Satellite learning launched at Italian tech fair
Genoa came under the watchful eyes of teachers at TED 2003. The third annual technology in education event showcased the results of the Sat@Once project, a satellite communication system currently piloted by Dschola, a regional school network.
Sat@Once is a system that distributes the most frequently viewed web content onto a local PC using a simple DVB Satellite dish, the kind normally used for receiving satellite broadcasts. The service is based on the Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) standard. The technology uses a set of predefined criteria to filter and retrieve relevant pages.
Under the framework of an ESA project operated in conjunction with Luxembourg's SES-ASTRA, the system has currently been piloted by Turin-based CSP. During the study, many schools have been able to use the system to provide teachers and students with audio-visual and multimedia materials integrated with and complementing lessons and text-books using the combined potential of the Internet, satellite and VCRs.
The project was piloted in the mountains of the Piedmont region where high speed Internet access can be limited for public institutions in rural locations. Schools involved in the study were able to receive web materials and courseware through a client interface known as Casablanca, which allows previewing content that is readily available locally that can be downloaded in full at a later stage.
The event, held at the end of February, attracted 5000 visitors and more than 100 expositors from a variety of industries with didactic applications including hardware, software and multimedia.