|Title of Invention||
"A COMPUTER ASSISTED TEACHING APPARATUS"
|Abstract||The present invention "Bhartiyavidya is a pioneering and one-of-a-kind system solution for classroom teaching, developed through a unique combination and integration of Hardware, Software and Multimedia content and their specifically developed interfaces and is specially designed to be used by the teachers concurrently during teaching process. The system comprises of Computer Hardware, Hardware-Software Interfaces, Security Devices, Colour Television, Computer-Television Interface, Secure Databases, specifically designed User Interface Software and custom made Multimedia Capsules based on in-house researched school curriculum based teaching modules. The multimedia content has certain distinct features like expandability, scalability, and absence of voice over and use of minimal amount of text with specified minimum font size. The voice over has been intentionally avoided so that the product does not become a substitute to the teacher since the invention is meant only for aiding the teacher in effectively communicating the academic subjects to the students. The system allows single button stop and play as well as functionality of Digital Chalk. The system can be used by the teachers for more effective classroom teaching alongwith other conventional teaching methods and tools that include the teacher's wisdom, teacher's voice, chalk and blackboard. Further the present invention is a multimedia solution that works alongwith the blackboard since the display device for students is a 29" colour TV (which works on the principle of light emission) and provides the teacher the flexibility to switch from the blackboard to multimedia content and vice versa any number of times as required during a teaching period even in a well-lit classroom. This is unlike all other multimedia solutions that work effectively only with a multimedia projector that requires a relatively darker room since such projectors use a screen which works on the principle of reflected light resulting in either a full period of multimedia based teaching with no flexibility to the teacher to use the blackboard when required or the discomfort of switching on and switching off lights while moving from the backboard to multimedia content and vice versa.|
|Full Text||COMPLETE SPECIFICATIONS
A. FIELD OF INVENTION
A.1 The present invention relates to a computer assisted teaching apparatus. The present invention is a pioneering and one of the kind system solution for classroom teaching developed through a unique combination and integration of hardware, software and multimedia content and their specifically developed interfaces and is specially designed to be used by the teacher concurrently during teaching process.
A.2 The present invention relates to a system for delivery of multimedia based academic information (in a conceptualised form without emphasising on the descriptive text) for classroom teaching of students.
A.3 More specifically, the invention relates to preparation, presentation, delivery, scheduling of structured information in respect of various academic disciplines (Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Biology, History, Geography, Civics) using computer hardware, hardware-software interfaces, security devises, colour television, computer-television interface, secure databases, specifically designed user interface software and custom made multimedia capsules based on an in-house researched school curriculum based teaching modules.
A.4 In other words the present invention is a curriculum specific multimedia based, classroom centric, computer aided teaching system to empower the teacher. The invention is categorised under interactive multimedia teaching technology.
B. BACKGROUND AND RELATED ART
B. 1 The existing approaches to delivery of curriculum based information or ideas to a classroom audience, using a combination of text and graphics is through numerous curriculum-based compact discs available in the market place and sometimes through Power Point™ or similar application wares.
B.2 These applications allow a user to mix text with graphics for effective and interactive communication. For instance a lecturer, often uses Power Point™ to communicate with the audience comprising students. Often efforts are made to manage the topic well for the benefit of the students by using a combination of text, clip arts, graphics, charts and, at times even audio and video clippings.
B.3 The existing applications however, suffer from several limitations. The academic packages available in the form of compact discs can be called databases or compilation of information (textual matter) rather than application systems.
B.4 Presently, there are no systems, which allow a user (teacher) to frame a lecture comprising of topics and multimedia content sitting in the staff room and enabling the onward delivery to the classrooms, of the lecture, which may be either run/executed by the respective teachers in the classrooms as per their convenience or schedule the delivery of lecture at a pre-determined time.
B.5 Further the existing systems do not allow a user to combine academic modules and capsules (in the form of concepts depicted by graphical annotations rather than textual matter) available in the database comprising mostly of multimedia content for effective teaching. As
mentioned above the current systems do not allow the users to deliver the lectures to several other classrooms (users) in the Network at a predetermined time and in a pre-determined manner.
