TPOA Knowledge Portal
TPOA Knowledge Portal is a standalone information portal system designed to serve custom information collection based on specific interests. The portal repository is integrated with a clean and easy to navigate mobile app that serves as a user-friendly interface to the portal users. Information of interest including text, pictures, and videos are being grouped into specifically defined categories for different objectives. Instead of getting the users to search for the related information directly from the ocean of web, the portal is particularly useful for ICT novices with very little technology literacy to learn directly from this knowledge portal with tailored made information immediately related to the users' interests.
The Unpredicted Internet Access Experience
Internet access experience in the rural environment is usually different from what we have in urban cities. The Internet access provision in the remote rural areas is normally implemented through Satellite VSAT connection to be free from being restricted by the availability of fixed, on-the-ground telecommunication infrastructure. The nature of VSAT connection has a minimal latency for round-trip-time of 1000ms to 1400ms, this high latency can cause an unexpected delay in overall user experience and furthermore, the VSAT connections are usually shared the same channel subject to the ISP contention ratio, aims to provide a more affordable satellite connection to its subscribers. Owing to the nature of VSAT connections, Internet access experience over these links will always be unpredictable and heavily influenced by the congestion at the time.
The Portal Architecture
Our Knowledge Portal has been designed specifically to ease the issue of unpredictable Internet access experience where the portal architecture will reduce its dependency on instant Internet access for files and information. This is particularly critical for information types such as videos and heavy graphics. By being able to control the delivery time of the contents to the rural sites, it greatly reduces the disappointment in learning that caused by poor Internet access speed at the time. Internet access should be just the mean to delivery the contents and should not be the dependency in order for the learning to work. Our portal system adopts green architecture that would allow it to be operated whole day not only for the purpose of serving information to the respective mobile app at the rural Telecentre but also to act as a content synchronizer to update its contents to the latest edition from the main server located in the urban networks at a time that is more relaxed in VSAT traffic congestion. The knowledge portal has been highly portable which can be relocated to any remote village to act as a standalone repository for information powered by the portable modular solar power system that we have customized. In the rural areas, sometimes we do not have the luxury to provide Internet connectivity to every village to take advantage of digital contents, but with the right information portal and mobile app architecture, learning through massive digital media hosted offline can make a huge impact in bridging the digital divide as well.
We are continuing to improve the overall user experience to achieve zero maintenance and fault proof design, making it possible for the rural community to self operate for a wider purpose. Our researcher, Elise has been working on the portal and the content management since 2014, implemented for the TPOA project.