Our Vision for Hotspot School [Draft]

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The (Xprize) Challenge:

Paraphrasing/interpreting the Global Learning XPrize:

How can we use technology to enable literacy and numeracy (& technology) in kids with no, or limited access, to experienced, well trained teachers.

And further to that how do we do it when there’s no one to support the technology on site and no internet (or only limited bandwidth)?

“School in a Box” (Hotspot School)

What if? We've started to compile our thinking into the list of "What ifs" below:


What if you could put all the resources needed for a “school” in a box and all students needed to access that box of learning was their own smartphone/tablet/computer?

What if they were provided their own smartphone/tablet to go with the box? Or alternatively borrowed from their parents (Smartphone usage is exploding in developing countries).

What if anyone around the world could contribute content to that box, and that content was reviewed/curated/moderated by the world community so that educators/parents/students could find the right content they needed/wanted for their classroom/learning?

What if all you had to do to repair the box was either to restart it, or replace it with a new box - and the cost of the box was less than $100 or provided at no charge to communities in need?

What if the box enabled teachers to see what every student connected to the box was up to, their progress to date and allow them to provide assistance on demand and the box even recommended a course of action based on what had worked for other students .

What if parents could also see their child’s activity and progress when they visited the school?

What if the box worked with every type of smartphone/tablet/computer on the market so that as access to technology in the community advanced the box kept up with their needs?

What if all we had to do to deploy this box was to post/courier it to the community involved and they simply plugged it into electricity and turned it on?

What if the technology was so easy to use that students and adults supervising them could use it without any training or initial assistance?

What if content for the box could be provided/created in any language required? And any of the existing content provided the opportunity to be translated as desired by a community so that it was in their language?

What if the box contained a range of apps, books, videos and audio that was useful to students in their community - for example; animal husbandry, farming, health and business education. If it provided access to download locally important (Android or web) Apps that they didn't have to try to download over bad or non existent internet links.

What if the box also contained a copy of the most popular educational resources from the internet?

What if the box also allowed the community to email each other?

What if the box was the first node in a community network that could connect to other boxes and start to build a local internet for the day when the community could gain access to / afford access to the rest of the world (be it via land links or satellite)?

What if the box also allowed the rest of the community to talk to each other with their devices?

>> Work in progress!