B.6 The Art has proposed several different approaches to tackle this problem and deliver the multimedia lectures to classrooms in the Network in a particular manner and at a particular time. The invention at its heart has got in-house designed and developed specialised academic database comprising of various modules (A module being similar to a chapter of a conventional textbook) and capsules (A capsule being a part/unit of a module and is similar to one concept/ sub-concept in a chapter of a conventional textbook)
B.7 The existing systems do not facilitate the teachers to device multimedia lectures picking from the database of modules and capsules and insertion of files external to the system. These systems do not allow a user to manipulate, combine an effective lecture consisting of video, graphical or image files available in the database as modules and capsules (covering various academic subjects, the topics and subtopics).
B.8 Even if some of the existing systems (eg. Power Point™) have tried to facilitate the user to create and manage some kind of multimedia presentations, they have failed to address the issues concerning the delivery of existing academic databases in the form of customised lectures over the Networks by scheduling and by providing appropriate tools for effective teaching by a teacher in the classroom environment.
B.9 The present invention is a one of its kind multimedia solution that works alongwith the blackboard since the display device for students is
a 29" colour TV (which works on the principle of light emission) and provides the teacher the flexibility to switch from the blackboard to multimedia content and vice versa any number of times as required during a teaching period even in a well-lit classroom. This is unlike all other multimedia solutions that work effectively only with a multimedia projector that requires a relatively darker room since such projectors use a screen which works on the principle of reflected light resulting in either a full period of multimedia based teaching with no flexibility to the teacher to use the blackboard when required or the discomfort of switching on and switching off lights while moving from the backboard to multimedia content and vice versa.
B.10 In view of the above, the invention herein attempts to provide a system capable of facilitating the teachers to construct a lecture (capable of delivering a multimedia stream such as video, audio, textual stream, together with textual, graphical and other forms of information) in the staff room using, the modules and capsules covering various academic subjects, other lectures as also previously constructed external text, audio and video files and facilitating utilisation of such lectures at the appropriate time to aid the teachers in effectively communicating with their pupil.
B.ll The present invention can be used in the classroom for enabling the teacher to teach better over and above the conventional teaching methodologies that include the teacher's wisdom, teacher's voice, the chalk and Blackboard or marker and Whiteboard. In the present invention there is no scope for voice over so that the teacher's role is not substituted by the invention, since it is meant only as an aid to the teacher for teaching better.
C. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The present invention provides an interactive multimedia based teaching system, said system comprising a central server having central processing unit linked to an inputting device being located at a remote location; a means for providing instruction located on the central server for storing and locating thereon audio visual themes in form of modules and capsules with a designed instructional material sequence; a plurality of teacher / user terminals located in a classroom for sharing with the teacher / user terminal the audio visual theme in form of modules and capsules stored in the said central server through a networking means; selection means connected with the means to provide instructions enabling a teacher/ instructor through the central processing unit to select a theme in form of modules and capsules for teaching to be displayed through the audio and video output means to a student/ user group containing at least one student/ beneficiary; controlling means to control the pace and sequence at which the theme in form of modules and capsules will unfold through the audio and video output connected with the central processing unit; a common audio visual display unit being provided in the classroom to display the audio visual theme in form of modules and capsules and a blackboard to allow teacher/ instructor to switch from audio visual display to blackboard on request of student/ beneficiary; an interrupting means provided to the teacher/ user terminal to interrupt the audio visual theme in form of modules and capsules and take up comments/ queries of the students/beneficiaries; a reply means provided to the teacher/ instructor to respond to the queries of the students/ beneficiaries; and means for feedback of the response of the student/ beneficiary group to enable the teacher/ instructor to use the controlling means to decide at which the unfolding of the theme in form of modules and capsules can occur. In another embodiment of the present invention, the central processing unit includes security keys containing information about licensing, database security, password, user/ student identification information, period of license, time and nature of license, number of user/ students and number of machines. The central processing unit and video output is connected through a PAL converter when the audio and video output means is a television. The central processing unit includes a user/ teacher management means, lecture management means, lecture delivery means, database sharing means,
performance appraisal means and scheduler. The user/ teacher management means includes means for creating, renaming, deleting and assigning / changing rights and passwords to user/ teachers. The lecture management means includes means for creation of lectures having audio and/ or visual information. The lecture delivery means includes means for onward delivery of lecture as a schedule at a predetermined time to the students/ beneficiaries in the absence of the teacher/ instructor. The database sharing means includes means for sharing of themes in form of modules and capsules. The performance appraisal means includes means for viewing performance of various teacher / user and generation of various reports based on number of variables. The scheduler includes means for scheduling time for delivery of lecture. The central processing unit includes means to switch from blackboard to audio visual theme in form of modules and capsules any number of times as required in a teaching session. The theme in form of modules and capsules includes sections of academic subject.
