<<August 26, 2000>>
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Dear Electronic Colleagues:
(1) From August 13th to 18th, I attended the (a) Standing Conference
Presidents of Distance and Open Learning Organizations (SCOP 2000) of
the International Council of Distance Education (ICDE) -- 8/13 to 15,
(b) ICDE's 3rd Regional Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean
-- 8/15 to 17, and (b) the VII International Congress on Distance
Education of the Brazilian Association of Distance Education (ABED) --
8/16 to 18.
They were wonderful events, starting with a opening ceremony
the International Week of Distance Education -- even with a
commemorative postage stamp -- in the evening of 8/13th. There was also
a mini Brazilian Carnival on a stage for which everyone (including me)
could join to follow the steps of beautiful Queens' dancing!!
(2) Presentations and discussions in those three events were
interesting and stimulating. They were about globalization, digital
divide and implementation of distance learning programs in various
countries around the world.
(3) It was also my great pleasure to have met with old friends
acquaintances, particularly those people whom I met at the ICDE Regional
Conference in Cordoba and Buenos Aires, Argentina (5/13 to 26/89) and
ICDE Annual Conference in Caracas, Venezuela (11/8 to 13/90).
Reidar Roll, Secretary General and CEO of the ICDE, was one
of those whom
I met at those two events. I greatly appreciated to hear his kind
words in Sao Paulo, saying that I was a visionary in those days and what
I envisioned at those events has finally come true nowadays.
(4) The Caracas event was organized by Dr. Armando Villarroel.
organized the "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" videoconferencing during this
event (see ATTACHMENT I), I immediately flew to Caracas and conducted a
workshop on the use of SprintMail via X25 protocol packet-switching date
BTW, the wireless and satellite Internet approach we advocated
demonstrated in the GLH in 1990 is now worldwide trend.
After this event, Armando moved to Pennsylvania State University
and created his CREAD consortium with $250,000 (for 3 years) from CIDA
through OAS (ATTACHMENT I). We also contributed to him and his colleagues
in Latin America with free accounts of SprintMail -- amounting to several
hundreds of thousands of dollars!!
Therefore, I was very pleased to hear Dr. Graham Spanier's
of PSU) speech in the morning of 8/14th, saying that the CREAD is now a
major international operation of the PSU.
(5) BTW, ATTACHMENT II is an excerpt from my book draft about
the GLH held
in August, 1993.
After Professor Kevin Jeffay at Computer Science Department,
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, demonstrated the potential of the new
color, full-motion videoconferencing technology via a packet-switching
data communication network in his campus, Jim Casey of International
Finance Corporation of the World Bank questioned him when a similar
technology be available through public packet-switching network. Prof.
Jeffay's reply was several years later.
Lo and behold, immediately after he finished his session, we
demonstrated CU-SeeMe videoconferencing system through the
packet-switching network (which was developed by Dick Cogger of Cornell
University with $800,000 (3 years) from the NSF). However, at this
time, CU-SeeMe did not have audio so that we had to use Plain Old
Telephone Service (POTS) in parallel.
However, a few month later, Mr. Kelvin, a graduate student
University of Illinois/Champlain invented Internet telephony which was
later combined with CU-SeeMe by the suggestion given from K-12 children
in San Diego. (VocalTec of Israel came after that.)
As you see in many recent media, this Internet telephony is
becoming the future of voice communication to take over the POTS,
-- with drastic cost reduction -- e.g., AT&T acquiring some shares
of Phone2Net with $1.4 billion!!
(6) During the ABED conference, there was PictureTel videoconferencing
ISDN line at 128 Kbps, connecting several Latin American countries,
including Paris, too -- no use of video bridge, so that they were
point-to-point connections for each location.
