HP Introduces India’s First Lab-in-Box for Schools with NCERT
HP India developed the Lab-in-Box solution in response to the Government’s agenda to implement more creative, sustainable and inclusive models of education. Today, only 12.4 per cent of India’s 220 million school going children go on to attend college. As part of its Vision 2020 plan, the Government is looking to increase the number of school going children to 30 per cent by 2020. Access to technology will play a vital role in enabling this increase.
The Lab is a fully equipped, self-powered, mobile computing center that overcomes the power, space, infrastructure and equipment challenges currently faced by schools in India. The prototype is housed at the NCERT campus and ready to be demonstrated to schools. NCERT intends to use the Lab-in-Box to demonstrate the power of interactive learning via its online syllabuses and online tutorials to students and teachers nationwide.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the Lab-in-Box initiative, Kapil Sibal, India’s Honorable Minister of Human Resource Development and Communications and Information Technology, said, “What we have here is an excellent example of aligning technology innovation to meet the social and educational challenges we face in the country, using a very unique and modular approach that is sustainable and cost-effective. It’s a commendable venture by HP. This is a powerful collaboration between NCERT, a national council that has been focused on advancing the quality of school education in India for the last 50 years, and HP, a world leading technology innovator.
”Léo Apotheker, president and chief executive officer, HP, added, “Lab-in-Box is a meaningful example of how HP technology can address some of the most challenging infrastructure challenges, such as expanding educational opportunities to far-flung populations. By developing innovative technology solutions like this, HP is granting more Indian children access to truly immersive learning via the power of technology, and ultimately strengthening India’s position as a global technology and economic leader.”
A Novel Concept
The HP Lab-in-Box is equipped with 15 HP PCs, one HP multi-function printer, an electrical generator, wireless connectivity and built in furniture to accommodate 15 students and one teacher. The education software is based on NCERT’s education content platform. All are housed in a shipping container, allowing for easy transport to any location in India.
With the HP DreamScreen, students can also access predesigned NCERT text books and tutorials, which they can then print on HP’s networked printers. Also, HP’s multi-seat computing solution means multiple users can be connected to one PC, meaning space is maximised whilst cost and complexity are reduced.
Future features of the Lab could also include technology to electronically track school drop-out rates more effectively with a simple fingerprint reader that connects to a PC in the Lab and is able to send the attendance information to a government server.
The value of HP’s Lab-in-Box concept extends beyond the education sector. As the shipping containers are spacious, robust and water-proof, they can be easily customised for a variety of scenarios. The same infrastructure can be leveraged for social requirements, such as service centers for citizens and remote telemedicine outlets.
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