Aview - Video Conferencing Tool

Amrita University develops e-learning system 12-August, 2010

Bangalore: Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham (Amrita University), a university established by humanitarian leader Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), is creating a revolution in the use of e-learning for higher education. Amrita has developed a new multi-modal multimedia e-learning system called A-VIEW, which uses a network of four high-resolution displays.

With an aim to addresses the most pressing issue of higher education in India today, namely, the shortage of highly qualified teachers, A-VIEW (Amrita Virtual Interactive eLearning World) works over the network to bring classroom teaching, live from teachers at reputed institutions to eager students at numerous locations all over India. The feature of A-VIEW is its ability to use: not one but four high resolution displays, providing simultaneous high quality delivery of video, presentation slides, interactive whiteboard and access to latest references, all at the click of a mouse. The system comes live with the classroom like interactions and question-answer sessions emerging in a natural way between the students and the teacher. All in all, this provides for a classroom experience that is both satisfying and fruitful to both the teacher and the taught. Technically, the communication network bandwidths requirements are especially engineered to be moderate so as to permit remote sites to effectively participate.

After months of testing, the A-VIEW system will be officially unveiled on Tuesday, August 11. Dr. Shankar Shastry, Dean of Engineering from University of California, Berkeley, has agreed to launch the system along with N.K. Sinha, Joint Secretary, National Mission on Education using ICT (Information and Communication Technology), MHRD (Ministry of Human Resources Development) and Dr. Kannan Moudgalya, Head of CDEEP (Center for Distance Engineering Education Programme) at IIT Bombay, with a live session on 'What makes a World-Class Engineering Institution?' On the following day, Wednesday, August 12, Former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam will inaugurate the multi-display A-VIEW system at Sona College, Salem, Tamil Nadu along with Dr. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor of Amrita University, who will be interacting using A-VIEW from the Amrita campus in Coimbatore. Dr. Rangan, an Expert in multimedia said, "Amrita's A-VIEW is the culmination of years of intense research and development that has brought together 20 top U.S. universities and almost 50 prominent institutions in India including ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), TIFAC (Technology Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council), and MHRD's recent National Mission on Education."

Recognizing the potential of this system, IIT Bombay is the first premier institute to deploy A-VIEW to deliver live lectures to VNIT, Nagpur. About A-VIEW, Dr. Moudgalya said, "It is gratifying to see how close Amrita's A-VIEW system comes to a real-world classroom experience." Simultaneously, A-VIEW systems are being installed at several other premier institutes such as IIT Delhi, IIIT Allahabad, and others.