An iPad might be a fashion statement for some while a necessity for others. But unlike the i-slate, it is definitely not a life changing possession for anyone. I-Slate is a cheap, solar-powered computer tablet that has transformed the lives of the children of Mohamed Hussainpally Village School in Andhra Pradesh. Developed through a partnership of Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Houston’s Rice University these tablets are designed to help children in developing countries have access to computer technologies.
Ms Pingali Rajeswari, who introduced the technology to this remote village in August 2011 through her ViDal (Villagers for Learning and Development) Foundation calls it a big hit among the children.
With the I-slate in their hands, the school children are into web designing and have shunned watching the television. They take the I-slate home do their home work. The I-slate has a software that allows the teacher to track how much time is spent on a particular subject at home.
Watching their children work on the gadget, their parents are keen to buy the high end I-slates for the children. For now 20 students have been given the I-slate free of cost. The school children have learnt about conserving energy as they charge their I-slates from a small solar panel installed over their school building. Some of the students are even keen to find a solution to reduce the heating of their I-slates.
The I-Slate has already gained acclaim; it was selected by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) as one of seven technologies that “will have world-changing implications on the way humans interact with machines, the world and each other.” It was distributed among the Indian children as part of it’s test period.