An update on Light2Read ramblings.

Quoting 

Abel Caine of UNESCO has a new take (Aug 2014): “APTUS is the critical missing factor for teaching young people without wide-internet on how to develop mobile apps”.

HI ALL, 

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted to this forum from Namibia, but having just attended an Open Data meeting (http://allafrica.com/stories/201503270002.html) hosted by ECA in Addis Ababa, where the prognosis for *affordable* benchmarked broadband internet access at African schools remains a gloomy long-term (the year 2063?) pipe dream, I’ve decided to get involved in ICT4E again :-).  Well, for as long as I know there are still a gazillion disconnected homes and schools out there.

This post-SchoolNet Namibia project expects to accelerate the availability of low-cost OER-sharing devices in places where there are no libraries, no electricity nor Internet.  Having been involved in earlier device development iterations such as RACHEL Pi and our own LIBRARY Pi, I’ve not had any response from COL’s APTUS email address, nor does the web link to more info on the APTUS page work (a 404 error 😦 ).  I seem to recall there are COL who have their roots in Namibia??  And there’s even Viz Naidoo 🙂 there! 

Does anyone have contact with the APTUS developers? I would really like to know when this device will become available beyond the test phase.  I’m particularly interested in the way this project appears to have flashed the firmware of their TP-link wireless routers, using OpenWRT (https://openwrt.org) and a price tag of less than US$100.

Has anyone undertaken a comparison of APTUS versus similar mini-PC/wireless router configurations?  Possibly, along with several tablet-based schemes ostensibly geared to fill the gap left by Rodrigo Arboleda Halaby and the OLPC gang.  

We’ve come up with an open source, dumbed down, hardware solution called Light2Read here in Namibia, which can serve any educational content on a USB memory stick, in the absence of Internet/electricity.  It’s a 5volt,  rechargeable battery-operated TP-link wireless router (with flashed firmware) and a USB stick.  It can operate for ±5 hours between charges.  The how-to instructions (two plain txt files) and a bin file (made with OpenWRT) needed to flash this specific router’s firmware, are available in a public Dropbox folder. 


As a starter,  we’re using RACHEL as a convenient download-able collection of OER, but with hot-swappable USB sticks any content can be served to handheld and desktop devices which have wireless (802.11etc) capability.  

The components are readily available off the shelf in retail outlets in Namibia, South Africa and Ethiopia (places I’ve shopped in, thus far), and I expect much more widely given the TP-link brand’s reputation.  we’ve managed to keep the local end-user price to just under US$50.  


Anyway, take a look at my revised project description – 


for a little more insight,  and by all means contact me directly for more details!

Kind regards

Joris Komen
NetDay Namibia

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Priceless digiscoping adaptor for Iphone thanks to 3D printing!

A priceless digiscoping adaptor for an Iphone 4S and a Kowa spotting ‘scope  has just been made possible courtesy of an idea, an inspired mind (thank you Madryn!), some open source CAD software and Netday technologies in the form of an open source 3D printer.

Redbilled Spurfowl photo

Redbilled Spurfowl, 2225 x 1458 pixels, focal length 4.28, F/2.4, 1/690s, 30x wide Kowa eye-piece, TSN 883 spotting ‘scope, digiscoped ± 20 metres from feeding table

Having ‘weighed’ several options to support my ongoing birding interests, fading eye-sight and hearing against the escalating dilemma of lugging tons of optical, photographic and sound-recording gear (and sometimes even a shotgun!) all over the place in pursuit of new birds, I’ve chosen to stick to my trusted 30-year-old Zeiss 10x40B bins, an analog-digital microphone adaptor for Iphone by Apogee, a sturdy tripod and a Kowa TSN 883 spotting ‘scope with a 30x wide angle eye-piece (thank you Peter Ryan for insisting on this choice of eye-piece!).   And, finally, I’ve also found a neat and stress-free way of leaving the shotgun at the museum.

