Math/Science Nucleus and the Ministry of Education (“MOE”) have identified three components in the technology delivery solution that need to be included in the model. These three components are (a) computer hardware options, (b) communication options, and (c) power delivery options
Any implementation of such a technology delivery system requires collaboration with a proven team of experienced technology organizations. Math/Science Nucleus has assembled such a team for its project. The companies chosen include an Eritrean countrywide Internet provider (Computer Technology Service), a local expert on Eritrean solar technology (Phaesun, Asmara), and a world-class web appliance specialist (DT Research, US).
Math/Science Nucleus has used its proximity in Silicon Valley to work directly with DT Research, a multinational manufacturer of wireless, ruggedized web appliances to specify and obtain wireless, ruggedized web appliances that are designed to include the state of the art features needed to support the application critical technologies required for this solution.
In particular, DT Research is making available to Math/Science Nucleus
prototypes of its latest units with extra capacity for Flash and Java scripting
that is unique among Window CE-based units.
DT Research is motivated to
work closely to support the requirements of Math/Science Nucleus. The pilot test of
this curriculum-based application offers DT Research an opportunity to achieve a
proof of concept for the use of its technology in a developing country.
The communication options provide bi-directional flow of information. Modifications and fixes to the I. Science MaTe will be distributed out to the teaching sites as the curriculum design team develops them. Performance assessment data will be sent from the teaching sites back to the curriculum design team for the purpose of project evaluation.
In additional, links will be created between the local area networks at the MOE, the University of Asmara and the Teacher Training Institutes. This will help lay the foundation for a digital-based infrastructure that can support the introduction of more effective management practices within the educational system based on the exchange of current and accurate information for analysis and assessment.
Science Nucleus is working with Computer Technology Solutions
(CTS) in Eritrea to provide the communications support to the project. CTS is an authorized Internet provider in Eritrea and has extensive experience in the design and maintenance of networks within the country.
The lack of reliable power sources in developing countries is a serious problem when using digital technology. Math/Science Nucleus has evaluated the cost effectiveness of using battery, solar, and direct current as power options for the web appliances that we will use. Any solar solutions validated in the study can be applied to education in rural areas anywhere in the world. Such solar solutions have the benefit of supporting the use of cheaper, cleaner and more efficient renewable energy sources in education.
The Power Consultant will set up units for the initial pilot at the remote school where there is no power. The use of solar power as an energy source has the benefit of creating a cost effective and technologically reliable solution to the problem of using digital technology for educational purposes in areas where affordable and reliable energy sources are unavailable. The school in the city of Asmara will use direct current electricity with solar power as backup.
The NGO Manager in Eritrea will record and troubleshoot any problems that arise and coordinate the test of the viability of solar power with rugged pen computers in the United States. The Power Consultant and the NGO manager would be responsible for modifications necessary to insure that all performance requirements are maintained while the systems are solar powered.
[Eritrea Science Project]