Apr 14, 2011 News
The University of Guyana Berbice Campus (UGBC) scored a first in its delivery of tertiary education in the Ancient County, using the latest in technology.
The campus, on Tuesday, linked with a Network IT Specialist from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, through which a face-to-face lecture was done using Skype technology.
The PowerPoint presentation was conducted by former Network Administrator at the campus, Michael Dabydeen, via Skype with Year Two students in the Internet Computing CSI 225.
The session was based on Introduction to Flash Technology and was aimed at informing students how to use Flash on their websites, as well as the benefits of using the technology. The lecture will continue via the same mode on Thursday. There will also be a follow- up Discussion Board on Facebook through which the specialist will answer students’ queries.
According to Lecturer at UGBC, Kemuel Gaffar, this is the first time that an overseas video-conferencing lecture has been done at the campus. Last year, a similar link-up was done by Professor Rory Fraser from the Faculty of Agriculture who conducted a lecture between the Tain and Turkeyen campus.
“It has a lot of scope for the Tain-Turkeyen connection because UG spends millions of dollars practically every month on commuting lecturers. If we can have a fully- functional audio- visual centre, then we can save the university lots of money,” Gaffar said.
He added that one of the major difficulties presently is the bandwidth they receive. He noted the ‘choppy’ video and slow connections at times during the video link-up on Tuesday.
He noted that UGBC was utilizing a 384 kilobits internet connection, “which is not ideal for a video-conferencing session. Ideally, we would want at least a one Megabit per second connection”, he said. He said that the campus is awaiting the government’s internet cable and GT&T’s E-magine Broadband service which he said would make these ‘e- lectures’ more cutting- edge.
Director of UGBC, Professor Daizal R. Samad, told Kaieteur News that Tuesday’s history-making session has opened a vista of possibilities. He added that the same technology can be used for other classes as well. He recalled the huge sums of money spent everyday to shuttle lecturers from Turkeyen to Tain.
“It could render obsolete things like traveling to Turkeyen to Berbice and Berbice to Turkeyen. We spend oodles of money, tons of money, just traveling back and forth. People go for every meeting, every drop of a hat; a departmental meeting, a faculty meetings, Board of Deans, academic boards, every exam people have to go, and its everybody. You count all that money up. It’s a frightening amount”, Professor Samad stated.
He said UGBC needs to get on board with that technology. The Director said that students in public schools can be reached out to as well using the same form of technology.
“But how about high schools? Put them all in one room and we get some specialist outside and we don’t have to pay these people, these people will do it. It’s just an hour. And think of the interest that will generate in every single subject. And therefore, trigger students to want to do more.
“You’re creating a brand new culture and it starts right here”, Prof. Samad said.
He thanked Dabydeen and referred to him as a “committed” and “dedicated” to UGBC. “We need to somehow fertilise this idea of loyalty” It’s not just about money; you need to develop in people their sense of loyalty. That is the idea. People are not really loyal to UG the way they ought to be loyal to UG.
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