3. Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education
(CAADE): Project Summary by Dr. Takeshi Utsumi
[Affordable Integrated Education Technology for Underserved
Populations in the U.S. and Around the World]
I. PROJECT SUMMARY
The Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education
(CAADE) proposes to develop and demonstrate a high-performance
electronic communications infrastructure which can integrate mass
delivery of instructional materials via satellite with innovative
low-cost options for management of multimedia materials within
computer-equipped schools connected to Internet. The goal is to use
experiences gained from tests on the new all-digital NASA Advanced
Communication Technology Satellite (ACTS) and from recent developments
of Computer-Mediated Multimedia Systems (CMMS) via Plain Old Telephone
Services (POTS), terrestrial Internet and wireless telecommunications
in order to come up with alternative approaches to distance education.
The increased capabilities of personal computers (PCs), Internet,
wireless telecommunications, and digital satellites will converge in
improving and reforming educational instruction efficiently and
affordably for the underserved populations of the U.S. and, later, the
world. Use of these technologies will also help ease the burden on
the overburdened Internet.
II. CAADE PROJECT
Addressing telecommunications needs of underserved schools in the U.S.
in the initial phase project, CAADE will develop and demonstrate a new
high-performance electronic communications infrastructure by combining
the power of computers via POTS, low-to-medium speed terrestrial
Internet, (where appropriate) wireless telecommunications and digital
satellite technologies into a new model for distance education. This
infrastructure is an integrated approach to electronic distance
education using CMMS over more than one (wire and wireless) delivery
and distribution platform and an integration of mass delivery of
instructional materials via satellite with innovative low-cost options
for terrestrial feedback and interaction using Internet and wireless
telecommunications. The result will be the ability to provide
increased access to richer learning environments while enhancing
interactivity and sharing of information among teachers and students.
The goal of initial phase project is to provide science teachers and
their students in the U.S. with a single, integrated distance
education system. The system will utilize the well-accepted interface
developed for the World Wide Web to integrate:
- synchronous delivery of "special event" programming,
- asynchronous delivery of pre-packaged lessons, simulations
- just-in-time access to learning materials from remote
- interactive teacher-student sessions, and
- collaborative sessions between students in geographically
This project will demonstrate 1) that, in a digital world, the melding
of wireless and wireline technologies into an integrated system is
possible at reasonable cost to almost any site in the U.S., 2) that,
in a distributed environment, mass instruction with pre-packaged
materials can coexist with and complement highly individualized
instruction, and 3) that, in computer-mediated teaching, learning can
be both experiential and collaborative over distance.
The CAADE project opens up opportunities for increased feedback and
collaborative learning within a distance education program that can
be broadly deployed, is relatively inexpensive, is easy to use and
promotes collaborative work.
III. NEED AND PROBLEM
One approach to motivating young people in science is to engage them
in problem solving, focusing on concrete, real-life problems. With
computers, simulation and experiential learning with hands-on
applications are possible. Using distributed computer-mediated
technologies, collaborative experiences over interactive networks have
also been demonstrated to greatly enhance the learning process.
Providing such opportunities to students in rural areas is a
challenge. Commercial telecommunications companies will not invest
in providing the high capacity lines to connect to low traffic sites.
Furthermore, line charges are often prohibitively expensive. Using
the NASA satellite as a testbed, the CAADE project will seek to
transfer ACTS experience to the new commercial satellites which now
blanket North America, reaching rural schools with digital data which
can be accessed and redistributed using terrestrial wireless and
wireline services. This model can be extended to public libraries,
small business, local governments, volunteer organizations, medical
service providers and others in underserved regions.
In any teaching-learning process, interaction between teacher and
students is highly desirable. The predominantly used distance
education model delivers lessons as one-way video broadcasts, with a
return telephone path for questions and feedback. While live
telephone call-ins from students at remote sites is better than no
teacher/student interaction, the number of students who can give
feedback during any given class is restricted. There is often no
convenient way for students to send questions to the instructor, to
share ideas among themselves after the scheduled broadcast time has
ended or to access other relevant information. Also, any follow-on
learning activities allowing students to work collaboratively are
difficult to manage. What is needed is an affordable, highly
interactive, well-integrated and easy-to-use approach to closing the
loop between mass delivered and highly personalized communication and
IV. PROPOSED SOLUTION
In a typical distance education environment, the need is for high
bandwidth large volume information transmission from teacher to
student(s) with lower bandwidth response communication from student
to teacher and among students.