The present invention provides a system that allows a user/teacher to create his / her own lecture using available academic multimedia capsules and external files in the staff room itself and enable the teacher to deliver the lecture in the class room as an aid to the conventional teaching methods. The system also facilitates sharing of the lecture among the teachers and scheduling of the lecture at a particular time which is pre-determined. The system is an integrated solution comprising hardware (Personal Computers, Television, PAL Converter, Security Key & LAN) and software including Database, Multimedia Capsules and Application Software and User Interface. HARDWARE FEATURES
C.I As shown in Fig 1., the system primarily consists of a staff room personal computer [Fig. 1(1)], classroom personal computers [Fig 1(3)] (depending upon the number of classrooms) which are operably interconnected by Local Area Network (LAN) [Fig 1(2)].
C.2 The system is extremely useful as a teaching aid. The staff room personal computer [Fig. 1(1)] acts as a Central Server which is operationally connected to one or more Central Processing Units [Fig
1(3)(1) (in the classroom personal computers) located away from the Central Server. The staffroom personal computer/central server [Fig. 1(1)] is capable of functioning as a storehouse of database and for controlling and managing the entire network including rights assigned to various ingredients. It is in this machine that the-multimedia lectures are created by the teachers in the staffroom for subsequent scheduling and execution in the various classrooms. The classroom personal computers including the CPU's [Fig 1(3)(1)] are installed in the various classrooms and are connected with the staff room personal computer (main server) [Fig 1(1)] under LAN (Fig 1(2)]. The Classroom personal computer [Fig 1(3)] are used for the ultimate execution of lectures for aiding the teacher in better teaching of the students in a classroom. The LAN [Fig 1(2)] provides the inteconnectivity between the staffroom personal computer [Fig 1(1)] which is the main server and the classroom personal computers [Fig 1(3)].
C.3 Personal Computers are systems where Central Processing Unit (Fig 4) alongwith Random Access Memory (Fig 5), Read Only Memory (Fig 6), Hard Disk Drive (Fig 7) and controllers for peripherals are integrated into a singe motherboard (Fig 8) and packaged with all of above and the power supply units to form the computer.
C.4 In such systems some peripherals like Floppy Disk Drive (Fig 9), Hard Disk Drive (Fig 10), CD-ROM Drive (Fig 11) are within the same enclosure, but some other peripherals or control units are outside of it like Key board (Fig 12), Mouse(Fig 13), Monitor(Fig 14) and Printer (Fig 15).
C.5 In addition, the system uses a Local Area Network, with a switch as a distributor of data, and a LAN interfacer or card (Fig 16), within the enclosure of the above as a means of local data flow controller of the corresponding PC.
C.6 The special hardware features of the system includes use of a colour Television [Fig 1(4) & 17] in connection with a PAL convenor [Fig 18], to project output from the PC via TV in the class room.
C.7 The entire database, control software and multimedia capsules are secured through the use of a Security-key (also called 1-Key) [Fig 19] which itself is a combination of hardware and security software.
C.8 The content is stored in the Central Server in a database software (eg. Lotus Notes) which can be accessed by persons authorised only by using security features like passwords and embedded software codes in a Hardware-Software interface device called a security key or an 1-Key [Fig 19].
