Having installed its fourth 'Lab-in-Box' (a self-sustainable computer lab in a shipping container) at Ahmedabad, India, Hewlett-Packard (HP) India is now in talks with the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) for installing more education focused labs.
Each HP Lab-in-Box comprises a shipping container that has 15 HP multi-seat thin client workstations, a multifunctional printer, wireless connectivity, electricity, furniture, fans and air conditioning. This approach allows multiple users (students in many cases) to be connected to one machine, which maximizes space and resource utilization while reducing cost and complexity. The same techniques that allow for containerized data centers have other applications as well.
While HP India is in talks with central and state governments for installing these labs across public schools in India, it has received demands from other countries as well. "Even Indonesia, Afghanistan and other African countries have also been demanding this lab but we are waiting for the pilot projects to get stabilized," said Jaijit Bhattacharya director, Government Affairs, HP India.
The HP labs organization in India has been researching ways to impact education through computing. We’ll likely see a number of products and approaches in the coming years that continue this wave forward.
Even though there has been a great deal of talk about the Kahn Academy and various on-line efforts to shift how education is performed, some foundational infrastructure is still required.