Project Information

1. General Information

  • Project Title: facilitating Distance Learning using Digital Conferencing facility
  • Work Package: WP5 (Promoting Asi@Connect-enabled research and
    education collaboration for societal benefit)
  • Asi@Connect Project Grand: 2nd Call for Proposal (TEIN*CC Ref: Asi@Connect-18-068)
  • Budget: 196,380 EUR
  • Duration: September 2018 to April 2020
  • Principal Investigator (PI): CEO, BdREN
  • CO-Investigator: CEO, NORDUnet
  • Participating NRENs: Bangadesh (BD), Bhutan (BT), Nepal (NP), Philipines (PH), Sri Lanka (LK) and Thailand (TH)
  • Activities:
    • Procurement of End-devices for Beneficiary Countries
    • Installation and Commissioning of Zoom Platform in BdREN Cloud and Provide Accounts to Beneficiary NRENs
    • Workshop/Training – 5
    • DigiNars – 3
    • DLE Courses – 4

2. Information of the Principal Investigators (PI)/Leader

Principal Investigator (PI)/Leader:

  • Mohammad Tawrit
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
    Bangladesh Research and Education Network (BdREN)

    University Grants Commission of Bangladesh
    UGC Building, Plot: E-18/A, Agargaon, Dhaka, Bangladesh
    Email:
    ceo@bdren.net.bd website: www.bdren.net.bd

Co-Principal Investigator:

  • Rene Buch
  • Chief Executive Officer
    NORDUnet A/S
    Kastruplundgade 22, DK-2770 Kastrup, DENMARK
    Phone: +45 32 46 25 00
    Fax: +45 45 76 23 66
    Email:
    rbuch@nordu.net

3. LIST OF COLLABORATING PARTICIPANTS:

No. Name Organization Country Email
1. Mohammad Tawrit BdREN Bangladesh ceo@bdren.net.bd
2. Erik Kikkenborg NORDUnet Denmark kikkenborg@nordu.net
3. Dr. Chalermpol
Charnsripinyo
ThaiREN Thailand chalermpol.charnsripinyo@n ectec.or.th
4. Dr. Bhushan Raj Shrestha NREN Nepal sbhushan@mail.com.np
5. Bayani Benjamin Lara PREGINET Philippines bani@asti.dost.gov.ph
6. Senevi Herath LEARN Sri Lanka senevih@learn.ac.lk
7. Sonam Penjor DrukREN Bhutan s_penjor@rub.edu.bt

 

4. BACKGROUNDS

TEIN network: Since the first TEIN initiative launched in 2000, TEIN projects have been evolved from the first phase with a 2 Mbps link connection between France and Korea, now to the fourth phase – TEIN4 that provides the network with up to 10 gigabits per second connecting 23 countries in the Asian and south Asia region.

Collaboration through NREN: Asi@Connect has created a unique platform for enhancing collaboration and connectivity among researchers and academics in Asia as well as with the global researchers and academics including the 50 million European researchers and academics served by the GEANT network. NRENs are becoming more and more popular to the community because of its support in fostering research and collaboration. It has created immense vive within the community by financing different research projects by itself.

Minimizing Digital Divide: Reducing the Digital Divide within the TEIN community being a primary objective of connecting all the NRENs in a single platform and also to interconnect them with the Global Networks like GÉANT, Internet2, WACREN and others.

Value of NRENs By adding advanced Application Services to the Asi@Connect partner NRENs, the value of NRENs, including the beneficiaries, to researchers and academics in their countries, will increase. Such services will promote increasing use of NRENs and their services by the higher education and research in the countries of the beneficiaries. This process will be further accelerated by knowledge transfer from advanced European R&E networks such as NORDUnet.

Under the abovementioned backdrop, this project proposal is in response to the WP5 (Promoting Asi@Connect-enabled research and education collaboration for societal benefit) of the 2nd Call for Proposals for the Asi@Connect Project. This Project taking the initiative that at the same time will (1) enable the use of an advanced video conferencing service in the region, for use in distance learning and allow flexible and efficient collaboration, and (2) embrace a comprehensive knowledge transfer program, bringing advanced skills in digital communication and service operations to TEIN NRENs, making the service independent and sustainable. The service will be installed at BdREN and used by BdREN and 5 other NRENs in the TEIN community, with knowledge transfer supported by NORDUnet, for a period of 20 months from September 2018 to April 2020.

