Sunday, October 30, 2011

School in a Box

By Sean Scarpiello

Recently, there has been a push for global education. In attempt to bring education to people all over the world, a not-for-profit initiative has created the School in a Box. The name of this technology sums up what exactly the product is- a school in a box. In this box, there are solar panels, an I-Pad, portable speakers and a portable projector. The apparatus takes 5 hours of sunlight to fully charge every piece of equipment. This technology can then be set up to run a school.

This initiative is aimed at schools in Africa, particularly Zimbabwe, where many of the resources which are vital for schools are hard to access. Therefore, the solar panels make it great to use anywhere in the world. Also, the I-Pad is able to pick up an internet connection from 3G; so again, it is possible to use this School in a Box almost anywhere. The speakers and projector, in my opinion really make the product into a school. These components enable the I-Pad to display movies, applications, internet webpages and more to a large group of students.

School in a Box is bound to be successful because it will bring education at a low cost to people all over the world, not just in Zimbabwe. In fact, a School in a Box product in the United States would also be successful. Organizations like the boy scouts, religious educators, the military, and even the companies that need to educate workers would purchase this product. It is great because managers could teach their workers in the field about the task at hand. For example, a manager at a construction site would be able to show the workers exactly what needs to get done, and how to most efficiently work together on the construction project.

In general, Apple has some pretty amazing applications which allow students from kindergarten to graduate school to learn easily. Also, large amounts of data can be stored on the I-Pad as textbooks, interactive study materials, audiobooks, and more. There are even applications which take data and turn them into quizzes and note cards so students can test their knowledge. For younger students, there are applications that help students learn their numbers, letters, and reading skills. Since these applications are designed for children, they turn learning into a game. Students are introduced to animated characters and face challenges and obstacles to beat the games, all while learning.

More and more schools are investing in I-Pads because there are long term gains with the I-Pad. That is why the I-Pad is ideal for the School in a Box as well. At a low cost, I-Pads can easily update textbooks, and other materials for learning. As schools begin investing in these technologies, we will begin to see an improvement in education all over the world. I-Pads are quickly showing up in everywhere from hospitals to schools. They are an amazing resource for the education field and are leading the revolution in bringing low cost and quality education to more and more people.


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