I can still get away (just!) with this collection as carry-on luggage. But how to capture the once-in-a-lifetime image of some cosmic mind-f*cker (CMF) of a twitch, e.g., an American Black Skimmer over the Rundu sewage works, or Royal Terns in Namibia’s skeleton coast park 2, or even better, this Angola cave chat on the hillside above our house in Windhoek?

mountain chat

(just joking 🙂 it’s actually a Mountain Chat © Hans Hillewaert / CC-BY-SA-4.0)

There is some ambivalence on the usefulness of digiscoping in bird photography;  using a digital camera with an eye-piece adaptor which allows a spotting ‘scope to be used as a telephoto lens, instead of buying a very, very expensive telephoto lens for a very expensive digital camera.

(EEK! Clumsy adaptor © www.digiscoping.co.uk)

The main arguments against digiscoping have been the clumsiness of these ‘scope eye-piece adaptors and the mediocre image quality compared to using a digital camera with a good telescopic lens.  Apparently, if the camera isn’t perfectly centred on the field of view,  you will not get satisfactory photographs. Several proprietary adaptors have been designed to hold proprietary digital cameras in place on the eye-pieces of proprietary spotting ‘scopes (try using a Nikon adaptor-ring with a Canon camera:-)) at considerable cost to the user.

The simplest of these is an adaptor-ring that allows you to screw your camera onto the eyepiece of the ’scope. But this removes the ability to quickly grab an image of a bird you’re seeing through the ’scope. By the time you’ve finished fiddling to get the camera attached, the bird has buggered off. However, without some kind of adaptor to hold the camera in place against the eye-piece, camera lens / image sensor alignment can result in poor images. This problem of aligning the camera is complicated by having to use the digital camera’s usually very small display window to examine the image – these are often too dim to see easily in outdoor sunlight. Then there’s the problem of camera shake, which increases with the magnification of the image. To get reasonable results, you need to use a sturdy tripod and a remote shutter release.

So given these negatives, what’s the point you may ask?  Well, the fact is that you can get satisfactory photographs using a digiscoping adaptor for the increasingly high quality digital cameras built into smart phones these days.  There’s a camera phone with 38 megapixel resolution on the market today which comes close to matching the quality of compact digital cameras.  (and I trust that) The size of its image sensor has also grown along with smarter image processing and improved backside illumination sensors. Obviously, the main arguments for digiscoping are a significant reduction in weight and cost of optical equipment and the ability to capture opportunistic images while birding.

 

In my case, too, it’s very useful for convincing the sceptics about the validity of any rarities I may report  – the vagrant skimmer and tern of yore spring to mind!  And like any digital camera, there’s also the immediate feedback on the quality of the image, where bad images can be erased immediately, and with the advent of wireless technologies like the AirStash, images can be transferred directly to another device (a laptop or tablet) for cropping or other adjustments.  And by using my Iphone for its original purpose (and providing there’s telecom network 😦 ), I may even be able to post an image of my latest ‘rarity’to the web in real time, without first having to blow it away with a shotgun, pickle it for the museum collection, and write an article for peer-review by another regional rare-bird committee:-)

So here’s the thing. With the help of a free and open source design app and a 3D printer in our workshop, we’ve been able to make a very affordable and easy-to-replicate Iphone digiscoping adaptor for the Kowa 30x wide-angle eye-piece. It is also a robust protective cover for the phone (made from ‘ABS’, a thermoplastic filament),  while still providing access to all the camera’s regular functions, such as the external earplugs and volume control.  For this first adaptor we’ve used an Iphone 4S.  Mainly because this phone came ‘free’ recently :-), but also because it has a physically large image sensor (1/3.2 inch), an 8 megapixel camera, and a large, bright display screen.

iphone digiscope adaptor

Iphone digiscope adaptor for a Kowa spotting scope

Our digiscoping adaptor is designed to snugly fit on the 30x wide angle eye-piece of the Kowa TSN 883 spotting ‘scope, without the need to screw it on.  The texture of the adaptor binds nicely with the rubberised extension ring of the eye-piece. Note, too, the lanyard loop for hanging the phone around your neck or the ‘scope.  You can achieve super-steady photos by using your headphones as a remote shutter release. Tap the volume buttons to capture a photo (now ain’t that nifty?).

iphone digiscope adaptor in action

Iphone digiscope adaptor in action!

