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Innovation Made in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

A brand new 2012 CSIR research project into Technologies for Rural Education will make use of awareNet technology. The CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research) is South Africa's first and largest technology innovation institution and very active in the development and rural development sphere.

The mobile servers for this project have already been ordered from eKhaya ICT. awareNet has been piloted before in a rural area and its whole design philosophy addresses issues that were learned in the SELF Solar Computer Schools project near Elliotdale, Eastern Cape. The CSIR pilot is substantially larger and obviates the need for computer labs, which are considered more exclusive than inclusive by some. It focuses instead on low cost tablet and mobile devices. These together with the mobile server allow awareNet to reach even the many schools that rely on poor EDGE connectivity for their Internet connection.

This project is a first for awareNet, showcasing the features that make this software platform useful - automatic synchronisation and backup, mobility to reach the classes that need to use high-speed social networking and multimedia, and the inclusion of new Javascript libraries based on JQuery and MudCube software, that allow even more activities and projects to be undertaken by the learners. awareNet's Kapenta core has been made mobile for this project, including support for tablet and mobile Javascript events in all views, as well as auto-detecting viewport capabilities. 

This new version of awareNet is ready to really bridge the digital divide.

awareNet's software innovation is eKhaya ICT's priority.  The awareNet network's content, which is a strong contributor to successful uptake by new learners is attributable to the Village Scribe Association. Their efforts underlie the social development strengths of awareNet -- which will be more closely investigated in the rural context in this project by the CSIR.

The CSIR understands that social motivation and integration is the most important aspect of any rural technology project, regardless of how rudimentary the technology. This is why they are so excited -- as are we -- to be working together on this project.


Posted: July 19th 2012 02:53
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