The Portable, Solar-Powered Computer Lab: Dell Learning Labs
Education, Sustainability & Technology
The Portable, Solar-Powered Computer Lab:
Dell Learning Labs
So, when I was checking out the 2014 Corporate Responsibility report from Dell yesterday, the story that caught my eye involved the company’s efforts to support computer science education in Nigeria and South Africa. In collaboration with a number of non-profits, including LEAP Africa, SHAWCO, and Computer Aid International, the IT giant has used its Wyse cloud computing technology (acquired with the company itself in 2012) to create a portable, solar-powered computer lab for students in remote areas.
The cloud-based arrangement keeps this computer lab very energy-efficient… enough that a solar array can power it. The building itself is a reused shipping container, so it’s also relatively easy to move into and out of setting where it’s needed. The efficiency of the lab allows for enough energy storage to use it at night, also.
A system like this strikes me as beautifully flexible. While there’s certainly a lot of need in Africa, there’s no reason that these Dell Labs couldn’t also be used on, say, Native American reservations, or even in blighted urban areas. The only thing really needed is a need for educational opportunities; Dell and its partners are even training teachers in the best methods for making use of the technology provided.
Know more about providing technology training to underserved communities than I do? Let us know what you think. And if you’re interested in other part of Dell’s Legacy for Good plan, check out the CSR report itself.