Taking inspiration from the Japanese development program for regional economies, Hemant Babu, Senior Management Director at Nomad Communication, offers a proposal to complete the puzzle towards a truly “open and decentralized” LMS for every school and every student: The “One School, One Server” idea.
Babu is a follower of Martin Dougiamas and, like him, Babu believes in the UN Sustainable Development Goals. However, the ways in which he thinks learning and Moodle might work towards them might differ. He believes small schools are probably the most effective way. But if this is true, in India it only welcomes a world of complexities.
It is no secret that India’s public school system has many problems, despite significant efforts on the part of the government. While public education budgets keep rising, Indians increasingly move their kids from public to private schools. As a result, the government is spending more money to serve fewer children, and the ratio of private to public enrollments is nearing 1:1, something hard to believe even just a year ago. Public schools have fewer students year after year, leading to closings.
Babu has been a key witness of these developments, such as the lack of structural quality in rural schools, due in part to a “perennial” shortage of good teachers. But even with many more issues to face, he remains optimistic:
“It is good news that the government knows about it.”
So when Babu proposes his “One School One Server” idea, he is more groundbreaking than it would initially seem. He sees the government’s ambitious “Digitization” plan a step in the right direction, and the limited infrastructure an opportunity to leverage software as the key focus of school reform. But convincing the establishment to prioritize small-scale pilots over addressing huge connectivity projects is another matter, the biggest one according to Babu.
The idea is simple, and it takes advantage of a simple, open hardware project: Raspberry Pi. He is working on setting up shoebox-sized servers with a full version of Moodle. While not as powerful as a server, it can handle some 25 concurrent connections.
This Moodle Practice related post is made possible by: eThink Education, a Certified Moodle Partner that provides a fully-managed Moodle experience including implementation, integration, cloud-hosting, and management services. To learn more about eThink, click here.