Although it was better than the similar connection made for
telemedicine demonstration from Manaus to the University of Michigan
during our Manaus workshop on May 31st, this demonstration often dropped
the line. This indicated that the analog telephone infrastructure was
not 100% reliable (the ISDN line is a bundle of analog twisted telephone
lines) -- even in a major city like Sao Paulo. This in turn means the
urgent need of broadband Internet which can also handle Internet
(7) According to Fred Litto, the University of Sao Paulo will
soon have 165
Mbps Internet line. I then proposed him to conduct a workshop with
demonstrations of distance learning and telemedicine through the
broadband Internet, as we did at the University of Tampere, Finland last
August, 1999 and during our Manaus/Amazona workshop last May.
Excerpt from T. Utsumi's Book Draft
Chapter 2/1.5 GLH in November, 1990
In order to support the efforts of Latin American distance educators,
GLOSAS/USA organized a demonstration of large scale interactive satellite
videoconference with the use of various inexpensive global telecommunication
media to show the possibilities of global education. This was at the occasion
of the XVth World Conference of the International Council of Distance
Education (ICDE) in November, 1990, in Caracas, Venezuela, with participation
of 1,300 personsfrom more than 80 countries. Our videoconferencing center was
at William Paterson College in New Jersey.
In this particular GLH, emphasis was placed on the use of various
telecommunication media, particularly packet-radio and -satellite, to show the
possibilities of global education. The GLH was a panel discussion on "Tools,
Methodologies, and Principles for Global Education in the 21st Century" with
worldwide prominent scholars. The event reached as far as the East Coasts of
North and South America, west to Japan, north to Fairbanks, Alaska, and south
to Caracas, Venezuela. More than 20 schools were interlinked for an
interactive questions-and-answer session.
The slow-scan TV (SSTV) videoconferencing could effectively
send images of
panelists and their gathering rooms. Since most of participating locations,
particularly in overseas countries, did not have satellite uplinking facility,
SSTV was the most convenient and inexpensive unit, and only means to broadcast
their images to others.
One of significant events during this GLH was the presentation
and -satellite technology by Professor Gerald Knezek of the University of
North Texas. This enabled inexpensive telecommunication for educational
exchange at remote areas without use of wired telephone networks or where the
networks were poor quality, such as in Latin American countries. With packet
delivery protocols, 40 channels could be programmed into a transponder where
only one channel exited. The major advantage was that "time-sharing" the same
frequency by several people (up to about 7) would reduce the cost of using the
frequency with an inexpensive transceiver at about $2,500 for each -- possibly
on the order of five or ten times less expensive than commercial
communications systems in place.
Professor Knezek demonstrated a file transfer from Western
Samoa to EIES via
NASA's ATS-3 satellite free of charge. The message said that a cyclone had
interrupted most public utilities, including running water and telephone
services. The PEACESAT ATS-3 ground station, running on a portable generator
for a few hours per day, was one of the few channels of communication to the
outside world. Packet-radio allowed the memo to be transferred to and captured
in Texas, while the station at that site was unattended. This example
illustrated the potential usefulness of packet-radio for low-cost social and
disaster relief service communications, including slow-scan TV image
transmission. The system could be especially useful in education for
distributing assignments and meeting agendas, submitting homework, and
administrative activities such as advising and enrolling students.
The other significant experience at this GLH was the clear
satellite signal at Caracas gathering via a U.S.domestic satellite, -- without
going through INTELSAT satellite. Albeit one-way, this would make it possible
to send educational courses from North America to some Latin American
countries at low cost, since the former costs about one half to one-third of the latter.
Audio and slow-scan TV videoconferencing via ubiquitously available
enabled us to have participants from remote area where satellite signal could
not reach. Their use combined with the satellite was a feature of our GLH,
having enabled us to reach out to even "have-not" areas, i.e., not under the
foot-print of the satellite. In a sense, our demonstration was to enable the
"disabled" (due to limitations in equipment) to participate. We needed to face
these situations as challenges to maximize what they get from what they have.
The full-motion TV satellite systems often seemed to try to indicate that they
were the "only way to go" for distance education and telecommunication. Until
when prices dropped significantly, many people, especially those overseas and
in the most geographically isolated places, would have to learn to appreciate,
and make the best of, alternative forms of various available telecommunication media.
