Top Story

CampusWise is the Pretoria-based dynamic LIVE e-learning company, which has been established to meet the needs of the corporate, educational, IT and public sectors e-learning markets; whilst in the process increase its productivity and reduce its costs by offering a medium for the delivering of live lessons online. LIVE e-learning or more commonly known as the Virtual Synchronous Classroom is most similar to leader-led instruction in that a trainer and students are involved in a live class, conducted in real time on the Internet. LIVE e-learning is the next big step in advanced distance education technologies and fills a clear and definite gap by offering personal mentored instruction, which used to be lacking in other solutions.

CampusWise adopts the software solution created by InterWise, a powerful e-learning platform delivering live training over the Internet, and distributes their applications across Africa. InterWise’s award-winning applications consist of an integrated data, video, and voice conferencing solution for delivering real-time multimedia eLearning, collaboration, and communications across the extended enterprise. "InterWise offers a complete, cost-effective distance learning and training solution for corporations, government organisations and educational institutions. It brings together a new-world educational philosophy and the technical capability of the Internet," said CampusWise Managing Director, George Verster.

As demonstrated at the CDMA technical trials, the high-speed wireless access provided by 3G CDMA gives students flexible and efficient access to productive learning and training experiences. Using a handheld phone, PDA or laptop or desktop computer equipped with a 3G CDMA card, wireless subscribers can benefit from distance learning. The distance learning application on display illustrated the use of a broadband wireless network to enable remote students to participate in real-time classroom instruction, training and discussion as CampusWise’s distributed classroom enabled student-teacher and classroom interaction. This valuable solution expands the scope of education and knowledge, while eliminating the barriers of long-distance travel and the constraints of the ‘wired’ desktop environment. “The advantage of CDMA is definitely its wireless connectivity,” said Ian de Villiers, Technology Services Manger at CampusWise. “In penetrating under-serviced areas people from villages and rural communities can have access to the best educational resources through the internet. It can definitely help bridge the digital divide and help educate the masses.”

Using CDMA technology, which allows greater data capacity, CampusWise can also enhance their services by providing video links as well as voice interaction. “At present video links exist only through webcams. If CDMA technology is deployed, video transmissions can be introduced through iNet cameras being set up in various locations, like the classroom, which will give people the choice of a real-time video feed in addition to just content with voice,” said de Villiers. “However, iNet cameras have no voice application so we still use InterWise software to provide voice using VoIP. We are looking at solutions to this drawback,” he added. CampusWise’s demonstration, using 3G CDMA, involved a remote group of students in the Johannesburg township of Alexandria participating in a live classroom session at the ‘CDMA Experience’ base as well as individual students receiving one-to-one mentoring from teachers elsewhere on the network. “With CDMA2000 1x the speed of connection goes up to 900k whereas a standard connection speed is 384k,” said de Villiers.

CampusWise presently roll out their services in South Africa and Gambia, with Gamtel. George Verster says that for the future, CampusWise will partner with any operator who has the network that can cater for their services like a CDMA network. However, CampusWise also acknowledge the negative aspects of CDMA technology in that it has no roaming capabilities, which will limit the mobility of their users.