This Project principally focuses on 6 beneficiary countries namely Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The service established will primarily be used by students, faculties, researchers and academics in these countries. However, other NRENs in the TEIN community will be encouraged to join this project subject to availability of the resources.. Moreover, experts from different NREN communities will be encouraged to participate in Seminars and DLE Programs using this facility. Sharing their experience and expertise on any relevant issue will be helpful for the audience joining the system from the beneficiary countries in such programs arranged under this project. As the principal objective of the project will be knowledge transfer through deployment and operation of advanced digital conferencing system, the train-the-trainer approach of the project will allow such knowledge to be further disseminated to other NRENs in the region.

Digital Seminars will be arranged under this project on important issues like “Sustainability of NRENs”, “EduRoam and Federated Identity” and “Implementation of LMS”. Any NREN in the TEIN community will be encouraged to join this seminar to share their experiences or to gather knowledge on these very issues. This will foster a stream of collaboration within the TEIN community.

The final objective will be of dissemination of knowledge and expertise in the form of Distance Learning and Knowledge Sharing which will immensely benefit the faculties and students of the beneficiary countries. Also sample issues on “Cryptography/Cyber Security/Software Defined Networking (SDN) or other Advanced Topics” will be demonstrated under this very project. In addition, beneficiary NRENs will be encouraged to conduct their own programs using this platform.

 

5. OBJECTIVES

  1. Deploy a Digital Conferencing Platform: The prime objective of this project is to promote the use of Digital Video Conferencing facilities in the region by locally deploying a Digital Video Conferencing platform for enhancement of collaboration, distance learning and knowledge sharing that will connect faculties, students, researchers, experts and resources from anyone to anywhere. Deploying the platform within the TEIN itself locally will provide optimal performance and minimize dependency on resources in Europe or the US.
  2. Transfer of Knowledge: In this project knowledge transfer has been considered as an important area through deployment and operation of Digital Conferencing Platform. Collaborating in the project and working with community experts will transfer knowledge to the region that allow the service to be self-supported and sustainable.
  3. Enhancement of Collaboration and Support: This platform will enhance the collaboration between different TEIN partners as well as REN communities from different parts of the world by sharing of hardware and software resources as well as resource personnel with expertise.
  4. Reducing Digital Divide: With sharing of state-of-the-art technology and industry experts from NREN communities and knowledge of experts between developed and developing countries the Digital Divide will be minimized.
  5. Facilitate Distance Learning Courses: This platform will be used to facilitate distance learning courses. Under the project courses on present burning issues will be tried out on experimental basis. Once the outcome is found positive, the program may be expanded to professional certification and even to academic courses which will contribute to the sustainability of the project.
  6. Train the Trainers: This platform will be used for Train the Trainers program where Trainers from NRENs who are already using these types of technology and facilities may extend their share of knowledge and expertise to train the trainers of NRENs of developing countries. The Trainers then might share their acquired knowledge with people working in relevant field in their country to implement similar system in their respective countries
  7. Arrange Training Program for the Professionals: Personnel from the beneficiary NRENs will be given with the Audio/Visual training facilities to use this platform to provide technical and professional training for skill development of the personnel of their own community. Thus the community expertise will be nurtured and developed. The training content will be stored in BdREN Cloud System to be retrieved by anyone with proper authorization as and when needed which is going to increase the TEIN traffic even after the training/seminar sessions are officially over.
  8. Enhance the utilization of TEIN: As different Training and Conference Programs are going to be executed through TEIN with the platform being installed in the Cloud System of BdREN, utilization of TEIN network will be significantly enhanced during the execution of the same.

