Palak, a pahadi girl from Himachal Pradesh is attending a class taught by an IIM professor in Mumbai, from her hometown Kasol. She is preparing for her CAT and has access to a top-notch faculty. Varun just logged into a nationwide tech training exercise his office needs him to attend. The trainers based in the head office in Delhi are teaching Varun and his colleagues in various offices in India. Laxmi, a young girl all of nine years of age, is attending school in a small village in Kerala. Only her teacher is not present in person in the class but is imparting knowledge to these enthusiastic kids from Bangalore.
You may wonder why you are reading these random instances. What could Palak, Varun and Laxmi possibly have in common?
They all share a common link. They are leveraging the power of VSAT to learn, grow and grab opportunities they would traditionally not have access to.
So what is VSAT and how can it transform the education world?
VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) is a satellite-based communications system that is robust and can reach the remotest of areas. It has many use cases in the corporate world, especially in sectors such as banking, oil & gas, renewable energy, and more. It is now changing the way education is imparted in schools, colleges, coaching classes and corporate training.
How it works?
A teacher or a trainer conducts a lecture sitting in a VSAT-enabled studio. This lecture is video recorded, encoded and encrypted, and sent to VSAT satellite hub. From there, it is disbursed to all the learning centres or classrooms across geographic locations. These classrooms are fitted with a camera and a screen that live streams the lecture. A local teacher in classrooms and a personnel at the studio help desk coordinate the interactive Q&A session between the students and the teacher in a live environment.
Two-way communication: Unlike e-learning, VSAT-powered education ensures two-way communication where in the teacher can teach, and students in different locations can raise queries in real-time via chat or reverse video. VSAT supports multimedia capabilities and can enrich the learning process via images, PowerPoint presentations, animation, and more.
Teach with no disruption: One of the biggest strengths of VSAT in education is its dependability and 100% feasibility. VSAT, being a satellite technology, can be deployed in any corner of the world as long as there is a power supply, and clear line of sight between the VSAT dish antenna and the satellite. It also provides 99.5% uptime, which means a classroom will almost never be stalled or cancelled due to poor connection.
Ability to archive lectures: The technology enables teachers to record and archive their lectures for students who miss a class. No opportunity to learn is hence missed. All a student needs to do is log in with his password and access any lecture or test they may have not been able to attend.
Fast deployment: Any educational institution or corporate house that wishes to embrace VSAT can do so very quickly. The technology can be up and running in a matter of a few days depending on the number of learning centres. The technology is not terrestrial and hence the infrastructure can also be moved as per changing needs. Usually, the transportation time determines the setup of a link, and it takes just a few hours for installation thereafter.
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