The Learn Appeal Capsule – everybody has the right to learn
Most of us, particularly those living in developed economies, now take the internet for granted. In the last 15 years, we have seen the number of connected users increase from 5.8% to 56.8% of the world population (Source: Internet World Statistics). As a result of this, we are also seeing rapid growth in cloud-based elearning content – but what about the 43.2%, the 33bn people who don’t have access?
Our challenge and our projects
Those that can connect to the internet are now able to access a wealth of learning opportunities literally at the touch of a button or a screen. This has benefits for those who can access these resources, but what about communities in remote locations where there is no mains electricity, never mind internet access? Is the growth of the internet, which is enabling learning for those that are connected, actually widening the educational divide with those that are not? The McKinsey report: Offline and Falling Behind, Barriers to Internet Adoption quite clearly identifies some of the key problems.
Even in countries where connectivity is not a problem, there are still issues around providing targeted and appropriate learning content. Charities would like to provide clients with elearning resources they can access using their own devices. However in the areas where charities operate, there are often network security issues and concerns regarding e-safety therefore providing open access to WiFi is not possible. Charities can and do offer cloud based resources but, unless free WiFi is available, this incurs data charges for the users.
So, the two key issues that Learn Appeal is addressing are:
- How can we provide elearning content to remote communities where they don’t have internet access or even mains electricity?
- How can we help charities provide targeted learning resources in their centres that can be accessed by clients using their own devices?
Find out more about the projects we are now supporting.
Our solution – The Learn Appeal Capsule
We have been working with the team at Appitierre to find a technical solution that addresses all these challenges and provides additional functionality. The capsule developed by Appitierre contains a Raspberry Pi 3, houses a battery which will cope with 18 hours of constant use, a WiFi router with a range of up to 300mtrs and the option to upgrade this to increase range to 1km and a capacity of between 150 – 200 concurrent users.
Although the unit can connect to the internet for updates if necessary, the content is stored locally on an SD card which can either be updated via the internet or by replacing the SD card. The capsule has been designed to consume very little power. It can be recharged via USB with any compatible power source making it suitable for use in sub-Saharan Africa in areas where they rely on solar kiosks to provide electricity. The Capsule is also ideal for charities and other organisations to provide learning resources in a safe environment. As the unit is stand-alone it is totally secure and therefore eliminates all e-safety concerns.
The software on the capsule is device responsive and can not only store a range of off-line internet content e.g. Kahn Academy Lite, books, videos but also elearning courses. It has a fully functional Learning Management System (LMS) which means that learners to be grouped and allocated against subjects and courses enabling personalisation. The LMS it also has a community area. This additional functionality enables learners to generate their own content which is then stored on the capsule and can be shared with other learners who are connected to it.
We need sponsors for Capsules, mobile devices and content that is relevant to the learners we want to support. Find out more about our projects and how to get involved by either contacting us or emailing Lesley.firstname.lastname@example.org.