Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sending video lessons abroad

I got into a discussion with someone about their interactive education idea. They're separating the video and audio tracks of recorded classes, then using a painful system to keep the two files in sync with each other. Think "my video stopped downloading... okay now it's going again..." Squared.

Their reason for separating the tracks is to give users in far-off countries the option to remove the video. But then why not make it either-or? Why make a video that the target users won't see? Why stream chapters bits at a time, losing them when the user goes to the next page, when you want people to keep and re-watch the complete lesson?

I got to thinking the best way to do this is torrents from nearby networks. The State Department may agree, as they recently funded a program called BitMate specifically for torrents in the 3rd world.  Has anyone tried this yet? It sounds like the best chance to make classes like MIT's OCW pop up in remote parts of the world, as promoted by this programmer in Rwanda: http://blog.nyaruka.com/learning-to-swim-by-reading-a-book

I was going to pass this on to my acquaintance, but they sent a lengthy research paper explaining their new method of global learning and new XML schema and... they're too invested in this one idea for my input to do any good. Figured I'd share these ideas here instead.

1 comment:

  1. Sending content via post(fedex or similar)would be better. Invest in a USB thumbdrive or put the content on dvd's. The cost of mailing that should be less than having students pay what ever price it costs to get internet access to the content in Rawanda. an 8 GB thumdrive is 15 USD and a DVD can hold about 2-4 GB for 1 USD each? So the weight of the packages would be maybe 1 pound. And then you can put the files on a local server so everyone can avoid these charges. If you calculate the cost and its more, I'd like to see the calculations.

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