Digital learning, or e-learning, refers to the innovative use of technology in education; teaching and learning methods combined with information technology and online communication. Learning in a digital environment is essential in the 21st century. Its many benefits include:
• A uniform level of education for all students, no matter where they live or what their socio-economic status.
• Access to updated and advanced educational materials.
• Lessons conducted by the best teachers and moderators.
• Sharing of web-based knowledge and information sources.Lessons conducted by the best teachers and moderators.
• By facilitating digital learning solutions, satellite communications enable the provision of quality education to under-served communities and people living in remote locations.
“Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Kofi Annan
Digital Learning Methods
Digital learning is a broad term that includes a number of learning methods, most of which can be divided into two categories: asynchronous learning and synchronous learning.
• Asynchronous or self-paced learning is a student-based approach, where students begin and complete the lessons at times to suit them, according to their own schedule.
• Synchronous or live-lesson learning involves interaction between the student and the teacher during a scheduled lesson, using videoconference and/or instant messaging applications.
Key Challenges of the Education System in Sub-Saharan Africa
According to UNESCO, the education systems in many Sub-Saharan countries face two main challenges: the high numbers of children who do not attend school (1); and a massive shortage of teachers (2).
Out-of-school: At least half of the youth in Sub-Saharan Africa do not attend school. Most of these out-of-school youth live in rural communities, where, according to research, there is a lack of formal schools and the quality of the education that does exist is low.
Teacher shortage: According to UNESCO and the World Bank, Sub-Saharan countries need an additional 17 million teachers if they are to achieve universal primary and secondary education goals by 2030.
Digital learning offers a solution to many of the challenges of recruiting and retaining teachers in rural areas: it enables the training of a large number of teachers, faster than traditional training methods; instead of spending time and money traveling to main cities, potential or new teachers can attend live lessons in their own home village or city, online; the training itself can include the most up-to-date educational content, delivered centrally by highly-talented moderators, using advanced learning tools.
By deploying digital learning solutions, governments and educational organizations can go a long way towards addressing the challenges of out-of-school children and the teacher shortage.
Digital Learning via Satellite
Satellite communication is the most cost-effective, reliable and agile solution to bring broadband access, and with it digital learning solutions, to remote areas and rural communities. A typical installation would include the satellite antenna, satellite modem, PC, projector and small solar power system (for off-grid locations). In this way, both synchronous (live lessons) and asynchronous (self-paced) learning methods are supported.
Benefits of Satellite Communication
Universal coverage: Remote sites can be located anywhere within the satellite coverage areas - as long as there is a line-of-sight to the satellite, service is available with no terrain constraint.
Fast deployment: Network roll-out can be achieved very quickly.
Scalability: Networks can be smoothly scaled by adding new sites as needed.
Reliability: Reliable satellite links bypass poor terrestrial infrastructure.
Multicast capability: Video broadcasting can be used to efficiently distribute live lessons to many remote sites - due to the inherent broadcast capability of satellite, educational content such as videos, e-books, presentations and more need only be transmitted once to be received by an unlimited number of receivers.
Digital Learning by AMOS-Spacecom
Together with its leading market partners, AMOS-Spacecom offers complete, integrated solutions to those living in remote areas, where a lack of telecommunications infrastructure makes it impossible to access the Internet. The solution includes: : Satellite connectivity through our powerful AMOS-17 satellite