. “Our technology ensures the content required for students and teachers is delivered in a reliable, secure and controlled manner.”
Newtec’s TelliCast (NOP1900 Multicast Software Server), which enables the reliable distribution of files, directory structures and data streams, consists of a server package combined with a set of software clients that can be installed on computers or embedded into a variety of receiver devices. For Yazmi, the result is a multicast allowing educational content to be distributed to a large number of recipients with only one single transmission.