Teaching science transcending barriers of society, national borders, and as right to education is a major uphill task that mankind faces today. Satellite and internet as a means of mass communication have shrunk the world today, making knowledge accessible to every doorstep. While video conferencing has effectively flung open the classrooms, a similar mass media technology that delivers a hands-on laboratory experience over the internet is still a major challenge. Laboratory experiments not only corroborate mathematical models used to describe nature they also highlight the inherent limitations of these models. Experiments and practical projects are indispensable tools that provide the framework for a learner to cope with real-world problems and gain hands-on experience. However, in last decade an increased private initiative in education has come with decline in the number of instructional laboratories replaced in most cases by an increased use of simulations which frequently replace physical experiments. Generally speaking, these simulator programs based on mathematical models are excellent tools for analysis and design only if the limits of the embedded models are known and the learner can cope with the abstraction level they represent. As mankind penetrates deeper and deeper into the mysteries of nature the number of physical experiments in education should have seen an increase instead of decline.

Advances in digital technology ensure most scientific instruments today can be made computer controlled without needing a physical access. With internet stitching computers into a World Wide Web, new possibilities come into being that promise to open up university laboratories to all those who aspire to study science and technology. Realizing this Ministry of Human Resource & Development (MHRD) has initiated through its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) a nationally coordinated pilot project on building Virtual labs that will facilitate elite educational and research institutions in India to open up their lab resources 24x7 beyond their campuses.

As a part of this national endeavor the Dayalbagh Educational Institute, has indigenously developed a Virtual Advanced Laboratory for Interactive Design, Analyze & Test in Electronics (eVALIDATE) that exploits current internet technology to convert a traditional electronics laboratory for open access (http://evalidate.freehostia.com). Innovative architecture of eVALIDATE exploits latest Ethernet based LAN eXtension for Instrumentation (LXI) interface along with a unique GUI that provides a near real life laboratory experience that is as genuine as possible despite only a remote access to the real lab hardware. This is a first of its kind laboratory in India and one of its own kinds on the international scenario. The aim of this paper is to showcase this enabling technology which has potential to empower teachers’ in bringing real laboratory experience into a classroom that is perhaps as small as the whole world.

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E-validate
A case study on building remote triggered laboratories

C. Markan   Dayalbagh Educational Institute (Deemed University)

Teaching science transcending barriers of society, national borders, and as right to education is a major uphill task that mankind faces today. Satellite and internet as a means of mass communication have shrunk the world today, making knowledge accessible to every doorstep. While video conferencing has effectively flung open the classrooms, a similar mass media technology that delivers a hands-on laboratory experience over the internet is still a major challenge. Laboratory experiments not only corroborate mathematical models used to describe nature they also highlight the inherent limitations of these models. Experiments and practical projects are indispensable tools that provide the framework for a learner to cope with real-world problems and gain hands-on experience. However, in last decade an increased private initiative in education has come with decline in the number of instructional laboratories replaced in most cases by an increased use of simulations which frequently replace physical experiments. Generally speaking, these simulator programs based on mathematical models are excellent tools for analysis and design only if the limits of the embedded models are known and the learner can cope with the abstraction level they represent. As mankind penetrates deeper and deeper into the mysteries of nature the number of physical experiments in education should have seen an increase instead of decline.

Advances in digital technology ensure most scientific instruments today can be made computer controlled without needing a physical access. With internet stitching computers into a World Wide Web, new possibilities come into being that promise to open up university laboratories to all those who aspire to study science and technology. Realizing this Ministry of Human Resource & Development (MHRD) has initiated through its National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT) a nationally coordinated pilot project on building Virtual labs that will facilitate elite educational and research institutions in India to open up their lab resources 24x7 beyond their campuses.

As a part of this national endeavor the Dayalbagh Educational Institute, has indigenously developed a Virtual Advanced Laboratory for Interactive Design, Analyze & Test in Electronics (eVALIDATE) that exploits current internet technology to convert a traditional electronics laboratory for open access (http://evalidate.freehostia.com). Innovative architecture of eVALIDATE exploits latest Ethernet based LAN eXtension for Instrumentation (LXI) interface along with a unique GUI that provides a near real life laboratory experience that is as genuine as possible despite only a remote access to the real lab hardware. This is a first of its kind laboratory in India and one of its own kinds on the international scenario. The aim of this paper is to showcase this enabling technology which has potential to empower teachers’ in bringing real laboratory experience into a classroom that is perhaps as small as the whole world.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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