6. DETAILS OF ACTIVITIES/PROGRAMS

1. Overall plans for 20 months (from September 2018 to April 2020)

※ 1st Year: by 31 August 2019

  • – Activity 1: (1st year) September 2018
    • a) Preparatory Workshop for Identification and Finalization of Requirement
  • – Activity 2: (1st year) October-December 2018
    • b) Procurement and Collection of Resources on site
  • – Activity 3: (1st year) January-March 2019
    • c) Installation of Resources, Testing and Commissioning the Platform
    • d) Development of Web Portal for the service
  • – Activity 4: (1st year) April 2019
    • e) Train the Trainers
  • – Activity 5: (1st year) June 2019
    • f) Digital Seminar-I
  • – Activity 6: (1st year) July 2019
    • g) DLE Course for 1 month
  • – Activity 7: (1st year) August 2019
    • h) Workshop on Performance Evaluation of the System
  • – Activity 8: (2nd year) September 2019
    • i) DLE Course for 1 month
  • – Activity 9: (2nd year) October 2019
    • j) Digital Seminar-II
  • – Activity 10: (2nd year) November 2019
    • k) Digital Seminar-III
  • – Activity 11: (2nd year) December 2019
    • l) Train the Trainer Program
  • – Activity 12: (2nd year) January 2020
    • m) DLE Course for 2 weeks
  • – Activity 13: (2nd year) March 2020
    • n) DLE Course for 2 weeks
  • – Activity 14: (2nd year) April 2020
    • o) Sensitization and Knowledge Sharing Workshop with participation from NRENs in participating countries and also from NORDUnet, Internet2, and GÉANT.

7. Phasing of the Project

 

8. Expected Outcomes

BENEFITS TO TEIN AND ITS COMMUNITY

Technical Knowledge Exchange: Huge amount of technical knowledge sharing will be there between experts working in various NRENs under TEIN. At the same time as NORDUnet, GÉANT and Internet 2 will be involved a significant share of knowledge will be drained down to relatively weaker partners under TEIN community.

Dissemination of Knowledge through Distance Learning and Education Program: Different institutions under the beneficiary NRENs will have the opportunity to offer various Distance Learning courses on various topics which will have a big impact on the research and educational community in those countries. Especially by offering the DLE programs a big portion of marginalized professional manpower will be able to be touched as this will save inordinate amount of time in terms of attending the class by being physically present.

Technology Transfer: By organizing the Train the Trainers program for the Network Engineers initiative has been taken to transfer the Technology to the budding NRENs. In the process the budding NRENs will be motivated to implement the same system in their country. Also by arranging different Video Conferencing seminars and workshop digitally technology and knowledge can be transferred from experts and faculties working in industries and universities in developed countries to NREN communities under TEIN.

Reduction of Digital Divide within NREN community: With successful outcome this DLE program may eventually be extended to conduct academic courses. In a country like Bangladesh where many of the students just drop out before starting the tertiary education only because of unavailability of adequate capacity of the HEIs, this DLE program can be a huge boosting as this is going to increase the capacity of the universities by exponential margin.

Foundation of a regular meeting: The workshops and symposium is a start point of sustainable meeting with not only all beneficiary countries but also global partners.

 

9.  SUSTAINABILITY OF THE ACTIVITY/PROGRAM

  •  A Seminar will be arranged to discuss about this very critical issue and hopefully some strategies might come out of that seminar.
  • On successful outcome of this project we can extend it commercially for arranging Seminars and Capacity Development programs. The coverage of this program may be extended to academic courses. However, to successfully do that, LMS software will be a necessity and a DigiNar will be arranged to focus adequate light on that.
  • The Capacity Development, Digital Seminars and Academic Courses which will be subsequently arranged will result in generating revenue which might add up to the sustainability of the project.
  • The countries like Bangladesh where students passing out from Higher Secondary Courses cannot be fully accommodated in HEIs due to lower capacity of the HEIs, these DLE courses, if introduced with proper assurance of the quality of the same, will be a big blessings and will be highly welcome and appreciated by the general people. The education ministry which is groping for solution will immensely appreciate this kind of venture.
  • If the project is successful, it can be extended to other NRENs of the TEIN community with funding from Asi@Connect and make it a sustainable service.