SDG 4 – Quality education
LEAF is focusing on building an educational solution for Niger that meets the unique challenges the country is facing, starting with primary education for the country’s citizens. One large demographic group in the country frequently left out of the traditional education system is the country’s Nomadic populace. The largest nomadic group in the country is the Fulani people who like many of their nomadic peers observe a pastoral lifestyle traveling with the livestock they watch after and selling their cattle’s milk and cheese for profit in the market. In Niger this group represents a population of over 2 million who due to their lifestyle are not able to participate fully in the education programs provided by the government or the NGOs who operate there.
How might we bring primary education to the children of Nomadic families between the ages of 5 and 12 by providing a learning solution that moves with them so they can improve their future opportunities?
What is LEAF ? A system to bring effective primary and secondary education to those who are unable to access traditional infrastructure and education programs.
1 - 7.5” eInk Screen: Low Power Consumption display of immersive and informative graphics to make learning more intuitive and interactive.
2 - Built in Speaker: Audio capable system to help students with learning to read/write through audio prompts and to keep students engaged.
3 - Durable Navigation Buttons: D-Pad and 2 Selection Buttons provide flexible and durable system navigation.
4 - Writing Surface: Slate attached to the device provides a reusable writing surface for the students to perform writing exercises and arithmetic.
5 - Chalk Holder: Chalk storage to keep the necessary writing implement with the tablet at all times.
6 - Solar Panel: Built in charging capability allows the device to work without requiring electric infrastructure.
A core capability the LEAF tablet brings to the table is its ability to set up its own networks dynamically locally between students and with teachers without relying on traditional infrastructure. 2 unique technologies will be utilized to make the dynamic networks possible: ZigBee and LoRa.
ZigBee is a low-power communication protocol built to support short range communication between devices also equipped with the ZigBee hardware. The technology is unique in that the network it creates is self-organizing meaning that the ZigBee devices will discover one another, connect automatically, and use the network the create to pass data between all ZigBee devices within that network (even if they are not able to communicate directly).
LoRa is a low-power communication protocol that will supplement ZigBee by providing the long-range networking which will connect multiple Fulani Tribes and importantly the Fulani students to teachers. The LoRa network can facilitate connections between 15 and 20 kms (although its effective range may be less) which will put them in range of teachers in areas where traditional communication networks are not present.
Putting these technologies together means that by using the LEAF tablet the Fulani children will be able to learn communally and receive aid from teachers remotely. These two technologies are important in that they create the interfaces necessary for an effective peer learning system.
If we are successful in the development of an effective teacher light solution that works for their situation, the solution can be expanded beyond the original Fulani group. Our target would be to cover all Nomads and refugees worldwide, and later work to redefine learning for all people around the world building on the insights into how people learn through our digital learning platform.
Project documentation https://cernbox.cern.ch/index.php/s/cF8C2MHcjIjibKa