Education institutions across the globe are beating a path to eLearning revolution and are following a precise strategy to deliver the advantages of eLearning to their students. When these institutions would prefer to not invest large amounts to acquire the hardware and software resources that are required for building the eLearning system, they turn to Cloud computing. Cloud computing is known for enabling an on-demand network on an easy pay-per-use business model. It delivers the computing resources (hardware and software) as a service over the Internet. Therefore, it proved to be one of the most viable solutions. Migration of Cloud computing technology in eLearning is the future of the eLearning infrastructure.
This infographic focuses on the advantages of harnessing Cloud concepts in eLearning. The infographic presents an eLearning system architecture based on Cloud, challenges of traditional eLearning, eLearning Cloud advantages and security risks associated with Cloud. There is definitely more to discuss about Cloud when it comes to eLearning, however this is a good place to start.
4G technology is a descendant of 2G and 3G that aims to provide high speed data transfer. Among the latest technologies and gadgets, 4G, or fourth generation, gadgets are rocking the digital world. Through this technology, you will be provided speedy wireless internet access not only if you are a stationary user, but also if you are a mobile user. The 4G technology is expected to fulfill the deficiencies of 3G technology in terms to quality and speed. Most digital experts are expressing the 4G technology using the word ‘MAGIC’. Through 4G technology, you will be able to access mobile multimedia anytime, anywhere throughout the globe.
Evolution of Mobile Technologies
Zero Generation Technology(0G) 0G refers to pre-cell phone mobile telephony. Being the predecessors of the first generation of cellular telephones, these systems are called 0G (zero generation) systems. Usually vehicle mounted, they had the transceivers mounted in the vehicle trunk and dials and display mounted near the driver seat. Technologies used in 0G systems included PTT (Push to Talk), MTS (Mobile Telephone System), IMTS (Improved Mobile Telephone Service), and AMTS (Advanced Mobile Telephone System).
First Generation Technology (1G)
1G refers to the first generation of wireless telecommunication technology, more popularly known as cell phones. In 1G, a narrow band analogue wireless network is used; with this, we can have the voice calls. These services are provided with circuit switching. Through 1G, a voice call gets modulated to a higher frequency of about 150MHz and up as it is transmitted between radio towers using a technique called Frequency-Division Multiple Access (FDMA).
Different 1G standards that were prevalent were AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) in the United States, TACS (Total Access Communications System) in the United Kingdom, and NMT (Nordic Mobile Telephone), used in Nordic countries, Eastern Europe, and Russia.
Second Generation Technology
2G first appeared around the late 1980’s; 2G system digitized the voice signal as well as the control link. It provided the facility of short message service (SMS), unlike 1G that had its prime focus on verbal communication. Depending on the type of multiplexing used, 2G technologies can be divided into Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) based and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). 2G systems offered better quality and much more capacity. 2G cell phone units were generally smaller than 1G units since they emitted less radio power. .
Based on TDMA, Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) was the first European standard and the first commercial network for use by the public for 2nd generation mobile (2G) telephony. A typical 2G G.S.M network service uses 800/900MHz or 1800/1900 frequency spectrum. The typical average data rate of GSM is 9.6 kbps. 2G CDMA (IS-95A) uses BPSK and offers data rate upto 14.4 kbps. The bandwidth of 2G is 30-200 KHz.
2.5G – GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) – 2.5G, which stands for “second and a half generation,” is a cellular wireless technology developed in between its predecessor, 2G, and its successor, 3G. The term “second and a half generation” is used to describe 2G-systems that have implemented a packet switched domain in addition to the circuit switched domain. GPRS (CS1 to CS4) uses GMSK modulation with a symbol rate (and modulation rate) of 270 ksym/s. The typical data rate of GPRS is about115 kbps. It can be used for services such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) access, Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and for accessing internet. IS-95B, or cdmaOne, is the evolved version of IS-95A and is also designated as 2.5G with theoretical data rates of up to 115 kbps with generally experienced rates of 64 kbps.
2.75 – EDGE (Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution) – EDGE (EGPRS) is an abbreviation for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, and it is a digital mobile phone technology invented by AT&T.