And no, this simple contraption is *not* water-proof, but will likely tolerate shitty Alaskan weather with the help of a plastic bag, long after I’ve gone indoors 🙂 ! The Iphone adaptor can be printed at home.  The adaptor was designed using OpenSCAD, a free open source software for creating 3D CAD objects, and printed on an open source RepRapPro Ormerod 2 printer.  The design required to print a digiscoping adaptor can be altered slightly to accommodate the Iphone 5 and even the new Iphone 6.   It can even be adjusted for different scope (and binocular) eye-pieces and phones (with back cameras) by anyone with this design software, measurements of phone and ‘scope eye-piece and a 3D printer (we’re happy to share the OpenSCAD design file with anyone interested).  The technical design has been posted to Thingiverse (Thanks Madryn!).

RepRapPro Ormerod 2 printer printing the digiscoping adaptor

RepRapPro Ormerod 2 printer printing the digiscoping adaptor

Right!  All set to go.   Alaska here we come!  Dammit, now where did I put my passport and air ticket ?  🙂

Acknowledgements

As always I’m indebted to my colleague Madryn Cosburn, technical director at NetDay Namibia, for ‘materialising’ so many of the truly cool ideas we concoct during our lively and creative discussions;  in this regard I’m also particularly grateful to our creative friends at Bruichladdich for giving us some of the finest single malt whiskies in the Hebrides!   Sláinte!

(Some) References

1.  Komen, J. 2013. Editorial comment. Lanioturdus, 46 (3), pp 2-3.

2. Komen, J. & Paterson, J. 2002.  First specimens of Royal Tern Sterna maxima in southern Africa. SA Birding, R. Brooke Memorial Volume 70 (3&4):242.

3.  Ryan, P.  2006.  User’s guide to digiscoping. Africa Birds & Birding. August-September Edition, pp 67-69.

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Posted in #namibia, #seevultures, albatross, Angola Cave Chat, assistive technologies, birding, birds, camera trap, creative commons, digiscoping, distribution lists, FOSS, geek, Ian sinclair, ict development, ICT4D, Indiegogo, Kickstarter, namibian, namringers, pentad, re-sightings, resightings, SABirdnet, smartphones, twitching, vulturesresightings, wildlife

Monte Christo burns – Brakwater saved from inferno by community efforts

fire front

Six kilometer wide fire front heading our way on Thursday night

Following on a recent post about fire-related misconceptions – here and on the Brakwater Neighbourhood Watch FB page, we’ve seen improved fire reporting in the area. Early last week there was a violent lightning storm in the mountains some 10 kms west of us which unfortunately was not accompanied by rain! Three mountain tops were struck by lightning within a half hour, and the resultant veldt fires quickly spread. One was brought under control fairly quickly by the local farmers, but the other two went wild. Blown on by fierce south westerly winds during the week, these fires destroyed huge tracts of veldt, and on Thursday one of them jumped the Goereangab river and headed in our direction – eventually with a front some 6 km wide! In spite of more than a hundred fire-fighters and several back-burning attempts, the wind was not helpful and we opted to fall back to the one and only scraped road on this particular farm – Monte Christo south – as a last stand between the inferno and our own property and other plot owners in Brakwater. That became an all-nighter, with a small team of about 12 people managing a back burn – thankfully with the wind dropping around mid-night.

On Friday morning the wind turned and threatened to jump our late night back burn. Fire brigade and neighbourhood volunteers were able to put this fire out during the day, and we finally got some much-deserved rest that evening.

fire can be very scarey!

back burning!

backburn along the only firebreak between our place and the big fire front

And the aftermath. We managed to stop the fire on our boundary. Monte Christo lost some 6000 hectares of veldt in this massive fire which took the community five days to bring under control.

fire aftermath

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Leopards for Friday sundowners!

