EFECOT, in partnership with ARTES 3, is leading the way in m-learning- education via GSM and satellite for travelling communities. A press conference was held to give hands on demonstrations of the technology involved- Francesco Feliciani and Dinah Meehan from the ARTES team attended to help present the programme...
''The Trapeze Project''- m-learning for Travellers Internet access for people living in remote areas, or for those with highly mobile lifestyles, is increasingly possible thanks to satellite technology. When the bandwidth and speed offered by conventional fixed lines isn''t adequate, two-way satellite technology can offer a solution.
As a model for the potential of this technology, the pioneering Trapeze project focused on the children of travelling communities, with lifestyles too mobile to benefit from conventional learning opportunities. Trapeze aims to use satellite technology to link travelling children with each other, and with their teachers, via ''virtual classes'', ensuring uninterrupted learning whilst travelling.
Through such a programme, previously excluded communities can be incorporated within a mainstream educational system. Trapeze, launched in November 1999 and running until October 2000, is supported under ARTES 3, ESA''s multimedia initiative, as part of their commitment to the use of advanced European satellite developments in education. Based on state of the art VSAT technology, working in Ku-band, 2-way high-bandwidth interaction is not only possible, but also affordable, (end users needing a small, 98cm transmitting/receiving dish).
The multimedia information download from the hub station in multicasting mode is capable of reaching speeds of 3 Mbit/s. Clearly, such a technological infrastructure has great potential for other programmes, adaptable to any situation where fixed line speed and bandwidth just isn''t flexible enough.