For the delivery of multimedia courseware, CAADE members will use:
- direct digital broadcasting satellite (DDBS) receivers
connected to on-school-site PCs,
- modified routers for local buffering/switching,
- advanced digital video compression software operating
at 9.6 Kbps or higher through POTS,
- and packet-switched terrestrial networks.
Wireless telecommunications, which enable students to access nearby
Internet nodes, will also be demonstrated. (FORUM and other
computer-mediated multimedia conferencing technologies will be
considered for this purpose.) The intent is to bridge the
last mile to classrooms that do not have access to a telephone line
or a direct connection to terrestrial Internet.
For purposes of this project, the CAADE consortium has been divided
into three work groups and an administrative group:
- The COMPUTER COMMUNICATION GROUP will develop and demonstrate
high-performance multimedia technologies and software for Mac and PC
which are operational over POTS lines at 9.6/14.4/28.8 Kbps. These
and FORUM, via terrestrial Internet, will be inexpensive and user
friendly multimedia and conferencing systems intended to enrich
teacher/student interactions by using graphic and whiteboard
capabilities and incorporating audio and video clips with hypermedia
This group's goal is to develop robust and up-to-date systems that can
be assembled for less than $10,000 per school. Units will be provided
a teaching demonstration site. By using standard personal computers
equipped for low and medium speed communications, a large number of
users can be networked together.
- The WEB/SATELLITE GROUP, a multidisciplinary research team, will
complete a series of interactive tests on the NASA-ACTS satellite.
The tests will focus on delivering multimedia content to demonstration
sites at rural schools located in the Appalachian region and other
regions listed below. Then, using commercially available DDBS
(NASA-ACTS, DirecTV, USSB, PrimeStar and, later, INMARSAT-B, for
overseas operations), the newly developed protocols will be applied
for interfacing satellite signals with those of Internet.
- The COLLABORATOR GROUP will handle instructional programs to be
delivered within an asynchronous, computer-mediated, distributed,
rural school environment. This group includes staff members at the
A*DEC (formerly Agricultural Satellite Corporation (AG*SAT), the
Science Discovery Center at the College of Staten Island, the
Southeast Ohio Mathematics and Science Network (SEONet), the
Appalachian Distance Learning Project (ADLP) at Ohio University, the
University of North Texas and more.
This group will facilitate experiential learning, including discovery,
mastery and just-in-time linkages to human and data resources, will
employ models for collaborative learning and for meeting needs of
audiences with special learning needs, both physical and
psychological, and will train professional staff to effectively use
computer-mediated science materials.
- The ADMINISTRATIVE GROUP will coordinate and evaluate all tasks.
This group will arrange for demonstration sites and assure that the
requisite technologies and software are in place and that activities
are carried out in a timely, coordinated and synchronous way.
V. INITIAL APPLICATION AREAS
Working with the Computer Communication Group, the Web/Satellite Group
will collaborate with the Southeastern Ohio Regional Freenet (SEORF).
SEORF is interlinked to Appalachian regional schools where it has
worked to recruit and train teachers and administrators to use
telecomputing in their classrooms, to help them take advantage of
offerings on the global Internet, and to sponsor a variety of online
learning activities linking schools and community.
The University of North Texas will collaborate with Ohio University,
College of Staten Island (CUNY), Texas A&M, Texas Center for
Educational Technology, University of Massachusetts and other
appropriate entities to develop and/or modify three
preservice/inservice teacher training courses for delivery through
this system. The first will be an Educational Telecommunications
course providing a broad overview of telecommunications systems and
helping teachers develop hands-on skills in email and in the accessing
the Internet. This course will also deal with radio, broadcast TV,
satellite telecommunications, and distance education systems and
The second course to be developed (with the University of
Massachusetts) will be an Internet Resources course managed via the
Internet. World Wide Web links and ShareView-type broadcasts will be
components of this course. This class will anticipate synergistic
interactions taking place between course participants in Texas and in
The third course to be developed for delivery via the CAADE system is
a methods course for K-12 computer using or computer science
educators. A target level of elementary school (exploratory tools),
middle school (computer applications), or secondary school (computer
programming) will be selected during the early months of the project.
