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Page added on July 8, 2013

What is a Solar Powered Open Education Library in a Box?

What is a Solar Powered Open Education Library in a Box? thumbnail

A “Solar Powered Open Education Library in a Box” is a complete plug and play, ICT system that includes an Aleutia custom manufactured ultra low-power server, low power Wi-Fi Access Point, 3G Wireless Router, Ubuntu Server, Linux Apache MYSQL and PHP (LAMP) Server, Adaptable and offline Web and Mobile Library Application, Portable Solar System, Portable and rechargeable LED Projector, and 50 tablets. Its considered in a box simply because everything is included in one package that’s ready to deploy.

The “Solar Power Open Education Library in a box” will provide offline access to thousands of open education resources already available on the internet and those created by trained local teachers in Sierra Leone base on the WAEC and MEST curriculum to students, teachers, school administrators, and researchers mainly in communities were access to electricity, standard computers, school science laboratories, school computer laboratories, public libraries, and textbooks, and internet access are scares, un-affordable, unreliable, unsustainable or not existing at all.

lab-compoments“Solar Power Open Education Library in a box” is much more sustainable compared to similar solutions in that It is a plug and play system, which includes the following components; one Aleutia custom manufactured ultra low-power server (Intel Core i3-32174 64-bits CPU, 4GB RAM, 500GB SSD), networking components (Ubiquity Nano Station and cables) and all the necessary software to serve open education resources in a browser or on a mobile device. The server includes thousands of open education resources downloaded from the Internet plus those content created by trained local teachers in Sierra Leone base on the WAEC and MEST curriculum. A Portable LED Projector (Brook stone compact, 85-Lumen LED Projector) is included for group presentation, video camera included to record lectures and 10 and 40 tablets for teachers and students to take home respectively. A portable solar system (Upgraded SolarToAfrica) will also be included to power the server, network component and charge the tablets. The tablets will be stored in optional tablet storage and charging cabinet (Anthro Tablet Charging Cart, 40 Unit). The server can function well using the following alternative deployment approaches, which are not part of the box solution;

  1. Using Networked Aleutia T1-R, all-in-one low-power desktops
  2. Using Networked N-Computing L300 Series thin clients in combinations with LED Monitors
  3. Using Networked RaspberryPi in combination with LED Monitors
  4. Using Networked Standard Laptops and Desktops

WHY LOW-POWER SERVER, SOLAR AND TABLETS AS FIRST AND RECOMMENDED CHOICE?

  • Traditional desktops from Dell, HP, IBM and etc. are designed for air-conditioned offices where power outs happen annually.
  • As African economies develop, this one-size fits all approach to computing is absurd and worse in a country like Sierra Leone were reliable power is a big luxury and available.
  • Because fans in traditional computers suck in dust and cause computers to fail, Aleutia create cases that work as heatsinks and transfer out the heat so there is not need for fans.
  • Our Partner for this project, Aleutia designs low power computers base on the latest energy efficient chips from Intel from the ground up for our environment in Sierra Leone and similar.
  • Because fans in traditional computers suck in dust and cause computers to fail, Aleutia create cases that work as heatsinks and transfer out the heat so there is not need for fans.
  • Because this solution is purposed aimed at remote areas where spare parts are difficult to obtain, Aleutia build the server and all-in-one computers with no moving parts by replacing the hard drive with SSD.
  • Most importantly, because most places don’t have any power like Sierra Leone but have lots of sun, Aleutia made the computers so that they can run on solar directly with no internal power supplies. The server and all-in-one computer can be connected directly to a 12V battery.
  • Solar is still Expensive and every watt costs money, so we needed to make sure the server and computers are super power efficient to begin with and hence reduce solar capital cost.
  • The good news is that Intel is making things easier so Aleutia is manufacturing a low power, fan-less server and all-in-one computers that are still fast for this project.
  • For education they are trans-formative – schools with no periodic tables suddenly have interactive chemistry applications on tablets supplied to students and more.
  • Schools with no books have all of Wikipedia and thousands of free textbooks already and videos already available on the internet on their server which can be accessed from their tablets and moreThe main purpose of this concept is to provide information, technical support, consultancy service, and project management services to students, teachers, school administrators, chiefdom administrators, district administrators, provincial administrators, MEST Leaders, the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL), funding agencies, foundations, charity organizations, school alumni associations, Sierra Leone diaspora organizations, friends of Sierra Leone, other sponsors and well wishers, national and international development partners who will like to sponsor, use, buy or establish a “Solar Power Open Education Library in a box.”

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