C.9 The computer systems (both staff room and classrooms) are essential for practising various embodiments of the invention. It includes a monitor display with disk drives, Network Interfacer, PAL Converter, (for conversion of display signals from the computers to the colour television), Security Key, Keyboard and Mouse.
C. 10 The computer systems (both staff room and classroom and the Central Server) may be any computer which is IBM compatible. Resident in the Arithmetic Logic Unit (ALU) of this computer is a Microprocessor (preferably Intel P III 866 MHZ), which is a digital processor and controls the operations of the computer system. Such a microprocessor
may be a single chip or may comprise various other components, all integrated within the computer system.
C.ll On the software front, the computer system draws support from Relational Database Management System viz., MS-Access and Lotus Notes. The operating system used by the computer systems is windows
C.12 The computers systems also comprise memory means, which are Random Access Memory (RAM) and Read Only Memory (ROM). The memory means and the microprocessor are interconnected by one or more buses. The memory means are used by the computer systems to store program codes, data or instructions which may be permanent or
temporary in nature like a notepad.
C.13 The computer systems further comprises Keyboard / mouse input, which are means to recognise keystrokes and mouse clicks and accept data and instructions. The keyboard input means is a keyboard controller which receives the input from the keyboard and sends decoded symbols for each key pressed to microprocessor over buses. The mouse means enables the mouse controller which receives the input from the mouse and sends the decoded symbols for the left / right / central click, to the microprocessor, over the buses, for further processing of the information.
C.14 The display means has access to the input, output and other storage devices used by the computer system through one or more buses. The printer reproduces one or more images on a printer surface. Floppy disks, floppy drive, compact disk and compact disk drives are some of the storage means for storing data or information. They facilitate access to large amount of data.
C.15 The Networking is done by LAN to interconnect the Central Server computer system with staff room computer system and various classroom computer systems for sharing of the information contained in the lectures created at the staff room and to receive feedback from the classrooms. Various network cards (network interfacers) are used on the motherboard of all the computer systems to facilitate communication among themselves. All the computers are connected on the network through appropriate cables and the LAN is set up based on a pre-determined topology.
C.16 The PAL Converter is attached to the computer system present in the classrooms for providing connectivity between the computer system and the colour television also installed in the classroom. The PAL converter facilitates conversion of display signals from the computer system to the television.
C. 17 The security key is also connected on the port of the computer systems installed both at the staff room and the classrooms. On the memory of this security key, is embedded, information about licensing, database security, password & user id information, period of license, time / nature of license, number of users, number of machines etc. The security key is a secure storage device used for storing the password which is randomly generated before delivery to the schools. The present invention is integrated to work with the security key and without the security key the application will not run.
C. 18 The present invention embodies various modules which are embedded in the memory of the computer systems.
C.19 The various tools embodied in the invention contain interactive tools installed in the memory of the system. These tools have access and are connected to the microprocessors in the computer system over buses. These tools/modules are also connected to the network interfacer, the sound manager and the graphic and video managers via microprocessors and buses. Further, and most importantly, the tools are connected and have access to the storage means and other applications resident on the systems.
C.20 In an embodiment, the USER MANAGER is embodied in the system for administration purposes, i.e., for creating users, renaming users, deleting users,_assigning rights -to -users^ changing password^ changing users. The administration of the system is necessary in order to create new users for the teachers to facilitate them to utilise the system towards its end. While creating a new user the system prompts for the full name of the user, his / her user name and password for reasons of security. Any number of users can be created by the supervisor who can use the system towards its end. The supervisor can in certain circumstances disable a user from accessing the system.
C.21 Another embodiment of the USER MANAGER is the module named as USER RIGHTS, which can be used to assign appropriate rights over the system to the selected user.
C.22 Yet another embodiment of the system is the TOOLS MANAGER, which enables the supervisor to change the password of the existing users as also change the user if such occasion arises.