EDGE technology is an extended version of GSM, and it works in GSM networks. EDGE is added on to GPRS and can function on any network with GPRS deployed on it, provided that the carrier implements the necessary upgrades. It allows the clear and fast transmission of data. One need not install any additional hardware and software in order to make use of EDGE technology. Also, there are no additional charges for utilizing this technology. EDGE uses 9 modulation coding schemes (MCS1-9). MCS (1-4) uses GMSK, while MCS (5-9) uses 8PSK modulation. 8PSK increases throughput by 3x (8-PSK – 3 bits/symbol vs GMSK 1 bit/symbol). The modulation bit rate is 810 kbps, and it offers data rates of 384kbps, theoretically up to 473.6kbps
Third Generation Technology (3G) 3G systems promise faster communications services entailing voice, fax, and Internet data transfer capabilities. The aim of 3G is to provide these services anytime, anywhere throughout the globe with seamless roaming between standards. ITU’s IMT-2000 is a global standard for 3G. 3G networks are wide-area cellular telephone networks, which have evolved to incorporate high-speed internet access and video telephony. It offers large capacity and broadband capabilities. It has greater network capacity through improved spectrum efficiency. 3G technology supports around 144 Kbps with high speed movement (i.e. in a vehicle), 384 Kbps locally, and up to 2Mbps for fixed stations (i.e. in a building). 3G technology uses CDMA, TDMA, and FDMA. The data are sent through packet switching. Voice calls are interpreted through circuit switching. It is a highly sophisticated form of communication that has come up in the last decade.
3G has the following enhancements over 2.5G and previous networks:
· Enhanced audio and video streaming;
· Several Times higher data speed;
· Video-conferencing support;
· Web and WAP browsing at higher speeds;
· IPTV (TV through the Internet) support; and
· Global roaming.
There are many 3G technologies such as W-CDMA, CDMA2000, UMTS, DECT, and WiMAX.
3.5G – HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access)
High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) is a mobile telephony protocol, also called 3.5G. It is an enhanced version and the next intermediate generation of 3G UMTS, allowing for higher data transfer speeds.
HSDPA is a packet-based data service in W-CDMA downlink with data transmission up to 8-10 Mbps (and 20 Mbps for MIMO systems) over a 5MHz bandwidth in WCDMA downlink. This high data rate is enabled by use of adaptive modulation can coding (AMC), hybrid automatic repeat-request (HARQ), and fast packet scheduling at the access point.
3.75G – HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access)
High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) is a UMTS /WCDMA uplink evolution technology. The HSUPA mobile telecommunications technology is directly related to HSDPA and the two are complimentary to one another.
· 3G may not be sufficient to meet the needs of future high-performance applications like multi-media, full-motion video, and wireless teleconferencing.
· Multiple standards for 3G make it difficult to roam and to interoperate across networks.
· Requirement of a single broadband network with high data rates, which integrates wireless LANs, Bluetooth, cellular networks, and so on.
Also known as “Beyond 3G”, 4G refers to the fourth generation of wireless communications. The deployment of 4G networksshould be in the 2010-2015 timeframe and will enable another leap in wireless data-rate and spectral efficiency. ITU has specified IMT-A (IMT-Advanced) for 4G standards.
4G is all about convergence; convergence of wired and wireless networks, wireless technologies, including GSM, wireless LAN, and Bluetooth as well as computers, consumer electronics, communication technology, and several others. 4G is a mobile multimedia, anytime, anywhere, Global mobility support, integrated wireless solution, and customized personal service network system.
4G wireless technology is also referred to by “MAGIC,” which stands for Mobile multimedia, Any-where, Global mobility solutions over, integrated wireless and Customized services.
4G is an all IP-based integrated system that will be capable of providing 100 Mbps for high mobility and 1 Gbps for low mobility with end-to-end QoS and high security. It will offer various services at any time, as per user requirements, anywhere with seamless interoperability at affordable cost.
The user services include IP telephony, ultra-broadband Internet access, gaming services, and High Definition Television (HDTV) streamed multimedia.
