The LearnBox Project

The LearnBox is an open-source all-in-one eLearning solution designed for places where power and internet are not always available. Learn about our pilot in Rwanda.

Overview and Purpose

 

E-Learning has been invaluable to students during the COVID19 crisis. Due to lack of access, not everyone had the ability to take advantage of this technology. In most places, high-speed internet is a privilege, not a right; thereby creating a divide between those who can stream learning content and those who cannot. The LearnBox project wants to level the playing field by bringing high-quality digital learning content to all.

The LearnBox was designed to overcome issues of cost, high-speed internet availability, and intermittent power; leveraging powerful microcomputing platforms that enabled us to build a low-cost all-in-one e-learning platform.

Use Cases

The LearnBox has many applications – from learning on the go, to augmenting or expanding educational services.

  • 01 For Small Schools
    Whether you are running a Pop-up School or a permanent one, the LearnBox can help you deliver e-Learning services to students without implementing expensive networking solutions and acquiring internet-dependent software platforms.
  • The LearnBox is ideal for community centers, churches, libraries, and even parks, because it does not require an independent power supply or internet connection to provide wireless e-Learning.
  • Many people around the world spend a significant amount of time traveling by bus. During this time, wouldn't it be great to learn something new or brush up on a language? The LearnBox can be easily integrated into any vehicle so passengers can enjoy on-demand e-Learning while they travel.
  • Turn your café into a learning center with the LearnBox. Whether patrons are taking a relaxing coffee break or grabbing lunch, they can get on their phones, tablets or laptops to access on-demand eLearning. The best part is that it will cost you less than buying a Wi-Fi router; the LearnBox comes with a Captive Portal, perfect for cafes.
 

Key Features

Since mobile devices are becoming quite low cost, the real need for many learners is access to multimedia content, particularly video. While many take high-speed internet for granted, it is not the case everywhere. The LearnBox was designed as a 'right-now' solution to the challenges of eLearning in such environments. Along with hardware features that include a built-in UPS, cellular modem and optional solar panel, the following important software features are available:

Built-in eLearning Platform with Video Streaming

Built-in eLearning Platform with Video Streaming

An eLearning platform is an information system that schools, universities, and corporations use for teaching or training. Some consider it to be more like a content management system (CMS), some see it as a learning management system (LMS). The included video streaming server delivers video content on a user's connected computer, tablet, or smartphone. The term "streaming" refers to the actual process of transmitting the video, with the server in a constant state of delivering the content similar to a steadily flowing current in a river. This is all done without using costly high speed internet.

Learning Analytics

Learning Analytics

The built-in eLearning platform provides on-demand video streaming and analytics for monitoring and measuring student progress. The server platform runs on Linux and Nodejs, with Mongodb serving as the application database.

WIFI Hotspot with Captive Portal

WIFI Hotspot with Captive Portal

The LearnBox comes with a captive portal, which is a Web page that automatically launches when the user connects to the LearnBox Wi-Fi hotspot. The user is obliged to view and interact with before access is granted to the learning platform. It was designed as a user friendly feature that helps to direct the user to the eLearning platform. Captive portals are commonly used by business centers, airports, hotel lobbies, coffee shops, and other venues that offer free Wi-Fi hot spots for Internet users.

Specifications

The LearnBox is designed to be easy to maintain and repair. This is accomplished through the use of low-cost, readily available components.

Hardware Components

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Micro Controller

Raspberry Pi 3 or 4 Model B Board with micro SD card

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Cellular Modem

Waveshare GSM/GPRS/GNSS/Bluetooth HAT for Raspberry Pi

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UPS

GeeekPi Mini UPS Power Supply UPS 2PCS 18650 Batteries

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Solar Panel

Sunnytech 2w 6v USB Mini Solar Panel Module Cell Charger B032

3D Printable Case

Basic Use

Connecting to the LearnBox

Adding Courses and Videos

LearnBox Software Version 1.3

We are continuously updating and adding functionality to the LearnBox. To get the latest and greatest version please submit a request.

Team

Our team colaborated to create a device that would work with the context, leaning on our enormous experience from work in developing countries.

Carl Lawrence, PHD

CEO of Ntale Data LLC and Inventor of the LearnBox

Digital Transformation Consultant, Software Developer and Data Scientist.

Gervais Mwitende, PHD

Advisor, Education and Technology

Doctorate from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

Esperance Munganyinka

Advisor, Education and Culture

Language and cross-culture coordinator at Peace Corps Rwanda

Contact

Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments.

Website:

www.ntaledata.com

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