This GLH demonstration indicated vividly the future of global
example, a professor in Pensacola, Florida, received our satellite signal at
his home while he was feeding his dog and cat. He could receive a lesson from
a Japanese professor. He could raise his question to the Japanese professor
via audio or computer conference immediately. For the same token, a person in
a remote site in Venezuela might have done similarly with his packet-radio or
-satellite transceiver. Global education could be done transcending
parochialism as well as national boundaries.
After the Caracas conference, Utsumi successfully conducted
a tutorial on the
use of SprintMail -- a commercial e-mail service -- for distance educators
from various countries of the region at the Technical Workshop on Training of
Distance Education Trainers which was organized by Universidad Nacional
Abierta (UNA) and Regional Center for Higher Education in Latin America and
the Caribbean (CRESALC) of UNESCO.
The dramatic growth of distance education in Latin American
countries was in
part a result of educational policies enacted at the national level, and in
part an outcome of the execution of the Organization of American States
(OAS)/PREDE Multinational Project for the Development and Application of
Distance Educational Systems. The multinational and cooperative nature of this
OAS project had another impact among the implementing institutions: the
development of an infrastructure and expertise for cooperation, as attested by
the creations of the Latin AmericanCooperative Network for the Development of
Distance Education (REDLAED) in May of 1989 , and of the Latin American and
the Caribbean Electronic Distance Education Consortium (CREAD) in the fall of
1993 under the auspices of the Interamerican Organization of Higher Education
(IOHE) in 1990 with funds provided from the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA)  (Villarroel A., 1991).
GLOSAS joined efforts with REDLAED, CREAD, PREDE, CRESALC,
and many other
colleagues in the region. As the result of Utsumi's demonstration and
tutorial, the decision was made as to declare a priority interest in the
development and participation in some pilot experiences in the use of
SprintMail telecommunications network that would link, by means of electronic
messaging services, the group of key coordinators of REDLAED and CREAD members
as well as their technical advisers from Organization of American States (OAS)
and UNESCO/Venezuela. GLOSAS/USA supported their activities with the provision
of SprintMail's e-mail and fax services free of charge for the several years
which amounted almost $75,000/month usages in commercial rates -- this was
thanks to the generous offer of US SprintMail's returning a favor to Utsumi's
effort of helping their overseas expansion, particularly to Japan, as
mentioned above. Because of this efforts, GLOSAS/USA is founding members of
REDLAED and CREAD.
Excerpt from T. Utsumi's Book Draft
Chapter 2/1.8.1 GLH on August 21, 1993
Professor Kevin Jeffay at Computer Science Department, University
Carolina at Chapel Hill, demonstrated the potential of the new color, full-motion videoconferencing technology via a packet-switching data communication
network, without use of satellite nor dish antenna. His presentation via slow-scan TV described his current campus-wide videoconference system with which
several participants could show their videos while discussing a same
application program on either MS/DOS or Macintosh computers.
CU-SeeMe's black and white videoconferencing system with Macintosh
Internet was demonstrated by Mr. Scott Brim, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY;
Mr. Steve Cisler, Apple Library, Cupertino, California; Ms. Kathy Fernandes,
California State University, Chico; and Ms. Jean Armour Polly, NYSERNet, Inc.,
Syracuse, NY. This was our first time of its use, and ranged from the West
Coast to New York, with parallel use of ordinary audio teleconference. The
computer screen was broadcast via satellite for worldwide viewing. This was a
historical event, as revolutionizing videoconference technology, which could
lead to personalizing education in worldwide. (Apple/Moscow also successfully
received their video, though we did not receive their video back due to
bandwidth problem between the U.S. and Russia.)
* Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., Chairman, GLOSAS/USA *
* (GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A.) *
* Laureate of Lord Perry Award for Excellence in Distance Education *
* Founder of CAADE *
* (Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education) *
* President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of *
* Global University System (GUS) *
* 43-23 Colden Street, Flushing, NY 11355-3998, U.S.A. *
* Tel: 718-939-0928; Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer email) *
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* http://www.friends-partners.org/GLOSAS/ *
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