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November 28, 2007

Internet Course Offered on Mobile Phones in Japan

By Brian Solomon, TMCnet Web Editor

For those on personal computers, the lecture downloads appear on the monitor as text and images in the center, with a smaller video of the lecturer in the corner. The cell phone version appears as streaming video on the screen of the handset, playing in the form of Power Point images.

Cyber University opened in April and has been approved to bestow bachelor's degrees. It currently has 1,850 students. The online class—on the subject of the mysteries of the pyramids—was demonstrated Wednesday at a Tokyo hotel.

The lectures may be expanded to other courses but for now will only be this one. Cyber University offers approximately 100 courses, including online journalism, ancient Chinese culture and English literature. The mobile pyramid class is being offered for free, although viewers must still pay applicable phone charges. Currently, the lectures can only be seen on some Softbank (News - Alert) phones, but the service may be expanded to other carriers.
Sakuji Yoshimura, head of Cyber University and professor for the pyramids course, explains that the university gives educational opportunities for those who find it difficult to attend real-life universities for reasons of work or disabilities. Attendance for the class is 86 percent, and the university can digitally monitor whether students play the lecture downloads to the end.

"Our duty as educators is to respond to the needs of people who want to learn," Yoshimura said.

Brian Solomon is a Web Editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To see more of his articles, please visit Brian Solomon’s columnist page
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