Living in developed and flourishing countries and experiencing the miracles of technology in your everyday life, have you ever wondered if the impact and influence of technology is the same on under-developed or developing countries? If you still haven’t, then give it a thought now.
Even today, there are several countries whose economies are not so financially strong, as to even provide access to the Internet to their people in so many areas.
What’s more is that, every tool is now becoming cloud-based and is built on the assumptions that people will have fast access to a cheap Internet connection and will also have cheap tech devices. But the under-developed/developing world knows very well that all of this is not really possible for them and they still remain unaffected by the educational revolution. Now, this issue should draw the much deserved attention from the other and better side of the world. The good news is that it already has and solutions have been designed as an aid, one of them is known as, NomadEDU.
Developed with an intention to change the way online education is delivered in rural schools around the world, NomadEDU is an educational hotspot with the following features:
- Ultra-mobile, self-contained solution of a wireless router.
- An education platform that can be set up anywhere in the world as long as there is access to electricity.
- Addresses worst-case scenario of locations with no available Internet access.
- No large capacity storage required in end user devices and laptops, PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) or tablet PCs are ideal.
- Upgradeable - New educational packages or training material can be added/updated by CDs or USB drives.
- All material is accessible via a web browser through its platform. No need to install any special software.
NomadEDU is actually a small box which takes the technology of cloud into the classroom i.e. it creates a wireless cloud anywhere in the world without the need to have Internet access. Here’s how it works:
- Global volunteers contribute content to NomadEDU, which is a collection of classes, textbooks, stories and videos; they can also pick up content and translate into the language of their choice and sign up to review translated content and leave feedback for other volunteers.
- After each monthly cycle content is transferred to a copy of offline server (NomadEDU) and shipped to remote hotspot installations.
- Local volunteers access the offline copy of server and pick up content to translate. They now upload it back to the local hotspot server (NomadEDU) and after each monthly cycle, transfer the content to the school that needs it.
- Community coordinators receive monthly updates (CDs) on new content. They copy the content to NomadEDU and use it for classes.
- Students sign in to their NomadEDU accounts to access the educational material at their own pace.
NomadEDU offers localized K-12 content for teachers to access in any region, it requires technology such as, computers, mobile, tablets or laptops to run on and its educational content is derived from various credible sources like KhanAcademy, engVids , TeachAids, CK-12 and more.
To set it up in your area, you need to contact the NomadEDU team. You can also be its member by registering through an online form. On logging in to the platform, you can navigate to Topics to view the available lessons which are classified by Subject and Grades. Examples of the few topics displayed are, Operations on Numbers, Education, Science and Technology, Health, Grammar and many more. Clicking on a topic opens up a summary and video about it, you can also practice exercises on the topic.
Its implementation and use is through and on in Mongolia, India, Indonesia and schools there which use it, have now developed into successful training centers. Soon it was realized that there was a bigger challenge that needed attention, it was that, with the increased use of technology, teachers were being taken out the equation of education. It’s true that online learning is going to revolutionize learning, but we must realize that teachers are the most important component that is neglected and especially in developing countries where children need leaders and inspiration. Hence, NomadEDU incorporated teacher training modules in it. This has resulted in teachers becoming trained and certified in their community to guide and be consultants to the masses of students.
Hence, NomadEDU is a platform much like an online university which traditionally supports self-paced learning. It serves most of the learning needs of the community and it encourages communities which have had computers but no content to start connecting to the hotspot to access education material.
I feel that, this is a perfect tool for making education and content accessible to all. You are invited to seek clarifications, share your knowledge or express your views on the context. The Comment Box is awaiting.
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