We’ve been trying out the new camera-trap with MMS capacity – a system to serve as an early warning of potential poachers in areas with critical game species… here’s who came for an early evening drink a couple of fridays ago! Always a thrill, especially when they show up at shortly after 18h30 (Liz and I had just come by with the dogs about 10 minutes before this!).

leopard at waterhole

leopard at waterhole

AND

sitting leopard

sitting leopard at waterhole

What a priviledge to share a space with such magnificent animals! Why anyone would want to kill these animals for “sport” is simply beyond me (a neighbour has a permit to kill one leopard per year – no livestock, no rare game – just a shitty attitude !

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Dealing with veldt fires in Brakwater, a peri-urban neighbourhood of WIndhoek

I met with Tangeni UUSIKU (1), section head: Fire safety and prevention, Emergency management division, at Fire Brigade HQ, to try sort out some confusion about dealing with veldt (= grass /bush/forest) fires in the greater BRAKWATER area within the city boundaries. That covers all the municipal sub-divisions we identify as the Brakwater Neighbourhood Watch (BWNHW) – east and west of the B1 highway, north of town.

The Fire Brigade Services Act (2) states that an emergency means any situation requiring urgent action to prevent death or injury to persons or damage to property.

As far as the BWNHW is concerned:

any veldt FIRE is considered an emergency, regardless of how or where it started!

any veldt FIRE must be reported to the Fire Brigade directly or via Emergency services of the City of WIndhoek. This is our civic duty – veldt FIRES are rarely contained/controlled on any one land-owner’s property!

the faster such veldt FIRES are reported, the faster we can co-opt community AND fire-brigade to assist in fighting these FIRES before they go out of control.

NB! Reporting a veldt FIRE will NOT COST you anything accept gracious appreciation from BWNHW community members!

If you still doubt this, you are welcome to call anyone on the BWNHW committee who will gladly relay your report of veldt FIRE to WIndhoek’s emergency services and/or fire brigade directly – all we need is an accurate location, i.e., plot number(s) AND sub-division – eg Plot 31 EMMERENTIA or Plot 31 BRAKWATER or Plot 31 NUBUAMIS !!!

In case of a veldt FIRE in the greater Brakwater area, please call or send an SMS to Atousa +264 81 128 9776 or +264 81 122 0627 with the details of location. She will then gladly post an alarm message on the BWNHW bulk SMS service to alert community members for assistance, and also call the Windhoek emergency service number(s).

The Local Authorities Fire Brigade Services Act, 2006 (Act No. 5 of 2006) makes provision for the City of Windhoek to charge fees (3) in respect of emergency services rendered – be this an ambulance ride or a fire-fighting exercise.

Such charges are made to the person(s) who own the property (ies) where such fire-fighting service was required. It must be stressed that such charges are determined at the discretion of the city’s fire chief (3).

The fee structure on which such charges may be made by the fire chief is determined by city council resolution, and updates are gazetted from time to time (4).

Importantly, a person who feels aggrieved by such a discretionary assessment may, within 14 days after receipt of the assessment, object in writing against the assessment as such or the amount thereof to the local authority concerned.

With effect from 01 July 2014, the latest gazetted prices (4) for veldt fire fighting service within the city’s boundaries are:

Field/grass fire vehicles, vehicle specially designed for such purpose with or without skid unit (water tank capacity or fixed tank capacity of 2500L and less) N$ 403.54
Fire Fighter/personnel member performing official duties N$ 139.15

While various rumours abound, I have *NEVER* seen an invoice for fire-fighting services on our property or that of our immediate neighbours in BRAKWATER, nor have I ever received any threats or negativity concerning our CONTINUED reporting of veldt fires to WIndhoek’s emergency service numbers, in the 25 odd years living in BRAKWATER.

I have collected the relevant bits of legislation in PDF format, and will be happy to share these documents with anyone interested, but the internet is hopelessly slow as always, so bear with me.

