EDUCATION PLUS

Switch on the mobile

VIJAYKUMAR PATIL

At VTU, you can soon learn your lessons via mobile phone

Modern education, particularly professional and technical education, has undergone radical changes with newer ideas and concepts in teaching-learning methodologies emerging at a much faster pace than one could imagine. Innovative technologies and high-speed communication systems that have converted the world into a global village have come in handy to give concrete shapes to these new ideas and concepts.

One of the latest developments in the field of education is the development of e-learning content on a mobile device. This is what the Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU) has planned to launch in about three months’ time.

With the launch of the e-learning content, VTU would be enabling its students to learn anywhere, any time via a mobile phone.

According to Vice-Chancellor of VTU H.P. Khincha, this will be for the first time that any educational institution in the country has taken up a project to provide such a facility that will also ensure a new learning experience to engineering students. A Bangalore-based Information Technology company has already started working on developing the programme (based on Interactive Solids, a publishing solution) for VTU. The programme will be ready in three months.

Tie-up

VTU is also working with a globally renowned mobile manufacturer on developing application tools to make mobile phone handsets and internet products feature interactive e-learning capsules to run on a mobile server.

Once the facility is launched, a student can access a topic from the course on his/her mobile phone. The programme enables students to have direct access to the courseware and learn with the help of 3D graphical presentation of topics in various engineering subjects. The presentations are linked with voice and text content.

The students can view the 3D animations from different angles. For example, the working of a DC motor can be understood well by showing the animation of setting up of flux and the generation of torque which control the movement of shaft. The student can vary the field current, and see how flux changes and hence the change of torque. The low bit animation of process enables fast access and hence can provide quicker response to the input stimuli.

Sources in VTU said the e-learning centre took the initiative to develop a courseware using ICT (Information and Communication Technology) to enable the students to access 3D animations having interactive capabilities on the mobile handsets.

Hitherto, 3D animated presentations required a large amount of memory space, making them unsuitable for mobile applications. But, the courseware being developed for this programme will enable 3D animations/presentations with very low bit rates and faster speed/connectivity.

Though there are certain limitations in this mobile-accessible course content, it will help students in taking a quick review of topics at their own convenience. Some limitations, however, will continue to exist such as difficulty in reading text contents that run into several pages from the mobile phones.

Initially, the VTU has proposed to develop five courses using the low bit animation technology.

VTU-EDUSAT

Meanwhile, VTU is also working on setting up 50 new terminals under the EDUSAT programme, as part of its e-learning initiative. With this, all but two government engineering colleges and all rural engineering colleges in the State will be connected to the satellite-based distant education programme.



Recommended for you