VS-Pi Program Overview
Throughout the developing world, young children’s access to technology and educational materials is sparse. Internet access, where it is available, is often slow and expensive. Likewise – computers, tablets, and the electricity that powers them is costly. And to top it all off, there is the problem of developing engaging, quality resources for students in their native language.
>> Program background details
Village Science’s flagship research program, code-named VS-Pi (Village Science + Raspberry Pi), is designed to deliver high-quality, free educational resources – tailored to the specific needs of people living in countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Thailand. The content is government-approved, and no internet access is required.
HOW IT WORKS
Our VS-Pi program all starts with a small, low-power, and extremely low-cost computer called Raspberry Pi. Imagine a desktop computer (without a mouse, keyboard, or screen) shrunk to the size of a deck of cards, and you’ve got some idea of what we’re working with.
To start, we load the VS-Pi (Village Science + Raspberry Pi) mini-computer with textbooks, videos, and other learning materials all in the native language. After the initial installation, no internet is needed! Teachers can choose to either display the content to their students through a monitor or broadcast a local WiFi hotspot that allows their students to wirelessly download all of the educational resources to any device with an internet browser. As such, VS-Pi is cheap (about $65 USD per unit), efficient, portable, and useful!
>> Technology details
VS-Pi has funding for a pilot program for the 2014-2015 academic school year in Laos, and we’re excitingly preparing for our first deployment to schools in the capital, Vientiane!
>>iQuEST pilot project details
Village Science is always looking for help in a number of ways, and we would love to hear from you! For more information, please visit our Get Involved page.