Alaskan village rollout

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Annalise Klein

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Nov 10, 2020, 10:54:31 PM11/10/20
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Looking to take IIAB to three villages in Alaska. Students have been going to school in person, but recent COVID outbreaks have forced the district to go fully remote. Problem is, kids don't have internet access at home. Teachers are making worksheet packets every two weeks that kids pick up and return to school. The district is thinking about going 1:1 in January (ie buying all the kids laptops...) but they have no plan for what they would do with this tech since students don't have internet at home.

Wondering if I can use IIAB with multiple servers to provide an offline resource of wikipedia, ck-12, ted talks, etc that students throughout the village could access through a computer at home? No idea how much equipment that would involve. Would love to be able to link all those servers so that if we updated the content on a server, we wouldn't have to go around updating each one. 

I'm a former science teacher, turned education consultant, working remotely with this district (I'm in the Bay Area). I don't have a CS background, but I'm going to need to really, really quickly come up with a detailed plan to get this to work. On a slightly longer term note, I did a Fulbright in eastern Uganda last year, and the school I partnered with is very interested in trying this model out as well.

Anyone interested in lending their brain to figure this out? Or if you could direct me to other projects that have done similarly? Let me know!!

Annalise


Nathan Riddle

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Nov 11, 2020, 11:05:51 AM11/11/20
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Annalise,

I am sure Adam Holt, who is the IIAB lead and on this list, will respond.

I note, in simplest terms, updating a Raspberry Pi running an IIAB is as simple as swapping its micro SD with a replacement.

I can send you IIAB on a Raspberry Pi Zero (W) with 100 GB of content for schools for you to explore. This is a rudimentary level of hardware supporting no more than 5 connections so you would need a more powerful Pi for your situation.

I proposed to a local school a "sneaker net" of these with drive by pickup of Khan Academy test results (wirelessly), but they received lots of money for broadband internet service.

Nathan Riddle
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George Hunt

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Nov 11, 2020, 2:49:28 PM11/11/20
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Hi Annalise,

I'm a 7 year contributor to the internet-in-a-box.org. If there is
funding for personal laptops, then the $20 for a Pi-Zero-W server
seems like an obvious addition. If reliable power is not available, I
think I'd marry the $20 battery, with the $20 Pi-Zero (Battery shown
in fourth image down at http://internet-in-a-box.org, with the fifth
down image ) for the server.

I'm also in the Bay Area (East Palo Alto), taught high school for 10
years, know CS, and would love to see our development effort more
widely used.

I
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George Hunt

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Nov 11, 2020, 2:55:06 PM11/11/20
to Nathan Riddle, Annalise Klein, Unleash Kids
But then, since the laptop will have a USB port, and the Pi-Zero runs
well on USB power from a laptop, the battery is not needed.

T Gillett

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Nov 11, 2020, 3:38:36 PM11/11/20
to Annalise Klein, Unleash Kids
Hi Annalise

Depending on the physical layout of the villages, you might consider adding some standard outdoor WiFi Access Points (eg Ubiqity devices) to your IIAB servers in order to give connections from a number of households to each server.

If you place the Access Points in an elevated position, you can get good coverage for several hundred metres.
This sort of thing is done quite commonly eg in holiday parks.

Regards
Terry

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Annalise Klein

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Nov 11, 2020, 3:40:52 PM11/11/20
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Thank you everyone! This is all really helpful. Got official approval from all the Important District People this morning to go full steam ahead.

@Terry, as you just noted, I realized yesterday that I'm actually looking to equip each household with its own IIAB server to which students can wirelessly connect with iPads and Macbook Airs (still waiting on the models). Still waiting to hear specific numbers of households, but looks to be 150-250 total (50-80 per village).

Now I'm working on writing a detailed timeline and price point for implementation. District wants this up and running in January when kids return from winter break. 

I've reached out to some of you individually to talk through some specifics... I appreciate the quick responses!

a

Jerry Vonau

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Nov 11, 2020, 3:41:20 PM11/11/20
to George Hunt, Nathan Riddle, Annalise Klein, Unleash Kids
I saw an article about having the usb port come up in "gadget mode" that I wanted to try, we could just add usb0 to br0 and the client should be able to connect via dhcp

John Gilmore

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Nov 11, 2020, 5:04:56 PM11/11/20
to Annalise Klein, Unleash Kids
Annalise Klein <klein.a...@gmail.com> wrote:
> @Terry, as you just noted, I realized yesterday that I'm actually looking
> to equip *each household* with its own IIAB server to which students can
> wirelessly connect with iPads and Macbook Airs (still waiting on the
> models). Still waiting to hear specific numbers of households, but looks to
> be 150-250 total (50-80 per village).

If all you want to do is put a 64G or 128G microSD card or USB stick
into each kid's tablet or laptop, why not buy them laptops that have
working SD or USB interfaces, rather than set up a separate "wifi access
point" in each household that exists solely to provide that storage?

(There are tiny USB sticks that barely hang outside a USB-A port,
protruding less than a centimeter; the challenge is finding a tablet
with a USB-A port. USB-C memories might work, but some tablets probably
can't read & write them, being only USB targets rather than USB hosts;
and the USB-C SD memories are probably more expensive. But SD ports are
easy to find in Android tablets.)

Non-Apple equipment will probably be both cheaper, and come with working
interfaces built-in, which would avoid the kids breaking fragile stuff
that sticks out the sides of their equipment.

John

Annalise Klein

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Nov 11, 2020, 5:31:50 PM11/11/20
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Completely agree on all of your points. Unfortunately the district really loves Apple products, so I didn't get any say in the matter.

Anish Mangal

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Nov 15, 2020, 5:20:13 AM11/15/20
to Annalise Klein, Unleash Kids
Perhaps an IIAB appliance that runs as a virtual machine on a macbook air might do it. I'm thinking if your needs can be hashed down more clearly (in terms of content), you might just be able to get away with something like kiwix running natively on the machines.

Does each kid have a macbook air, or its a combination of that and ipads?

also, a rpi-zero-w based simple solution might be good as a standalone little thing the kids carry with themselves.

about syncing for updates, if there is no internet, i dont know how else could they be updated except via sneakernet (i.e. physically carrying the 'update')


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