C.23 The most important embodiment of the system is the LECTURE MANAGER. With assistance of the appropriate tools, the lecture manager enables the user to create a lecture. In the blank lecture created by the user, he can insert academic capsules or within such capsules pick the relevant modules to form part of the lecture. The user (teacher) can save the lecture under a given name. The modules are like chapters and the academic capsules are like topics in a particular chapter. In the database these modules and capsules are indexed class wise and subject wise. The lecture thus created is a mere combination of text with graphics, images and / or audio, video streams. The lecture so created by using the microprocessor is stored as a set of instructions by the system.
C.24 The purpose of the lecture is to convey information / data to the students in a classroom using multimedia content as an aid to the conventional teaching methods instead - o£ running - .textual matter. However, a mere lecture in graphical and text form without the background explanation from the teacher may not carry the idea behind the lecture to the satisfactory understanding of the students. It is for this reason that, current applications require personal interaction of the teacher in the classroom with the students. With this objective in mind the present invention does not support voice over and for explanation the class has to still depend on the teacher.
C.25 In contrast to the existing teaching aids and systems, the invention herein attempts to provide a lecture manager which can effectively enhance the communication of the teacher to his pupil. The lecture
manager facilitates saving of the lecture so created by the teacher in the staff room and provides for attachment of attributes like the class, the subject, the lecture name, the proposed date of delivery and sharing details of the lecture with other users. The storage of the lecture is on appropriate storage means in the computer system. All the other users other than the teacher creating the lecture can have access to such lecture based on the sharing attributes attached to the lecture.
C.26 Having created the lecture from the existing modules and capsules in the database, it is desirable to add appropriate external files containing appropriate images, graphics, audio or video streams or textual matter. In order to facilitate this there is another embodiment of the system which is the INSERT MANAGER, which allows the user to insert external files to the lecture. The insertion can be accomplished at any place in the lecture. The insert manager facilitates group wise classification of the external files eg. documents, sound files, movie files, images, other files.
C.27 The insert manager provides the teacher with the option of attaching other application files to the lecture. This is achieved by it by allowing the teacher to choose from the various applications and files existing in his system such as word, excel, etc.
C.28 During the above operations files and applications which are existing as encoded frames are pulled or accessed by the microprocessor and attached to the lecture.
C.29 In another embodiment, if a web-browser is installed in the computer system, then Internet files may be attached to the lecture.
C.30 At this stage the lecture is compressed by decoder using appropriate techniques so that it can be displayed when accessed / demanded at a later point of time.
C.31 The lecture manager is also got a tool to edit the lecture already created.
C.32 Once the lecture is completely created there is another embodiment i.e., the PREVIEW MANAGER which enables the teacher in the staff room to dry run the lecture so created.
C.33 The user can include into the lecture as many number of capsules as he wants.
C.34 The lecture manager embodies another important embodiment i.e., the SCHEDULER. The scheduler enables the teacher who has created the lecture to schedule and assign a date on which the lecture is proposed to be delivered.
C.35 The lecture manager also embodies SHARING OPTION which enables the assignment of sharing rights of the lecture by the creating teacher to other teachers.
C.36 The lecture manager also facilitates deletion of a lecture when it outlives its utility or is not required any more for whatever reason.
G 37 The teachers can print the lecture reports using the PRINT OPTION. The printing can be based on the user name, or global printing of the report of all lectures. The lecture capsule report provides the listing of the details of user name, class, subject, schedule date, lecture name and the capsules in the report.
C.38 Another important embodiment of the system is the VIEW MANAGER. The view manager provides either staff room view or classroom view. The staff room view is available to the teachers on the staff room machine only for creating, editing etc. of lecture. On the classroom machines, the staff room view is frozen and only the classroom view is available. When the classroom is selected the user in the classroom can only run a lecture and control the execution / playing of already created lecture.
C.39 The lecture can be executed / played by selecting the classroom view and by using the play option embodied in the lecture manager. The execution of the lecture can be paused or frozen by the teacher at any point of time and can be resumed later on.
