Technology and Network Infrastructure
ICT in Education initiatives would not have gained much traction without rapid technological innovations over the past decade coupled with increasing availability and decreasing prices of equipment and services. Furthermore, the advancement made by open source movement has helped fuel the adoption of technology in education and other sectors. OLE Nepal has constantly sought to utilize best possible technology solution to successfully implement ICT-based education in under-resourced rural schools.
Bridging the Digital Divide
OLE Nepal helps install school network consisting of a server and a Wi-Fi router. The school server comes preloaded with E-Pustakalaya (digital library), E-Paath and numerous other learning resources, making educational materials accessible even in places that do not have Internet connectivity. Content in the server can be automatically updated by inserting an external drive with new content in the USB port.
Technology we use
On the hardware front, we look to use low-power, low-cost, durable equipment that is readily available and easily serviceable locally. With operating system and software applications, OLE Nepal advocates for open source solutions not only because of cost considerations, but also for ease of customization and localization, which are essential in the development and distribution of effective educational content.
Digital Library Server
Offline version of E-Pustakalaya can be loaded in these servers. A traditional library has limited storage space, but digital libraries have the potential to store much more information than its own physical space, and that too at a fraction of the cost of a physical library. While we still love physical books, we find that schools in rural areas benefit from having a wider selection of not only books, but also educational videos, interactive learning materials, and many more audio-visuals that the offline digital library has to offer.
Raspberry Pi Computers
Raspberry Pi is a pocket-sized, single-board, fully-functional computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. This small but powerful computer runs on 5-watt power, which is ideal for schools in Nepal considering the daily power cuts. OLE Nepal has deployed 650+ Raspberry Pi computers to 31 schools in Nepal, where they are now using E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya.
The XO laptop, which we call E-Paati in Nepali, is a great learning tool. In our project schools, we load up these durable laptops with E-Paath and ensure that each student has a device in the classroom. This enables them to learn at their own pace. The laptop is the size of a small textbook and has an anti-glare screen. E-Paatis can also connect to the digital library server.
PCs/ Laptops/ Tablets/ Smart Phones
Our free digital content can also be accessed through your desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Our products are available online on our website www.pustakalaya.org. We are also testing and exploring the possibility of using durable and low-cost tablets for E-Paath and E-Pustakalaya deployment to project schools.