Armenia: A Tradition of Education and Technology


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Armenia is a country with 1,600 years of literary tradition. Since the creation of its alphabet in the year 406, Armenians have held their education and literature as imperative to their very existence. Within the Soviet Union, Armenians were one of the most educated people in the country. A large number of Armenians represented the intelligentsia of the USSR. Armenian universities continue to be held in high esteem. In fact, thousands of foreign students from India, Iran and other countries have graduated in Armenia and apply their knowledge in the U.S.A., Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia

Another area where Armenia has been very progress is technology. The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic was at one time known as the “Soviet Silicon Valley” since 40% of the mainframes of the entire USSR were produced there and there was so many people employed in the computer industry. As Armenia emerged from independence from the Soviet Union, Armenia was once again on the path to recovering its tradition of education, technology and progressive thought. The IT sector was one of the first industries to regain a foothold in the early 1990s. Numerous software companies started to be formed in Armenia. By the early 2000s, many companies found Armenia to be an attractive country for IT outsourcing.

With a traditionally highly-educated populous, Armenian firms were able to provide reliable and innovative solutions for all types of software projects. Where IT is newly developing in other outsourcing destinations such as India and China, Armenia is found to be more attractive with a tradition of technology as well as a historically, highly-urbanized population. By 2005, companies like Microsoft started to take notice. Since 2006, Microsoft has operated a number of offices in Armenia and continues to be involved in many projects across the country. Not only does Microsoft work with Armenian IT specialists for software development, but it is also involved in the education sector with projects such as the MSDN Academic Alliance Program.

The Armenian government of the last few years has declared IT, particularly the Internet, to be one of the sectors that it plans to develop to an even higher degree in Armenia. Internet connectivity has increased greatly in the country over the past few years. A number of firms have been instrumental in this effort. Besides various free WIFI hotspots throughout the cities of Armenia, the capital of Yerevan is fully connected wirelessly through the WIMAX services of companies such as iCON Communications. Other companies like VivaCell MTS and Beeline provide 3G (and soon 4G) Internet connectivity to 90% of the territory of Armenia.

Armenians are constantly growing their presence on the Internet. Adding to the potential of Armenia are millions of diaspora Armenians who use the Internet to communicate and contribute to their homeland. The ever increasing presence of Armenians on the Internet is evidenced by web-ranking sites such as HyeTopia.com and Circle.am. Diaspora Armenians not only use the Internet for keeping in touch with the homeland, but they partake in projects and ventures with their compatriots in Armenia. An example is the education website holdthatword.com; a collaboration between diaspora Armenians and Armenians in Armenia. For a technology driven and diaspora people that the Armenians are, the presence of Armenians on-line can do nothing but grow even further for years to come. For anyone involved in IT and web-based development, Armenia is quite an attractive location for investment.

Distance Education and Technology

“Education” word is derived from Latin word “educare” that means “bring up” which relates to a word educere that means bring out. In a way it is used to bring out the abilities and potential of individuals by giving them any formal and informal education.

Education helps the individuals in broadening their thinking, which helps them in observing the fact and figures. It also helps them in making their own decisions in reaching their destiny.

In the present scenario, where life is too fast, everyone is busy in its own race. It is completely impossible for anyone to stop it or to decrease its speed. Everyone had to work hard to tie him up according to the speed of life. If we will not consider this fact seriously, then we will find ourselves far behind from the progress of the world in no time. So, it is really very important to run with life according to its speed.

In this world, where everyone is trying to earn its living or is running after the success, nobody has any leisure time. They have made their lives “machine” to earn their livelihood and for this purpose, they worked all the time without considering the difference between day and night. No one has too much time to go far away places for getting their required education. So, they usually got the help from the different means, like satellite education channels, the internet, etc.

By using satellite education, they can easily get the relevant material without attending the lectures and classes physically. In fact, they can get every single kind of help at their doorstep through this way. This helps them in many ways, like they do not need to go anywhere, and they will be able to save their precious time, etc.

So, it is all became possible with the advancement of technology. We can use it to educate people in social issues, health problems and many more.

And finally, we can say that education and the use of satellite technology could be proven beneficial for humanity to act properly in proper time.

Education and Technology Upgrades

Technology in academia does not need to be as expensive as many think. Many school districts rely on a consulting firm to design a custom solution for their needs. Unfortunately, they often get a cookie-cutter solution that has been copied and pasted from the last 10 designs, does not meet their specific needs, and often wastes 10 – 20% of the total cost.

I highly recommend a school district hire a talented IT manager that is very diverse. This manager should be able to get their feet wet in database, networking, security systems, CATV, VoIP, and more. However, it’s not necessary for them to master everything. This is where its a good idea to have a specialist in software and networking. Once this foundation is in place, your team can work together to decide what they need, want, and don’t want.

When the IT team has a pretty good idea about what upgrades are required, it’s time to contact a company that not only designs the systems, but also has actual experience installing the systems. Many school districts make the mistake of hiring an “engineer” that specializes in voice, data, and fiber cabling to design the audio/video, networking, and security systems. This is NOT their field of expertise. This is like going to a chiropractor to perform surgery on your foot. Don’t get me wrong; they are very good at cable design. However, the school district deserves more experience. Let’s be honest; technology grants are not awarded every year. It’s very important to spend them wisely.

When you are contacting companies to provide a solution, it’s a good idea to limit the contractors to about three. One contractor should be able to install the audio/video, CATV, paging, and security systems. Another can handle the phones and networking. Lastly, you need a good cabling company. Although the networking and phone contractors can offer cabling, it’s possible their price will be a little higher than a company that only specializes in cabling. The benefit to giving the network contractor the cabling work is it’s probably going to get done with less problems. If you manage to find a company in your area that is talented enough and cost effective to provide a turn key solution for the entire project, then you have it made. There will be much less management and coordination problems on your part. It’s OK if that contractor needs to sub-contract out a few simple things such as commissioning of the security system. This is completely understandable so long as they are not sub-contracting the majority of the project.

My final recommendation is to make sure you can support what you are installing. If you decide to spend extra money on specialized options like a fully integrated security system with active mapping and automatic camera pop-ups, are you going to pay for someone to watch a monitor all day long? If you pay for a digital signage system, do you have someone that will program and update it on a regular basis? Many schools that have spent money on wonderful features simply forget about them because they do not have the budget to continue to utilize those features. Technology is great, and can make your school district much brighter and more efficient. Just try to make it a point to coordinate as much as possible with your IT department. They are the ones behind the curtain keeping everything working.