Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has collaborated with Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, and international IT consultancy Fincons Group to create a first-of-its-kind prototype Next Gen TV application that helps bridge the gap in access to learning and helps with the goal of creating educational equity for all. By utilizing ATSC 3.0 technology, students without access to the internet could use such an application to participate in home learning, do homework, take quizzes and access additional learning resources — all through their Next Gen TV screens, thanks to data broadcasting.
The demonstration, taking place during an NAB Amplify session on June 24 at 2 p.m. EDT, will showcase the simplicity of the application and how datacasting works. These include having the class schedule presented in a TV guide-style with easy navigation and a traffic light color-coded system that indicates to students: work that is outstanding, ongoing and completed. When work is complete, a QR code is generated, allowing students to submit their work to their teacher with a mobile device. This innovative feature allows two-way communication between the school and the students, which is crucial for remote education to be effective.
Kathryn Procope, head of school at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science, said, “What became incredibly apparent since the start of this pandemic is that so many children are simply not receiving equitable resources for their home learning needs. Educational equity means that every child is provided with an equal opportunity to succeed and have the necessary support to do that. We have seen across the country digital deserts, and while schools can support by providing devices, a device that cannot connect is no help at all. Rather than focusing on what households don’t have, we looked at what the majority of homes do have and how it could be utilized to provide much-needed home education, and that is a television.”
Francesco Moretti, group deputy CEO and CEO international at Fincons Group, commented, “Exploring avenues to maximize the latest technologies for the citizen is fundamental, and as a group, we are exceptionally passionate about this. The pandemic has been highly challenging. We have risen to utilize our skills, experience and innovation, developing applications that solve real issues affecting us, from education to remote working.
“This prototype application for educational equity could go beyond the pandemic,” added Procope. “It could provide extra learning resources to students who may require additional support once they have returned to the classroom.”
“So much of the conversation today around ATSC 3.0 is focused on providing better picture or audio quality or the interactivity of broadcast applications, yet this standard opens the door to new opportunities for data broadcasting or datacasting. In our demonstration, this has been placed in the context of creating educational equity,” said Sam Matheny, chief technology officer at NAB. “This application highlights an important capability of Next Gen TV that could easily be overlooked.”
“Providing new services to the citizens such as remote schooling, but also hyperlocal news, weather forecasting, emergency alerting or other data-driven personalized services, will be an effective scaling factor towards a rapid and wide adoption of Next Gen TV,” said Oliver Botti, strategic marketing and innovation executive director at Fincons Group.
Sean Plater, general manager at WHUR and acting general manager at WHUT Howards Media Properties, concluded, “Datacasting is an applicable feature of Next Gen TV, and we are very excited about what opportunities exist going forward. Service to our communities is always at the top of what we do. This goes way beyond providing great content. It’s about creating applications and use cases that make a real difference, not just at the middle school level but across education generally.”
More information and the complete recording of the session can be found on the NAB Amplify website, where it will be available for 60 days. The prototype application will also be demonstrated as part of Futures Park at NAB Show in Las Vegas, October 9-13, 2021.
The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America’s broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at www.nab.org.
About Fincons Group
With 2000 employees worldwide and 38 years of experience, Fincons is an award-winning IT business consultancy, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, digital, technology and operations to a diverse range of industries. In the Media sector, the Group has long term and successful relationships with Tier-1 clients, providing solutions and ICT services covering the entire Digital Supply Chain, from Rights Management, Programming and Scheduling, to Advertising Sales and Omnichannel Video Delivery. Fincons has offices in the US (New York, Los Angeles), in the UK (London), Italy (Milan, Rome, Bari, Verona, Catania), Switzerland (Lugano, Bern, Zurich, Küssnacht am Rigi), Germany (Munich) and in France (Paris).
About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue more than 140 programs of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced one Schwarzman Scholar, three Marshall Scholars, four Rhodes Scholars, 12 Truman Scholars, 25 Pickering Fellows and more than 165 Fulbright recipients. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit howard.edu.
WHUT-TV, Howard University Television was founded in 1980 in Washington, D.C. as WHMM. At its inception, the station became the first public station in the United States to be licensed and operated by a historically black college and university (HBCU) – Howard University. The station broadcasts reach over 2.5 million households in a 60-mile radius. The station endeavors to underscore Howard University’s overall mission in its commitment to excellence in truth and service. More information about WHUT is available at whut.org or by following WHUT on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices.
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