Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Indian university to deliver via 3G to millions of students

Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) have announced an MoU with Ericson 3G mobile education delivery. Students of IGNOU will get 3G Mobile access for about Rs 25 (52 US Cents) more than a normal course cost. SMS is already used for course management. 3G will provide web pages, assignments and video clips. This will also be used for students with hearing and speech impairments.

The ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology, 2009 identified cost as a factor holding back the use of 3G Internet applications for education. But it is not clear if the low charge mentioned by IGNOU covers all the communication costs.

The students will most likely use a laptop (or netbook) with a 3G modem in it, rather than a smart phone for education. This might be used with devices similar to the Lanyu LY-EB01 $US98 netbook.

I met Professor Uma Kanjilal, Director of the School of Social Sciences, Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU) when she visited ANU earlier in the year. What was impressive was the scale of IGNOU's operations.

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