References

(1) Tangeni UUSIKU section head: Fire safety and prevention, Emergency management division. City of WIndhoek. +264 61 290 2816, cell +264 81 248 3824, email tangeni.Uusiku@windhoekcc.org.na

(2) GOVERNMENT GAZETTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA – 29 December 2006. No. 3760 GOVERNMENT NOTICE No. 221. Promulgation of Local Authorities Fire Brigade Services Act, 2006 (Act No. 5 of 2006)

(3) Fees and levies. A local authority may prescribe fees in respect of the services rendered by its service. A local authority may determine by notice in the Gazette (4), with the approval of the Minister, the levies payable in respect of the funding of its service…

and

The chief fire officer of a local authority concerned must in writing assess the fees payable by any person on whose behalf a service has been utilised and the town treasurer of such local authority must collect it.

and

Different fees may be prescribed in respect of services rendered in respect of different areas within a local authority area;

(4) GOVERNMENT GAZETTE OF THE REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA – 1 July 2014
No. 5497 General Notice No. 182 MUNICIPAL COUNCIL OF WINDHOEK GENERAL AMENDMENT OF TARIFFS

The Council of the Municipality of Windhoek, under Section 30 (1) (u) of the Local Authorities Act, 1992 (Act No. 23 of 1992), substituted Annexures I and II of the Fire Regulations promulgated under Government Gazette No 176 of 2010, as amended from time to time, with the following Annexures I and II respectively, with effect from 01 July 2014.
e.g.,
Field/grass fire vehicles, vehicle specially designed for such purpose with or without skid unit (water tank capacity or fixed tank capacity of 2500L and less) N$ 403.54
Fire Fighter/personnel member performing official duties N$ 139.15

Posted in #namibia, BWNHW, civil society, climate change, conservation, fire, neighbourhood watch, tatejoris, town planning, wildlife

Light2Read; updated considerations (dateline March 2015)

Development Challenge, Innovation, and Anticipated Impacts

Challenge

A lack of electricity (and light to read), information and educational resources in more than 50% of Namibia’s households, crucial to the citizenship becoming literate, informed and democratised. Only 350 schools in Namibia have any form of conventional library; more than 600 schools lack electricity and communications. Looking further afield to countries like Uganda and Tanzania, this challenge is even greater.

Innovation:

In the absence of conventional libraries or affordable internet access, we propose a cost-effective and locally supported mix of ubiquitous technologies called ‘Light to Read’ (L2R), available ‘off-the-shelf’, comprising a (scalable) 7Ah solar lighting kit and mobile device charger, LED lights , a battery-operated wireless router reconfigured to work as a simple web-server, open information/educational content (e.g., Wikipedia, Khan Academy) on a hot-swappable USB memory stick, and a choice of affordable mobile devices which can be used to access this locally stored content, within a 30-metre radius of the router. Operational skill requirements are minimal, and the technologies are robust, cheap and easily replaced. Given the simplistic nature of ‘Light to Read’, this solution can be locally contextualised to meet diverse information content requirements such as in public waiting areas, clinics, magistrates courts, etc., where electricity and internet access may not be readily available. Working towards an attractive ‘wearable’ solution (perhaps a solar-powered school-bag or umbrella?) to charge mobile devices while walking between home and school (this is the norm in Namibia!) we see several value-adds which can make ‘Light to Read’ a marketable commodity.

It is dumbed down technology, simple to use, and rock solid. In the true spirit of Open Source and free access to information, the firmware for L2R (and instructions) is in the public domain, and simply demonstrates a concept that can be replicated using OpenWRT on almost any hardware by geek who have some Linux knowledge.

The L2R was designed to require minimal to zero support, and has a tiny hardware and energy footprint.

Impact:

Given an universal expectation that the cost of mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones will decrease rapidly to a price of between US$ 15 and US$ 30 over the next 18 months, more and more households will acquire these devices. Presently it costs about US$ 1 to recharge the exhausted battery of a mobile phone at a local site with electricity in rural Namibia. Conventional wired and wireless internet solutions will remain a very costly and inadequate service for the paradigm shifts we’re seeing in the use of internet in education, e.g., the use of streaming media such as Wikimedia, Youtube, Khan Academy and TED. Providing a mix of solar light kit with charging capability and a hot-swappable USB collection of information and educational content which is locally contextualised and packaged for local consumption makes sense in both the school and home environment. Especially if the price of ‘L2R’ is kept low, at around US$ 50. The solution will allow us to do performance monitoring in a real world setting – we have identified several remote rural settings without electricity or internet,  as well as a community resource centre ‘hotspot’ in north central  Namibia (Eenhana)  to test the present versions of ‘L2R’ and obtain information on usage and usability.

