If we want to encourage high bandwidth students to work with people who do not have high bandwidth e.g., in rural areas in less developed countries, what options are available and how do we work around the limitations?
If I remember correctly when I was on dial-up, an asynchronous conversation like this one was possible. I have also participated in online conferences that were global that had an option for people to receive text-only. (I don't remember whether that was a setting on the individual computer or if it was part of the conference setup.)
Marsha, this issue must have come up when you were first teaching at VHS. What were you able to do? (Marsha was my first online teacher back when I was on dial-up.)
Is anybody else limited in the work you do by dial-up connections? How do you work around this problem?
Do you have experiences to share about effective ways of using the computer for Web2.0 type activities that you use or remember using?
(Edited by Sylvia Currie - original submission Wednesday, 23 July 2008, 04:57 AM. Moved post to a new discussion thread and linked back to Brenda Hallowes introductory post where she mentions bandwidth)
I would like to add that apart from the availability of bandwidth we have the highest cost in the world for internet connectivity. We have one telephone provider in this country at present. Because of the monopoly up to now they are able to control the cost. My school is about to get an ADSL line capped at 2Gb per month at a cost of R249, which is the price after a 50% discount for an educational institution. That does not include the cost of an ISP which could be the same again and the monthly line rental. I'm not sure of those costs.
A loaf of bread here costs about R8 so do a little comparison for your country. It would be interesting.
In the online courses that I am involved in the teachers get a cd with all the activities and assignments. They work through the activities and submit their responses via email to their tutor group and interaction is encouraged. However, I think the asynchronis nature of the group means that there's actually very little interaction. It is also evident that teachers are working at the activities in their own time and at their own pace so it's not easy to comment on one anothers' work when they're not on the same page. But, we have made a start. It's better than nothing and there is a huge need to bring thousands of educators into 21st Century learning. It's the old story of the elephant - eat it one bite at a time.
Brenda: We try to list strategies in the R2D2 book by risk, time, and cost ans also the degree of learner-centeredness. We did not include bandwith, unfortunately. However, we do note those that require high bandwidth like #74 Broadcasted events (pp. 174-176) and #75 Online Multimedia and Visually Rich Cases (pp. 176-178). Most do not require much bandwidth at all. Synchronous methods like #58, #59, and #60 (all online web design reviews) might. Hope that helps!
I found this blog post about students and faculty working offline. It reviews one platform. This author also has a tag for other posts written on this topic.
Twenty years ago, the fifth grade teacher at my daughter's school introduced multi-media work to her class. She had 180 free minutes from Prodigy (web host). All student activities and reports for the year were done within that many minutes of connect time.
221 kbps download
127 kbps upload
I share that with 2 other computers.
With that broadband I can participate in forums, text chat, videochat with some difficulties. Editing video online is absolutely out of the question. Uploading videos takes forever so I don't do it.
Downloading videos takes time, too, but it's doable.
The year before I started using blogs and online slide presentations. Lat year I migrated to Ning but it didn't work because the website used to take forever to download or refresh.
Students use Facebook a lot here.
Wikis work really well since they are mostly text.
Well, in general everything that does not involve video streaming works well.