Education, Entertainment and Enrichment for the Unconnected.

Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn't be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn't know it so it goes on flying anyway." - Mary Kay Ash.

Millions to Billions

Education, Entertainment, Enrichment for all. Today people at institutions like Khan Academy, Creators of Scratch from MIT, Creators of Alice, Creators of Games like DragonBox to teach algebra and many others are zealously working towards 'Learning is fun'. For the connected world there seems to be zillion of opportunities to enjoy the experience of learning. But ... What happens to the Unconnected ? Should they miss this wave of 'Learning is fun' ? Can we begin somewhere ? Can we create a possibility of 'Inclusive fun' ?

Welcome to "Bumblebee". Platform for Education,Entertainment and Enrichment for the Unconnected. Bumblebee is a platform that has a Raspberry PI running linux on it,has a 1 TB disk connected to it and a HDMI terminal. This platform is available in any environment (to start with schools) that does not have access to the Internet. Approved content from willing providers are uploaded to it manually from the hub on a periodic basis. As an example, Khan Academy classes can be held in schools that do not have any kind of access to Internet. There shall be sessions and lesson plans adapted from what is widely available, localized to provide contextual relevance.

connect the unconnected


"A Picture is worth 1000 words. A Video is worth 1000 Pictures." Bumblebee is an ultra low cost learning platform to introduce best of the Video Content available in the Connected Internet world to the Unconnected World in areas of elementary, secondary and higher education. The primary idea is to supplement current instructional means available for education with rich freely available Video Content. The primary motivation comes from Khan Academy (http://www.khanacademy.org) and most of the content initially on the platform shall be from that. However recent initiatives from National Repository of Open Educational Resources (http://nroer.gov.in/home) shall also be made available. Also CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) is planning to make 3000 videos on education and source it to schools (http://www.medianama.com/2013/07/223-cbse-to-offer-e-learning-resources-to-classes-i-to-x-report/). This platform can be made to host that as well. Any other content that is relevant to improving the quality of education and can be sourced freely shall be made available in this platform.
The target audience is schools that do not have any kind of connectivity to the Internet.
The initial focus is to make students to watch this content on a regular basis. It is like watching any TV episode. Earlier we used to have library hours where we were encouraged to read. In the same way, we want this to be used one hour per class in any school. Learning Algebra and Gravity could be as easy as watching your favorite movie.
Typical costs for an initial setup are around rupees twenty thousand. However if the school already has a TV monitor or a projects the costs come down to around twelve thousand. Also the model has three primary participants � The umbrella organization which wants to use this medium to deliver content � The sponsoring organization which shall sponsor the platform or get sponsors for the platform � The technology providers and advisors who make the platform usable according to the above two stakeholders and ensure the platform achieves the intended benefit. Also liaisons with the necessary content providers to ensure content that is provided is licensed and can be used freely for non commercial use. They will take the support of the sponsoring and umbrella organization�s support if required in this regard.
All platforms assume some kind of computer availability and decent continuous connectivity to the Internet. Where the Internet connectivity is not required, the technology is licensed. This is a platform that is purely integrated using open source components and can be built and managed by any person. It is as simple as operating a TV. Also the running costs of this platform are very nominal. The power cost will not go beyond Five Hundred rupees in a year.
Currently the content is used for illustrative purposes and once the umbrella organization evinces interest, we will make the necessary efforts to ensure the content can be used free of charge. Domestically available content from NROES is free to use. For the Khan Academy content we shall initiate the discussion shortly.
We believe accents are just a matter of getting used to. Once a familiar pattern is repeated, it stays in the brain. However where English is a challenge, we will start work towards transliteration and using voice-overs.
The day to day running of platform in the premises will be managed by champions within the umbrella organizations. We will work to improve the platform based on the inputs provided by the umbrella and sponsoring organizations. We will also deliver regular updates based on the nature of the content that we have delivered to the umbrella organizations.
The current goal is to introduce this as a supplementary medium of education in schools and see if it provides values to Students and Teachers who are the primary consumers. In the medium to longer run Quizzes both interactive and paper based can be evolved based on the subjects. The longer term view is to introduce a culture of �Education can be Fun�. This can induce a quality of sustained exploration to the kids.
The platform will empower you to update the content yourself, but we recommend that in order to maintain sanity and relevance over a longer period of time, we request you to get the content updated through our scheduled periodic updates.
We intend to update every 6 weeks. The modes of updating will be manual and the dispatch of content will be from a centralized place.
We are working on ways to run this platform on battery or solar power. That should take care of this.
We want to make this an interactive medium where complex topics can be taught in a very simple way. Currently there are games to teach Algebra (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jordanshapiro/2013/07/01/it-only-takes-about-42-minutes-to-learn-algebra-with-video-games/?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews). Students do not even realize that they are learning Algebra. Same is the case with computer programming languages. Scratch from MIT ((http://scratch.mit.edu)and Alice from CMU (http://www.alice.org) are something that we want to introduce over a period of time. The motive is to make the �Best of connected world� to the �Unconnected World�.
The group of engineers, advisors and mentors to this initiative are a committed lot in using technology to deliver value. However this can sustain only if we find real usage and that is dependent on champions identified by umbrella organizations in schools that we deploy this. We will do everything in our sphere of influence to meet the needs of the champions.