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Applications for Rural Areas (Educational content and Information dissemination) Sridhar Iyer Department of Computer Science and Engineering TTSL – IITBombay Initiative
Project Team Project Investigators Prof. Sridhar Iyer Prof. Krithi Ramamritham Project Managers C. Vijaya Lakshmi Malati Baru Research Associates Farida Umrani (Impact assessment) Sameer Sahasrabuddhe (Interface design) Saraswathi Krithivasan (Networking)
Do Rural areas need information access? Yes! Information related to News Weather Prices Government policies Agricultural practices Basic health and hygiene Microfinance Education Jobs Insurance ………………….
How do they access information today ? Word of mouth Radio Telephone TV channels News papers Tele-centers Information kiosks Local Government organisations
Through what platforms? Personal visits Telephones Kiosk centers Desktop PCs Community learning centers Mobile Vans Call centers ……. .
Problems faced during information access Cost factors Literacy Language issues Power problems Connectivity problems Travel [ go to an information kiosk ] Resistance to adapt to new technology
Hurdles/Challenges for solution providers Lack of social entrepreneurs Seed Funding Scaling up Sustainability Business model Steep Learning curve Human resources Access to data Infrastructure Coordination with Government bodies Lack of technical expertise What after successful Pilots?
Proposal Overview/Scope Target users K-12 students Semi literate adults Farmers Application Domain Kiosk/Tele-center Mobile Computer lab Hand held devices Delivery Mode Education Agriculture Information Dissemination
Solution approach Develop requirement specific tools which : Are easy to use Are easy to learn Involve minimal or no cost to user Do not require special devices Will impact their daily lives Make a difference to their earning capability Improve their literacy Open up new opportunities
Solution approach contd. Deploy tools developed: Identify major stakeholders Tie up with existing domain experts Tie up with existing NGOs, research labs Replicate successful models Extend existing ideas of research labs Expand/scale up operations across geographic locations
Solution development approach Need assessment – • • Primary survey – Conduct extensive initial field studies to understand requirements Create SRS Develop strategic partnerships • Identify and tie up with major stakeholders and partners for collaboration and deployment Tie up with domain experts for content development • Develop appropriate content Evolve successful models • Collaborate with local NGOs and community based organisations for successful implementation of the program deployment, awareness campaigns training. • Expand/scale up operations across geographic locations
Solution development criteria Rural context sensitive content and applications for : Usefulness and ease of use Minimally invasive learning Edutainment Internet literacy Involve minimal or no cost
Project Dimension Classification Target Users K-12 students Semi literate adults Farmers Domain Experts (Agricultural/Education) Application Domain Education Agriculture Delivery mode Hand held devices Mobile computer lab Kiosks/Tele-centers Differentiators: Open source, Rural sensitive, special consideration for women's needs
GOAL Applications Delivery Mode Information Dissemination IIT Bombay Agriculture TTSL Education NGO/Partners Users Hand held device Mobile computer lab Kiosk/ Tele-center K-12 Students Semi literate adults Farmer Expert
Content Workflow User Requirement Parameters Type of content required Mobile usage Computer and Internet literacy English language Math skills Computer science for K-12 General information Age group Adult, K-12 Gender Deployment channel Content Repository System Classify content and tag it according to user group and deployment channel Select content for given user group Transform content for given platform (desktop, hand held devices) – using automatic engines -Desktop -hand held devices Delivery Content Appropriate to Platform & User
What does IITB bring to the table? Successful pilots/prototypes Agricultural live web portal Capture tools on Mobiles Education content developed for desktops Deployment and study of Computer Science curriculum in School Virtual Classroom Rural wireless connectivity Wi. Fi. Re: Broadband wireless for rural areas
Projects/Tools developed at DIL IIT Bombay a. AQUA forum: Multilingual Agricultural portal for rural farmers Statistics: Members: 4107, Posts: 12, 650 Date : 2003 -2007 Funded by : MLAsia, DGF, Pan. Asia, Supported by: KVK Baramati; Vigyan Ashram, Pabal Status: Completed
Projects/Tools developed at DIL IIT Bombay……… Photo Capture application on the Mobile, Remote trigger of application: Farmers can capture photos of crops, Tag the photos, upload to the server. Date : 2007 – 2008 Tested on : GSM networks , High end phones with GPRS connectivity Funded by : Nokia Research , Finland Status: Will be completed by August, 2008
Capture Photo tool:
Projects/Tools developed at DIL IIT Bombay Remote trigger of Capture photo application through SMS Enable a user to remotely take a picture snapshot of the problem area on site and send it to the expert. A series of photos can be taken without human presence by activating application remotely with a simple SMS command. The photos are organized by tags set by the user at the time of uploading the captured image.