4G Requirements – As per ITU’s IMT-A · All-IP packet switched network
· Data rates up to 100 Mbps for high mobility and up to 1 Gbps for low mobility
· Seamless connectivity and global roaming
· Interoperability with existing wireless standards
· Smooth handovers
· High QoS
Integration of various wireless technologies
384 Kbps to 2 Mbps
100 Mbps to 1 Gbps
Dependent on country or continent (1800-2400 MHz)
Higher frequency bands (2-8 GHz)
100 MHz (or more)
Circuit and packet
W-CDMA, 1xRTT, Edge
OFDM and MC-CDMA
Number of air link protocols
All IP (IP6.0)
4-G Systems … WirelessMAN-Advanced
IMT-A compliant version of WiMAX or WiMAX 2 based on IEEE 802.16m
WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) is an IP based, wireless broadband access technology
WirelessMAN is under development
Present implementation of WiMAX does not comply with 4G specifications
Uses OFDM in uplink and downlink
Mobile WiMAX IEEE 802.16e standard offers peak data rates of 128 Mbit/s downlink and 56 Mbit/s uplink over 20 MHz wide channel
4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) Advanced
IMT-A complaint version of LTE, also referred to as E-UTRA (Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access), or E-UTRAN(Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network)
UMTS Long Term Evolution (LTE) was introduced in 3GPP Release 8, which supports data rates of up to 300 Mbps (4×4 MIMO) and up to 150 Mbps (2×2 MIMO) in the downlink and up to 75 Mbps in the uplink. Release 10 of LTE is likely to approach IMT-A, download upto 1 Gbps, and upload upto 500 Mbps
Uses OFDMA for downlink and uses Single Carrier Frequency Division Multiple Access (SC-FDMA) for uplink
Uses 64QAM modulation
Uses MIMO and beam forming with up to 4 antennas
All IP Network
4G Wireless Technology – It Just Gets Better and Better
You see that all the major players in the wireless phone market are scrambling to introduce their coveted version of the wireless 4g phones. We will all reap the benefits of this tech war because when the dust settles, we will be able to stream our favorite video, game, or mp3 with ease.
Moving Beyond 4G
4G is not the end of all. “5G Technology” is already in that research arena and is bound to up the data rate further. 5G is going to alter the usage of our cell phones and may replace our desktop PCs/laptops. Coupled with innovations being done in the field of smart sensors, 5G mobile phones with extremely high data rates, IP core, and world-wide coverage will offer features which have not been imagined so far. Currently, 5G is not a term officially used for any particular specification; however, it is being used in research papers and standardization bodies for the future wireless standards.
4G in India
Reliance Industries (RIL) is gearing up to start rolling out 4G services in India as early as the beginning of this year and reach countrywide deployment by mid-2012, according to a report by The Economic Times. The Mukesh Ambani-headed company has acquired Infotel, which won the pan-India spectrum for broadband wireless access in 2010, and plans to capitalize on this newfound asset with a rapid rollout. Sources within the company revealed to The Economic Times that it plans to provide 4G connectivity to 700 cities by June next year.
Knowing that low cost and high speed is the key to success in this market, RIL will be touting speeds of up to 50 – 100 Mbps on its network, which are at least seven times faster than the current 3G speeds in India. It is also planning to launch low-cost data cards and Android-powered tablets, priced between ₹ 3,000 ($60) – ₹ 8,000 ($165), to capitalize on the price-sensitive market in India.
The company is supposed to already have completed a test run of networking equipment from Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson and Huawei and will be contracting either one or all three of the manufacturers for equipment supplies as it builds out the network. For tablets, it is looking at prototypes from over 15 Chinese and Taiwanese original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and will be selecting a few of the designs to offer in India.
RIL is in talks with companies like Walt Disney, through its Indian arm UTV Software, to offer apps, games, media and other licensed content on its network. The deal with Disney, in particular, is “close to being finalized”, according to the publication’s sources.
Provided that all of this goes through smoothly, the only hurdle left to clear will be government regulations that currently prohibit the use of RIL’s wireless access spectrum for transmitting voice data. Although the company is currently planning the rollout of a data-only network, a change in government regulations may allow it to offer voice services on its 4G network in the future.
The MVC paradigm is a way of breaking an application, or even just a piece of an application’s interface, into three parts: the model, the view, and the controller. MVC was originally developed to map the traditional input, processing, and output roles into the GUI realm:
A model is an object representing data or even activity (e.g., a database table or even some plant-floor production-machine process).
The model manages the behavior and the data of the application domain, responds to requests for information about its state, and responds to instructions to change its state.
The model represents enterprise data and the business rules that govern access to and updates of this data. Often, the model serves as a software approximation to a real-world process, so simple real-world modeling techniques apply when defining the model.
The model is the piece that represents the state and the low-level behavior of the component. It manages the state and conducts all transformations on that state. The model has no specific knowledge of either its controllers or its views. The view is the piece that manages the visual display of the state represented by the model. A model can have more than one view.
Note: the model may not necessarily have a persistent data store (database), but if it does, it may access it through a separate Data Access Object (DAO).
A view is some form of visualization of the state of the model.
The view manages the graphical and/or textual output to the portion of the bitmapped display that is allocated to its application. Instead of a bitmapped display, the view may generate HTML or PDF output.
The view renders the contents of a model. It accesses enterprise data through the model and specifies how that data should be presented.
The view is responsible for mapping graphics onto a device. A view typically has a one-to-one correspondence with a display surface and knows how to render to it. A view attaches to a model and renders its contents to the display surface.