It is anticipated that this course will incorporate the FORUM
collaborative learning software and, hence, will be developed in
conjunction with Texas A&M.
Staten Island in New York City
This project consists of two phases:
- To link the Discovery Center of the College of Staten Island (CSI)
with the Brooklyn and Staten Island school district by the CAADE
system to improve science education. The Discovery Center utilizes
a discovery-based teaching approach based on a multi-leveled
cooperative relationship between the college research faculty and area
high school teachers and students.
- To link the Discover Center to members of CAADE to achieve a
synergy focusing on how the funneling of educational resources can
transform and bridge the conditions that stem from isolation and lack
of resource access, thereby resulting in a new and powerful
educational paradigm that truly cuts across geographical boundaries
and socioeconomic distinctions.
Th following projects are also significant in successfully
identifying, developing, and implementing multimedia and digital
curricular materials that increase information access for students
- Multisensory Calculus for Teaching Students with Visual
- Multimedia Laboratory for Research, Teaching, and Learning Science
to develop multimedia authoring and curriculum to teach science,
- CUNY Multimedia Regional Center for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing
to develop curricular materials and tutorial programs for sign
language (American Sign Language), speech reading, and electronic note
Around the U.S.
The proposed technologies will be applied in the second phase for
higher education, adult and life-long education, and professional
training in the United States.
VI. CAADE TEAM
The CAADE was formed in January 1995 at the University of Tennessee
in Knoxville (UTK) in partnership with the GLObal Systems Analysis and
Simulation Association (GLOSAS/USA) of New York, an experienced player
in global electronic distance education. Participating institutions
include: Ohio University/NASA Experimenter group for ACTS;
Southeastern Ohio Regional Freenet (SEORF); Southeast Ohio Mathematics
and Science Network (SEOnet); Appalachian Distance Learning Project
(ADLP) at Ohio University; computer communications, wireless and
packet radio group of the University of North Texas; Science Discovery
Center at the College of Staten Island; non-profit service
organizations such as GLOSAS, A*DEC satellite consortium, Academy for
Educational Development (AED), and a few commercial entities such as
the software/consulting companies SYNECTICS and FORUM. Other members
include prestigious American universities with a commitment to
providing affordable distance education, such as Tennessee, Texas A&M,
Kansas State, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Alaska, Guam and more.
VII. GLOSAS AND GLOBAL UNIVERSITY
Over the past two decades, GLOSAS/USA played a major role in making
possible the extension of the U.S. data communication networks to
other countries, particularly to Japan, and deregulating Japanese
telecommunication policies for the use of email. GLOSAS has also
conducted a number of "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" (TM)
videoconferences employing inexpensive media accessible to less
developed countries. These demonstrations have helped build a network
of leaders in the global electronic distance education movement.
The Global (electronic) University (GU) (TM) consortium, a divisional
activity of GLOSAS, seeks to improve the quality and availability of
international educational exchange through use of telecommunication
and information technologies. GU's main focus is to achieve global
electronic education across national boundaries by developing a
cooperative infrastructure and by giving the underserved people of
less developed countries access to the educational excellence
available from all the world's finest sources, expanding the present
exchange of educational courses into a worldwide system. This is "the
21st century version of the Fulbright exchange program."
Global (electronic) University is an evolutionary concept with no
global precedent. GU works to provide cooperative, experiential
learning opportunities on the widest possible scale to foster peace
and sustainable development. The time is ripe for global electronic
Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D.
Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education
Founder of CAADE (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education)
President, Global University in the U.S.A. (GU/USA)
A Divisional Activity of GLOSAS/USA (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.)
43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A.
Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email)
Tax Exempt ID: 11-2999676
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