It is important to note that all government efforts to provide electricity, library resource centres and internet access to schools and communities have thus far been tediously slow and prohibitively expensive.

Context and Previous Experiences: 

This concept has become a working prototype which evolved from earlier work with Raspberry (Library) Pi (see earlier blogs),  and the historical influence of my SchoolNet Namibia experience –   

(From a recent tweet)

We do not want to revisit the political or organisational nightmare we had with SchoolNet. L2R is sound and even has the potential of being “dropped” into communities without additional involvement or support.

Present Use of Funds

1. deployment of L2R units to households in proximity to identified schools and community resource centres e.g., Glowdom in Eenhana.

2. Fabrication overheads of making L2R a rugged and attractive device, using local (e.g., FabLab) industrial design resources and practitioners as well as the inputs of young local post-graduate engineers and fashion and textile design artists.

3. A school and community technical and training support system – a seat at a local telephonic call centre, and the deployment of young out-of-school technical volunteers/interns to identified schools and communities for at least one school term (2-3 months) during the start-up stage.

Anticipated results:

At least two attractive and rugged models of L2R which can be produced at increased scale, using a mixture of local manufacturing capacity and competitively-priced ubiqitous technologies (e.g., USB memory sticks) off the (local) shelf, to enter a potentially competitive market of increasingly affordable domestic (household) solar light kits and mobile phone chargers with the attraction of providing an alternative to costly internet-based information and educational resources.

Beneficiaries and Potential to Scale

Definition of direct beneficiary: learners and teachers at all schools without access to conventional libraries and community resource centres

Definition of indirect beneficiary: all households without electricity and internet access

Scaling:

What are possible avenues for scale up (e.g. public sector, international donors, private sector commercialization, or a combination) over the next 3 – 10 years, and what are our plans to get there?

We expect to scale through a hybrid of public and private sector support, in order to recover most costs (including overhead cost) through eventual sales to households attracted by the mix of basic home energy and information potential of L2R.

How many people do we expect to reach, in Namibia and globally?

With the immediate local and global attention provided by a TEDx presentation on L2R, there is a good probability that the innovation will have far greater reach than we initially anticipated. Our partner World Possible (RACHEL) has expressed interest in adopting the L2R model for deployment in several countries; Uganda (with the help of Daniel Stern) and Ghana as a start, but also further afield. In Namibia itself, our strong partnership with the broadcast media – AfricaOne Television – will ensure considerable marketing opportunities for L2R. We are also in the process of producing Kickstarter and Indeigogo crowdsourced fund-raisers for L2R.

What are the characteristics of our target beneficiaries or customers (e.g. income groups or other demographics)?

typically low income rural and informal urban settlements without electricity or other basic service infrastructure. But any home or school lacking a comprehensive collection of educational resources could become a benificiary.

Cost-Effectiveness and Competitive Landscape

Competitive Landscape:

What are existing common practices or competing solutions that seek to address the same development challenge as our solution in the area we intend to operate and scale?

The Ministry of Education masterplan for ICT development in education, called Tech/Na! driven by middle-management decision-makers with very large budgets and inflated ‘public’ tender processes (see my tweet above) combined with unwieldy bureaucracy – diversely funded directly by government, or with international grants and loans from agencies such as World Bank and more recently, MCA and ADB. While there are other large scale plans to provide medium- and long-term electrification to rural communities, these will unlikely be affordable to low-income households, who will continue to use firewood and parafin for cooking, heating and light.

Advantages of the Innovation:

What makes our innovation more appealing than alternatives to beneficiaries and public and/or private sector stakeholders who could invest in scale-up?

Affordability and innovative use of renewable energy and communciation technology at both institutional and domestic levels.

Cost Effectiveness:

Why does our solution have the potential to yield greater impact per dollar than alternate ways of achieving the same development impacts?