Controller facilities change the state of the model. The controller interprets the mouse and the keyboard inputs from the user, commanding the model and/or the view to change as appropriate.
A controller is the means by which the user interacts with the application. A controller accepts input from the user and instructs the model and view to perform actions based on that input. In effect, the controller is responsible for mapping end-user action to application response.
The controller translates interactions with the view into actions to be performed by the model. In a stand-alone GUI client, user interactions could be button clicks or menu selections, whereas in a Web application, they appear as HTTP, GET, and POST requests.
The actions performed by the model include activating business processes or changing the state of the model.
Based on the user interactions and the outcome of the model actions, the controller responds by selecting an appropriate view.
The controller is the piece that manages user interaction with the model. It provides the mechanism by which changes are made to the state of the model.
Effective implementation of OOP concepts using classes and methods.
When there is excessive traffic, the server will not be down because of MVC architecture with a browser caching feature.
Information will not be passed through IDs. Information will be posted and passed through encrypted format.
Enhancement and maintenance is less time consuming.
Apple unveiled its new “Digital Textbook” platform just last week. It has taken the industry by storm signing 3 of the biggest textbook publishers (and our clients) such as Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. What excites me most about the new iBooks is not the digitization of textbooks by large textbook publishing companies, but that Apple has brought interactive media creation to the masses. We’ve been waiting for an HTML5 authoring tool! (Honestly, I thought Adobe would be the one to market first.) The need has been there since Apple announced that the iPhone would not run Flash… which is why I emailed Steve myself back in 2010:
I know it’s cheesy but what was the chance he would read it anyway?
Apple is simply sticking to its roots by marketing its products to the Education industry as it always has i.e. Apple II. However, I was a bit taken aback by Apple’s negative stance towards the US Education system. It was unnecessary for them to spend the initial 5-6 minutes discussing the US’s shortfalls. They spoke about large issues like overcrowding, teacher/student ration, dropout rates, etc. as if they are going to fix it. Even Phil Schiller, Apple’s SVP of Worldwide Marketing, was extremely somber during the entire presentation.
Education will still be iBooks’ catalyst. Apple has some 1.5 million iPads already in the hands of students across the US with 1000 1-to-1 iPad deployment programs. These implementations have occurred via school and district-wide initiatives and one such example is with nearby Burlington, MA. Every student at Burlington High School has received an iPad to replace those bulky textbooks. The details of this deal have not been made public, however, we know that Apple provides serious subsidies for the Education sector. This, in conjunction with now requiring the student/family to purchase the textbooks via the iBookstore, most likely frees up enough funds for the town/district to purchase iPads (and for the publishers to capitalize on a per-student, per-year model).
Here’s our take on iBooks 2 and iBooks Author: iBooks now allows you to import .iBooks files and iBooks Author provides you with the tools to create them. What this means is that Apple has created a brand new type of “app.” Essentially these 2 products are the App Store and Xcode of Digital Media for iOS.
iBooks, iBooks Author, and the iBookstore together form a full-out platform that allows you to author, develop, publish, and distribute books, magazines, photo albums, activity books, pamphlets, etc. iBooks Author, available through the Mac App Store for free, has truly brought iBooks development to the masses. Apple has created this authoring tool using technology already existing in Pages, iWeb, and Keynote so you will definitely find the interface familiar. It’s remarkable how simple Apple has made the process of creating consumable media; they’ve even bundled 6 templates to get you started.
As a provider of eLearning development, the killer feature for me is the HTML widget. This will actually allow you to use HTML within a designated frame inside an iBook. One can even build in communication with a backend database allowing for tracking of completion and grades via an LMS for example. All of this was technically possible before but iBooks Author has eliminated the need for technical knowhow as it automates navigation, table of contents, indexing, layout, etc. It is no doubt the “Killer App” that the iPad has been looking for.
There are definitely a few areas of improvement here. I’ll make a list:
iBooks Author should have some InDesign or Quark integration. Many of today’s books are published via these 2 tools. If there was an import, adoption would be much faster.
Apple should definitely integrate Newsstand publishing via iBooks Author. This will allow for publications to use iOS’s background downloading feature as well as a way to provide on-the-fly updating. Users will not need to download the newest version of a title, rather it will be “pushed” to the device.
iBooks Author should have a Windows version. Many US publishing houses use Macs, however, internationally that may not be the case. This could be part of Apple’s scheme to sell more desktops/laptops however. At least allow it to run on Snow Leopard!
Rajiv is Sales Manager at M&R Consultants Corporation (MRCC) based in Billerica, MA. MRCC provides technical and creative services to publishing, training, and development groups across all industries around the globe.