eLearning in Developing Countries: October 2-22, 2007

Low-Cost Internet Access Using Mechanical Backhaul

Low-Cost Internet Access Using Mechanical Backhaul

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Number of replies: 16
Watch an incredible talk on Kiosk a low cost Internet access using mechanical backhaul in India.  

In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Tools appropriate for elearning in developing countries

by Sylvia Currie -
That's an interesting video that Nellie shared about Kiosks in India. It prompted me to continue this thread with other tools appropriate for elearning in developing countries (and countries that face bandwidth, internet access, and support issues).

I work with Monica who mentioned that the students we support in remote communities face similar challenges. Moodle course management system has really served us well for participants on dial-up internet which can be very slow, and satellite internet which can be very expensive. Moodle also has the forum subscription feature which allows users to read and revisit forum posts through their email client without having to access the internet.

It would be helpful to round up a list of tools along with descriptions about why they would be appropriate. We can discuss them here and also add the list to the wiki.
In reply to Sylvia Currie

Re: Tools appropriate for elearning in developing countries

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Sylvia,
Moodle is excellent for people who have issues with sustained connectivity.
In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Re: Tools appropriate for elearning in developing countries

by Nalin Abeysekera -

Dear Neillie,

In our university we are using moodle as learning management system.i think it is a free LMS.I think specially in developing countries moodle might be the LMS to start with once you are considering the cost associating with.though there are some problems we are doing well with it.

In reply to Nalin Abeysekera

Re: Tools appropriate for elearning in developing countries

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
I believe blended learning; combing e-learning via Moodle and face-to-face learning, is an excellent way to save money in training staff and motivate learners to become independent and responsible lifelonglearners.   
In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Global Internet Access Statistics

by Colby Stuart -
At www.speedtest.net you can test your bandwidth and compare it to others - locally, regionally, country wide, by continent and globally.

You can also look up the global statistics - http://speedtest.net/global.php - in the same way to discover what access is available and the bandwidth and speed of connection.

Since this is an Open Source global research project, millions have used it. It is a wonderful resource for having conversations with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as well as academic and government officials. You can use this to demonstrate the situation in your particular circumstances. Politicians may try to use their own statistics to convince their public that the situation is different, but these are "live" statistics without interpretation.
In reply to Colby Stuart

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by violeta cautin -
I have 137 kps download and 33 kps upload.

In reply to violeta cautin

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Colby Stuart -
Violeta, you have made the issue now visible for everyone.

People in westernized countries cannot imagine a connection that low. This kind of connection almost prohibits you from loading a simple website.

Thisis why having a simple platform for learning is so very important. It is also important to support that with other media, which is widely available in developing countries. That main medium is radio.

I Africa, they are using radio for sharing learning programs.

What could happen if we were able to combine online with radio in developing countries?
In reply to Colby Stuart

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Nalin Abeysekera -

Yes I think this is the idea I too try to bring forward,,,, e-Learning is not only computers…we should look at the problem like that….According to the statistics only 4.7% internet users in Africa. But they are doing well with given resources.I think we can easily get the statistics about interent users from http://www.internetworldstats.com

It's very intersting we can even do a small survey too...

In reply to Nalin Abeysekera

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Emma Duke-Williams -
I think we can easily get the statistics about interent users from http://www.internetworldstats.com

Thank you for posting that link, Nalin. It looks interesting. I've got a project student who is developing some software to deliver mobile phone ring tones to subscribers in Nigeria. I've suggested to him on several occasions that it would be useful to know how what the potential market is, and so on. So far, if he has found any stats, he's not told me... That could be a useful site to point him to!

I had a quick look at Oceania ... remembering the experiences I'd had in PNG. The penetration for Oceania was higher than Europe! While it was clearly heavily influenced by the fact that Australia has a high take up - and a lot of people by Oceania standards, I was surprised that Europe was as low as it is - and that's not just brought down by former Soviet Bloc countries. (From a quick glance across the continents, it seems to be Iceland that's got the most Internet users .... guess you need something when it's so cold and dark most of the time!)

Once again, thanks for a useful site.
In reply to Emma Duke-Williams

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Nalin Abeysekera -

Always welcome. I think dissemination of knowledge is one part of a responsibility. As you stated PESTLE(political, economical, social, technological, legal  and environmental factors )affecting on everything. Iceland case I think because of the climate and environmental factors.It is nice to see different factors affecting even the usage of internet too.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

In reply to Nalin Abeysekera

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Nalin,
Excellent website! Thank you for sharing. I find the information on the top users interesting because although size of population may be relevant, the percentage of users is very low. However the high increase of Internet usage in many developing countries is showing a huge potential. I suggest you take a look at China and India's recent increase, but overall population usage in the following chart: http://www.internetworldstats.com/top20.htm

Google and business marketers should be tapping into this information. Another issue is the potential language that will be leading; it looks like we may have to learn Chinese as a second and foreign language.
In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Nalin Abeysekera -

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Nellie,

 

You are extremely correct. I think china is a good example….once we are taking with success stories we can talk lot about china. Herewith I attached one article on e-Learning in china where it focus on government policies and pilot universities –by Song Gilsun. Where it discuses historical development and background information as well as current scope. More importantly it discusses the challenges and potential too.

In reply to Colby Stuart

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Colby asked: What could happen if we were able to combine online with radio in developing countries?

Colby, that is an excellent question. Here are a few answers I found using google search engine for "Internet via radio": 
  1. Gallagher and Benamrane 
  2. Sun microsystems 
  3. Radio is bringing the Internet to homes in Sri Lanka
  4. Satellite and radio solutions
  5. A Masters Thesis
In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Colby Stuart -
I have a colleague from radio braodcasting in UK and NL who is doing work in West Africa using radio as the platform for sharing learning. This seems to work with groups pf women who are often cut off from traditional learning and schools. I've asked him to send me some links so that I can later post them here.

In countries where story-telling and narrative is a way of expression, radio might provide a vehicle for sharing content. Then that content could become part of local and online discussion groups.

This is where local cultural habits may provide solutions to not fitting into the ever-changing and evolving technologies of the privileged Westernized cultures. There is a beauty to not having access to top technology - people actually get together and share and learn from one another more personally.
In reply to Colby Stuart

Re: Global Internet Access Statistics

by Dr. Nellie Deutsch -
Colby,
I like the idea of combining face-to-face story telling discussion groups and online discussions to share the stories and cultures. Blended learning may be a solution to motivate and connect people worldwide. Anyone interested in collaborating on such a project? wide eyes
In reply to Dr. Nellie Deutsch

Re: Low-Cost Internet Access Using Mechanical Backhaul

by Barbara Fillip -

For those of you interested in "public internet access" in developing countries, I would recommend taking a look at "Making the Connection: Scaling Telecenters for Development", a book available online co-authored by Dennis Foote and myself and the work done by telecentre.org.

Having taught online with participants/students in developing countries, I am also very interested in the broader issues discussed in the forums.

Barbara Fillip