C.40 Another interesting embodiment of the system is the availability of a DIGITAL CHALK. This digital chalk can be used when the lecture is being played by the teacher to explain the multimedia lecture at any point of its execution. When the digital chalk mode is selected the
lecture is paused and a coloured pen is available to the teacher to draw or mark or write anything on the lecture. After completing the explanation the teacher can resume the execution / playing of the multimedia lecture by selecting the resume option. There are other options available to the teacher to select the colour of the pen or the thickness of the writing.
C.41 Yet another embodiment of the system is the MIS MANAGER which can be used by the teacher either in the staff room or in the classroom. The MIS manager facilitates generation of various reports on the usage of the capsules by the teachers, classes, comparison of such usage between classes, between subjects. There are various other permutations and combinations of the reporting which is made possible by the MIS manager. There is an option for generation of both graphical as well as textual reports.
C.42 The present invention is generally embodied as computer readable code on a computer readable medium. The computer readable medium may be any data storage device that can store data and subsequently be read by the computer. Examples of such medium include Read Only Memory (ROM) Random Access Memory (RAM), magnetic data storage devices such as floppy disks and hard disks, and optical data storage devices such as CD ROMS. The computer readable medium can also be distributed over a network coupled computer systems so that the computer readable code is stored and can be executed at the distributed levels.
C.43 While this invention has been described in terms of its preferred embodiments several alterations, permutations and equivalents that fall within the scope of the invention are deemed to fall within the scope thereof.
D. OBJECTIVE OF THE INVENTION
D.1 The objective of the present invention is to facilitate classroom teaching of the students by a teacher in a better and effective manner by utilising the in-house researched school curriculum based teaching modules and capsules.
D.2 The invention comprises of hardware, software, multimedia content their specifically developed interfaces which are custom designed for utilisation by the teachers concurrently during teaching process. Voice over has been intentionally kept away from the features of the invention to retain its utility as an aid to the teacher rather than a replacement for the teacher. The system uses minimum amount of text with more emphasis on visual effects like graphics, animations etc to propagate the concepts of an academip subject to the students in a classroom environment.
1. A computer assisted teaching apparatus, said apparatus comprising:
a) a central server having central processing unit linked to an inputting device
having keyboard and mouse being located at a remote location;
b) a plurality of teacher user terminals located in a classroom for sharing with the
teacher terminal the audio visual themes in form of modules and capsules stored
in the said central server through a networking means; and
c) a common audio visual display unit being provided in the classroom to display
the audio visual themes in form of modules and capsules and a blackboard to
allow teacher to switch from audio visual display to blackboard on request of
student or at the discretion of the teacher.
2. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the central processing unit includes security
keys containing information about licensing, database security, password, teacher
identification information, period of license, time and nature of license, number of
teacher and number of machines.
3. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the central processing unit and video
output is connected through a Phase Alternation Line (PAL) converter when the audio
and video output means is a television.
4. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the central processing unit includes a user/
teacher management means, lecture management means, lecture delivery means, database
sharing means, performance appraisal means and scheduler.
5. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the teacher management means includes
means for creating, renaming, deleting and assigning / changing rights and passwords to
6. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the lecture management means includes
means for creation of lectures having audio and/ or visual information.
7. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the lecture delivery means includes means
for onward delivery of lecture as a schedule at a predetermined time to the student.
8. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the database sharing means includes means
for sharing of themes in form of modules and capsules.
9. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the performance appraisal means includes
means for viewing performance of various students and generation of various reports
based on number of variables.
10. The apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the scheduler includes means for
scheduling time for delivery of lecture.
11 . The apparatus as claimed in claim 4, wherein the central processing unit includes means
to switch from blackboard to audio visual themes in form of modules and capsules any
number of times as required in a teaching session. 12. The apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein the modules contain one chapter of a
conventional textbook and the capsules contain a part/ unit having a concept/ sub-
concept of the said chapter.
|Indian Patent Application Number||653/DEL/2001|
|PG Journal Number||01/2009|
|Date of Filing||12-Jun-2001|
|Name of Patentee||JIL INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY LIMITED|
|PCT International Classification Number||G09B19/18|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|