The US may be willing to let India into the nuclear club, but there's one space race where the developing nation has far outpaced America -- education satellites. eSchool News details EDUSAT, the satellite India launched last year dedicated purely to education.
EDUSAT aims to connect urban and rural educational institutions throughout India to provide a formal educational infrastructure and also to help spread knowledge about health and other related issues to more remote areas of the country.
The satellite will enable distance education to take place throughout India by interfacing with video from each school. The ISRO satellite program currently covers more than 1,000 schools and is expected to grow to 10,000 schools in the next three years.
Satellite is naturally important in a country that has several high-tech centers but covers a vast amount of geography most of which is manifestly unwired. While asyncronous, satellite does offer interactive possibilities.
The satellite will be used for learning in many ways, such as beaming local language-instruction programs to address illiteracy. For example, one program allows students to send video questions to any teacher in any connected classroom, anywhere in India, using a streaming video card over the EDUSAT satellite. The teacher then responds to these questions through EDUSAT. The satellite also will be used in teacher training.