technology platforms school in a box

SCHOOL IN A BOX: Remember Neil Dsouza's Education Hotspots project that brought prepackaged edtech content to places in rural Mongolia lacking Internet infrastructure? Looks like there are others playing in the same field these days. FIS/ IADT (Institute of Art and Technology) is working on a solutions package consisting of a micro projector, speakers and iPads--all powered by a solar device and neatly packed in a hardy luggage case. Simply dubbed "School in a Box," each weighs a mere 11kg and costs approximately $1,600. No word yet on case studies, but recently it has officials in Zimbabwe very interested.

On a similar vein, Samsung unveiled in South Africa last week its first Solar Powered Internet School at the Samsung Engineering Academy in Boksburg, South Africa. Developed for its Internet Schools Programme, these "schools" are actually solar-powered 40-foot shipping containers equipped with a 50-inch electronic E-board, an array of Samsung netbooks and Galaxy tablets, a server loaded with K-12 content, and other goodies. Pilot testing starts shortly in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria. No word on how much these behemoths cost, but with a refrigerator and an air purification system, it already sounds a little more comfortable than the classroom bungalows from our days.

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