The alternative solution is high speed broadband internet access at home and school, or the rapid deployment of conventional library resources. Both options pre-suppose the local availability of grid-based electricity in home and school.

Measuring Success

Social Impact:

How do we measure progress towards social impacts?

Aside from supply-demand trends, there are several open online education content services which can provide demographic usage information; e.g., Khan Academy, Wikimedia Foundation, without risk to user privacy.

Cost Effectiveness:

How do we measure whether our solution has the potential to yield greater impact per dollar than alternative ways of achieving the same development impacts?

By tracking usage, demand and cost of diversified USB content packaging and comparison with conventional content distribution and usage by line-function ministries. We expect to identify and rank critical processes/client requirements and specific, quantifiable outputs of work in deploying L2R to our prospective school and household clients, and establish some basic targets against which results can be scored, such as warranty returns, call centre queries and technical problem resolution. We will also determine the most practical metrics to serve as financial management indicators.

Lessons (to be) Learned:

How will we generate relevant lessons throughout implementation? How will our evaluation inform scaling strategy?

We will likely trigger specific activities and revisions relating to issues concerning technical robustness, performance and content. We will transparently report on project outcomes as mandated by any prospective funding partners, with the intention to encourage improvement, effectiveness and appropriate levels of support when L2R scales up. Our prospective clientbase can be expected to diversify and our view is to adjust the range of L2R models (and content!) to accommodate the demands of different demographies, information sectors and languages, locally and internationally.

Project Team

>Lead Organization

The Netday Association is a registered Section 21 Not for Profit in Namibia which promotes free/libre and open source software, hardware, content and open access, as well as renewable energy sector development, to support inclusive life-long education in Namibia. Operating as NetDay Namibia, we expect to add value to these sectors through the creative support of local research, development innovations, industry, expertise and activities in Namibia.

The Project Team includes Madryn Cosburn, co-director of Netday, who provides technical oversight of L2R and Joris Komen, providing administrative, financial and human resources oversight. Our Partners presently include FabLab Namibia is one of many educational outreach components of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, researching digital fabrication and computation. A Fab Lab is a technical prototyping platform for innovation and invention, providing stimulus for local entrepreneurship. A Fab Lab is also a platform for learning and innovation: a place to play, to create, to learn, to mentor, to invent. FabLab is a knowledge sharing network that spans 30 countries and 24 time zones. We’re really excited to be working with this bright, young and innovative group of Namibians! OneAfrica Television is an independent satellite and digital television broadcaster in Namibia. It provides us, gratis, with a large, nation-wide audience to market L2R. World Possible brings us RACHEL ! Originally founded by Cisco employees, this organisation is a small non-profit based in San Francisco, CA which focuses on improving education in developing nations through the use of technology. Like us, they believe that access to knowledge is a fundamental human right. Through World Possible’s RACHEL server, we are able to provide communities with packaged offline copies of good open source education materials. This enables communities with access to computers and other devices, but no access to internet, an avenue by which they can have an extensive library of educational and reference materials in a pseudo-internet experience.

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Posted in #eLA2013, #namibia, @stevesong, africa, Angel Investor, bandwidth, benchmark, carbon footprint, citizen science, civil society, CRAN, creative commons, crowdsourcing, eBook, education, eReader, Ethan Zuckerman, FOSS, FOSSFA, free internet, free internet. school, GPL, ICT4D, Ict4e, innovation, library, Ministry of Education, mobile learning, Negroponte, OLPC, photovoltaic, Raspberry Pi, renewable energy, schoolnet, SchoolNet issues, smartphones, social media, solar power, tablets, tatejoris, universal access

TEDxWindhoek talk

Delighted to share – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLsRNoUx8w3rO3y1f7cmp30QbXtWRpMGNC

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Posted in #namibia, africa, bandwidth, benchmark, civil society, creative commons, EduNet Namibia, FOSS, FOSSFA, free internet, free internet. school, ict development, ICT4D, innovation, OER, Raspberry Pi, renewable energy, RPi, school, schoolnet, SchoolNet issues, smartphones, tatejoris, telecom, Uncategorized, universal access