Remote trigger of application through SMS Phone with user S M S A c K Phone at remote site Server U P L O A D S Captures photo at intervals
Education content developed for desktops Project OSCAR: create a large repository of web-based, interactive animations for teaching various concepts and technologies. Statistics: Animations-133, Downloads- 6023 Date : 2004 onwards Funded by : DGF, Ekalavya Supported by: Students, Project team, Technical consultants Status: Ongoing
Computer Science curriculum for primary schools using open source [Ed. Ubuntu] 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Detailed week-wise curriculum for elementary school level Teacher's handbook for classes I IV. Pilot tested the curriculum for Standards I – IV at a private school in Mumbai (July, 07 – April, 08) Computer-based activities interest the students and can be used for developing skills in other subjects. Need to adapt content to rural
Computer Science for Primary Schools in Text Book format The salient features of this book are as follows: ● It can be downloaded for free, from the Website http: //www. cse. iitb. ac. in/~sri/ssrvm/ ● Based on a highly detailed computer science syllabus, reviewed by experts. ●The Lessons and Activities based on free and open source software. ● Each lesson has a Teacher’s Corner section, which gives a lesson plan, some do’s and don’ts, and other tips. ● The books are evolving out of contributions from many authors, bringing together a variety of creative ideas. • The books to be released under a Creative Commons License (See the Copyright Statement).
Virtual Class Room Integrated e. Learning environment on an intranet Concurrent video streaming (8 -12 computers) 8 -10 seconds response time for video streaming of lectures Supports max. 30 connected nodes Instructor, student, admin functionalities
Virtual Web – Information CD Gather web content that can be packaged and distributed on CD for offline browsing. Targeted for institutions with limited or no web access.
Tejas – Support system for distance education program Provides centralized support over the web to the instructors, participants, administrators, finance managers, and decision makers of a distance education program.
Drona e. GURU – Provides eguidance and mentorship to students of BE, MCA, MSC (CS/IT/electronics) for their final year projects. e. Outreach – creates high quality text, audio, video and html contents of educational value for knowledge dissemination. e. Content – Attempts to create and translate web content of educational value to Indian languages. Ekalavya
Other Inhouse Applications Online payment system for IITB International conference managment portal with online registration and payment. JMET, GATE – Online registration and payment systems
Rural Wireless Connectivity Experiment Use off-the-shelf Vo. IP and Wi. Fi equipment to establish low-cost internal connectivity 1. Communication within Timbaktu (r. LAN) 2. Interfacing with the landline Later generalize to other rural scenarios
Rural Wireless Connectivity Experiment - Conclusion Vo. IP over Wi. Fi seems to be a viable alternative for providing internal communication within a village Next phase of experiment will involve interfacing the r. LAN to the external world through appropriate adapters PSTN line Cellular Wi. Fi. Re Cost of equipment is not the main factor for low cost solutions. Availability of power and terrain are main issues Need to adapt devices for low-power (D. C) also
Wi. Fi. Re: Broadband wireless for rural areas What is Wi. Fi. Re? One liner: A Wi. MAX-like MAC over a Wi. Fi PHY. Key Differentiators: Wi. Fi PHY extended for long range (15 -20 Km) using sectorized and directional antennas. Single Wi. Fi channel shared among all the sectors. Multi-sector co-ordination by the scheduler.
Wi. Fi. Re architecture • 40 m tower at the base station (BS). • 10 -12 m poles at the subscriber terminals (ST). • system gain 150 d. B. • Network configuration is star topology. – 15 km radius • Sectorized antennas at BS. • Single fixed ST in each village. • Directional antenna at each ST. • Voice and data terminals in the village connected by a LAN.
