In recent years there have been several initiatives in the field of satellite telecommunications applications, in order to address the needs of rural communities. This indicates the unique advantages of satellite technologies for providing high quality wireless broadband connection to any type of population within large geographical areas.
Rural Wings is an ambitious project that proposes to develop an advanced learning platform through satellite DVB-RCS access technologies, promoting a user-centred methodological approach which constitutes its major innovation. The main aim of the present approach is to support the creation of a new culture in rural communities promoting digital literacy and reducing resistance to the use of new technologies. It will go a step further, encouraging users to add their significant contribution to the emerging applications by involving them in meaningful activities, tailored to address the needs of different user groups.
Thus, Rural Wings aims to offer stimulating and creative learning environments to support vibrant user communities and will attempt an extended implementation in dozens of pilot sites in 18 countries worldwide. It is expected that Rural Wings project will help to catalyse the satellite broadband take up in Europe and beyond.
The Rural Wings project will be based on innovation practices and techniques deployed in industrial environments, aiming to the optimization of the new products’ development process. The ultimate goal is the transfer of knowledge and the adjustment of these practices in different knowledge spaces (at school, at work, at home) as a mean for interaction between user needs and technological developments: The needs of users in rural areas feed the integration of the educational environment with dynamic requirements for new services or for the adaptation of existing ones. In this way the users’ perception of their problems/needs leads the development of technology and of learning practices.
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