EU projects fuels e-learning initiative. Interactive digital TV (iDTV)

Aquí traemos hoy un enlace a la noticia de una iniciativa de e-learning europea...
Interactive digital TV (iDTV) learning is growing and an EU-funded team of researchers is supporting this trend by developing tools and methodologies that complement e-learning. The ELU ('Enhanced learning unlimited') project, with financial support totalling EUR 2.96 million, will give educators the edge they need to connect with students beyond the classroom.
e-learning is growing across Europe © Shutterstock
e-learning is growing across Europe
© Shutterstock

Experts say that while conventional television continues to play a substantial role in the education sector, it is commonly used as a passive medium. The majority of viewers receive the information as observers, not as participants.

Rising to the challenge to change this process, the ELU partners sought to extend the advantages of interactive learning to a wider audience, particularly for citizens of the newest EU Member States. About 40% to 60% of European households have a broadband Internet connection, and around 95% to 99% have a television, but, according to ELU, use of the Internet in the newer Member States has not increased significantly.

'Television was targeted as the means to transmit life-long knowledge to potential learners in a highly relaxed and comprehensible mode,' Mr Alex Shani, the ELU project leader, was quoted as saying in ICT Results. 'Learning while watching TV and enjoying oneself is the main driver of ELU's work,' he added.

Several application approaches emerged from this study, as well as ready-made program formats and templates for multimedia pages and presentations. The template modules like content and level of difficulty can be adapted to meet the needs of the user.

The ELU consortium, which includes research centres and industry actors from the Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Slovenia, also focused on developing software to create iDTV courses. The consortium created a virtual teacher and interactive quizzes, and generated support for ancillary devices.

The project partners also produced 'ELU Script', which describes every course, and an 'Authoring Tool' that enables educators to set up complex interactive courses through a visual interface.

By using the open interactive TV standard multimedia home platform (MHP), the team successfully developed ELU's entire software range. So ELU technology can be used with MHP-enabled TV set-top boxes and on Java-enabled devices capable of running MHP.

The team created six t-learning courses in various languages, themes, target users and interactive features to test the project's software and methods. The subjects the researchers focused on included business, ICT, mathematics, statistics and history. A sample group including MBA students, young pupils and older adults from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia was set up. Based on the results of the 30-month study, 't-learning complements e-learning and other methods of transmitting information', Mr Shani was quoted as saying.

The researchers said that while a market launch of the iDTV software is on the cards, educational content developers will be responsible for taking the process further. Czech TV, for instance, has expressed its interest in setting up a dedicated channel devoted to t-learning. Such a move would help further test ELU's products on the market, the team said.(leer más...)

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