Digital TV should feature in both broadband and e-learning strategies, concludes report

October 8, 2003

Brussels, 07 Oct 2003

A Commission funded study into TV based interactive learning in the home has concluded that when developing broadband and e-learning strategies, governments and other agencies should consider interactive digital TV as integral parts of such initiatives.

The t-learning study was funded under the information society technologies (IST) programme of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5). Its aim was to present an up to date analysis of the progress of TV based interactive learning, and provide recommendations to European decision makers, broadcaster and service providers for developing t-learning solutions for the home.

The report was written by Peter Bates from pjb Associates in the UK. He concludes that great potential exists for using digital TV solutions to increase learning opportunities in the home, particularly as an alternative to Internet enabled PCs.

However, despite an educational broadcasting tradition of more than 25 years in Europe, the report warns that there is limited research to draw on when attempting to understand how best people can learn through this medium. There is also a lack of pedagogical data on the effects of interactivity on learning, based on more recent e-learning developments.

Mr Bates recommends, therefore, that in order to create a viable model for future developments in t-learning, stakeholders should consider issues related to sustainability, technology and pedagogy jointly. Pedagogical research, says the study, 'cannot be done in isolation, as there is little point in identifying pedagogically sound services that are just unsustainable within the consumer oriented market place.'

As well as providing a role for digital TV in e-learning and broadband strategies, therefore, the report also recommends that stakeholders should launch pilot projects aimed at analysing how t-learning solutions could be used to increase educational opportunities in the home.

Furthermore, educational broadcasters and those in mainstream education and training should work more closely to decide on how best to utilise an emerging range of interactive TV solutions. Finally, content developers should be encouraged to produce digital content that is compatible with the full range of delivery platforms, including digital TV.

To read the full report (in English), please consult the following web address:
http:///www.pjb.co.uk/t-learning/index.ht m

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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