Zee Interactive Learning Systems, the learning and educational arm of Zee Network, moved a step closer to its dream of providing education through digital technologies when it formally launched I-Cell with Livewire Technology, India's first broadband-based interactive learning technology
Speaking to domain-b, Dilip Mahapatra, director learning centres, said, "The technology is now in place. For the last six months we had been working on upgrading our existing Zed career academies to make them interactive centres. In addition we now also have independent live interactive centres in place. I-Cell will bring the best of expertise to thousands of students all over the country connected via a dedicated V-SAT network pioneered by DVD."
He said this would be done over IP multicast technology, that will help students see, hear and speak to the expert in real time. Mr Mahapatra said that the company had already put in operation 20 interactive centres and planned to increase this figure to 30 by the middle of April 2001. Currently, there is one interactive centre in the capital city of every state.
Besides providing a rich learning experience to students who enroll in over 300 Zed Career Academies, I-cell will also be used to support distance education programs of leading universities in the country. Said Mr Mahapatra, "This will transform the correspondence courses into collaborative learning, actively facilitated by expert faculty."
The Zee Interactive Learning Systems network uses a sophisticated interactive management system customised for learning applications. Its state-of-art features ensure students comfort as well as teacher control in a virtual classroom environment. The interactive technology will also enable high-speed Internet access and download of educational content even in remote parts of the country. Zeelearn.com, the company's comprehensive learning portal, with verticals for school, colleges and corporate will also be integrated with the V-SAT network.
Speaking on the occasion, Uma Ganesh, president and chief executive, Zee Interactive Learning Systems, said, "The V-SAT based interactive systems is yet another initiative of our company to achieve our vision of delivering unique learning experience through technology to multitudes of Indians. Zee Interactive intends to bring about a quantum change in the quality of education in the country, which is facing constraints of expert faculty and inadequate rigour in academic delivery." She said an estimated 1 lakh students will be able to benefit by this technology in the first phase.
The learning systems of Zee Interactive have been designed as convergence of technologies incorporating several new paradigms in learning including tele-education, corporate training modules, community learning centres, student curriculum support, multimedia services and early learning aids for children.
The emphasis is on blending satellite, video, internet and multimedia with traditional classroom teaching to make learning more effective. In line with its objective the company has initiated a four pronged strategy to bring learning nearer home. Through this approach, called the Level-4 Advantage, a student desirous of acquiring education on e-commerce can seek counseling and registration on zeelearn.com, learn basics of computing and practicing tools at Zed Career Academics, talk to experts through the interactive learning centres and receive placement support through Zed TV.