How can we leverage/take advantage of TTSL’s core competency? Use existing customer database – To push services Use Network Infrastructure services – To deploy content and applications Use customer care centers to reach across Bundle tools with existing services Suggest locations where new applications could be deployed (may need additional infrastructure)
Education: Need for education in rural areas All India figures for computers in school Rural - 6. 66 per cent, Urban - 26. 41 Source: Mehta, A. Elementary education in rural areas: Analytic tables 2005, NIEPA
Education – Project ideas - 1 Mobile computer lab What: Moving vehicle equipped with systems and connectivity Why: Reach out to the user, widened access and sharing of resources, outreach at various locations (like schools in the vicinity, market place, anganwadis), multiple purpose usage (education, edutainment, internet access, communication, online transactions etc. ) How: Hardware setup, OS and application installation, customization, internet, CD/server based content/information dissemination, train facilitators. End user : Rural population
Education – Project ideas - 5 Basic computer science What: Computer science curriculum built for resource constrained areas Why: Lack of well thought out, context-sensitive curriculum for the intended users. Delivery mode and device choice: Text, multimedia teaching aids (video, audio, cd), educational games multimedia programming on PC/hand held device End user : K-12
Education – Project ideas - 2 Computer literacy What: Basic computer usage, internet usage, communication tools, transactions like buying tickets, banking, creating local content, using google maps Why: Empower end user with technology benefits Delivery mode and device choice: Video, audio (local language), games and animations on Desktop/hand held device End user : Adults (men and women)
Education – Project ideas - 3 English literacy What: Basic English reading and writing skills Why: Overcome the language barrier for comprehension of information available, better opportunities, interaction with various entities. Delivery mode and device choice: Video, audio (local language), games and animations on Desktop/hand held device End user : Adults (men and women)
Education – Project ideas - 4 Arithmetic skills What: Basic maths skills Why: Managing resources, transactions, day to day activities efficiently Delivery mode and device choice: Animations, Educational games on desktop/mobile End user : Students/Adults
Education – Project ideas - 6 How to use a mobile What: Functionalities of the mobile Why: The full potential of the mobile is rarely used due to lack of literacy, awareness. Delivery mode and device choice: Video, audio, animations (English and local language on Desktop/Mobile) End user : Semi literate
Education – Project ideas - 7 Mock tests for exams on mobile What: Tool for mock tests Why: 3 As – learning/testing strategy - Anywhere, anytime, anyplace learning/testing of acquired knowledge Delivery mode and device choice: IVR + Messaging services on Desktop/Mobile End user : Students
Need for ICT based tools for Agricultural extension Why: Access to information: 3 As – Anywhere, anytime, anyplace Increased Mobile penetration, extend existing tool’s functionality on Mobile devices Low cost Intermittent network connectivity Deployment mode and Device: Through SMS alerts on Mobiles, Internet, Desktop, offline versions on Client machines End Users: Farmers, Agriculture related entities
Agriculture – Project ideas - 1 Extension of a. AQUA system Develop SMS based querying on a. AQUA /pushing data from a. AQUA to users through SMS Expand database to include experts from other states Implement Offline versions of a. AQUA through rural kiosks Implement Offline versions at the Expert’s end , to decrease dependency on connectivity. Push RSS feeds from a. AQUA to the user’s mobile
Agriculture – Project ideas - 2 Extension of Photo Capture tool Develop a tool to push the captured photo , append it with a question on to the a. AQUA forum Develop an interface where the Expert logs in , views the photo based question and sends a reply to the mobile from which the image was captured. Develop an Interface for the a. AQUA users to browse through the captured Photo gallery [ database of images with relevant tags ]for information Develop the same tool for CDMA technology
Agriculture – Project ideas - 3 Extension of remote SMS trigger tool for photo capture Package the tool along with the mobile service provider tools Extend the tool for CDMA technology The application can be extended not only for capturing crop images but any remote image without physical intervention
Wi. Fi based vehicle tracking system What: Tracking vehicles using Wi. Fi and display of live information on buses and the field Why: • Live data for passengers – route of the vehicle, current occupancy, expected arrival time • Infotainment, advertisement, marketing et. Deployment mode and Device: • Pilot at IIT Bombay using the transportation vehicles on the campus using custom built devices. • To be replicated in rural areas in the later phase.