Satellite-powered tablet to deliver education in rural Africa

e-ducationTeachers can also use Odyssey to access live training modules. (Image source: Yazmi)Satellite solution provider Yazmi has announced an e-learning scheme using satellite-enabled tablet, called Odyssey, which will deliver content via satellite to rural and remote regions in Africa

The company said that the end-to-end content delivery system will aim 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 the sub-Saharan region in Africa. The latest trials will be in two schools in South Africa — at Rietkol in Mpumalanga Province and at Heathfield in Western Cape.

Yazmi will use Newtec’s multicast distribution software platform to transfer educational content. Newtec specialises in designing, developing and manufacturing equipment and technologies for satellite communications.

In Western Cape, tablets have been deployed for the pilot. The procedure started in October 2014 and will continue until December 2014, the company added.

According to a source in the company, each student in grade six of schools in Heathfield and Rietkol has received an Odyssey 700 tablet. The students 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.

Noah Samara, CEO of Yazmi, said, “We believe satellite is the perfect candidate for e-learning connectivity. With our system in place the possibilities are endless — lectures can be live streamed from any location, teacher training courses can be offered. Having a connected device for multimedia consumption allows teachers and students to access and store high quality educational content.”

Odyssey also enables the sharing of digital textbooks and notebooks, educational apps, preparatory materials and other files, noted Samara.

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