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TitleToward a broadband service delivery model over wireless technologies to resource-constrained public high schools in South Africa
AuthorPholotho, Tholo Johannes
SubjectInformation Communication
AbstractInformation and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are capable of expanding access to quality education, educational resources, and also provide teachers with new skills. Nevertheless, a majority of rural public schools have limited ICTs, mainly due to geographical landscape, lack of service delivery and poverty. As a result, they currently seem not to be adequately benefiting from current advancements in ICTs. The main objective of this research study was to investigate an appropriate broadband services delivery model using wireless access technologies, such as a Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) and Enhanced data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) to deliver electronic-based educational information to resource-constrained public high schools. An exploratory case study approach was adopted to identify and understand the challenges faced by rural schools in the Greater Tubatse Municipality (GTM), including educational services and content considered by the schools as relevant and useful. The research results indicate that resource-constrained schools in the GTM are facing challenges of lack of access to electronic educational information and services, and as a result, teaching and learning becomes limiting and challenging. Based on the research findings, the results show that having access to learning material via electronic platforms could afford educators and learners the opportunity to interact with the outside world, improve learning and teaching and benefit the community as a whole. The broadband services delivery conceptual model (BSDCM) was proposed, developed and evaluated to address the lack of electronic educational information and services for resource-constrained public high schools. The BSDCM is composed of both technical and non-technical components that consider requirements of all role players, ICT challenges, policy makers and Information Communication Technology for Education (ICT4ED) interventions. The proposed model addressed some of the challenges regarding lack of access to educational content. However, it is recommended that the ICT4ED policies governing the use of mobile devices in the classrooms be introduced by the relevant authorities. In addition, a comparative analysis of other network technologies should be conducted to establish if the TCP/IP header compression on Point to Point Protocol (PPP) improves the performance of the network in resource-constrained environments. Furthermore, it is recommended that further research and experiments be conducted to determine if other various third party content providers could create and deploy various educational services and content for different computing platforms using the proposed BSDCM.
AbstractSchool of Computing