Sakalvara is the site where an ambitious project was launched last month by the local Rotary Club by handing over 30 ePODs, each costing about INR 4,000 ($82), to the school's principal, reports the maiden issue of Technology Review, the 109-year old journal from MIT brought to India by CyberMedia. ePod is set to bring about a renaissance in the way education is administered and managed, especially in rural and government schools with inadequate infrastructure. The project aims to combine the fruits of the latest computing technology with the specific requirements of millions of young boys and girls, to give them a jump start in the learning process. The hand-held device, ePOD, manufactured by Tidaldata, a storage devices company, based in California, had become a rage with the students in the U.S. in 2008.
Now Indian students in rural schools are also in a position to reap the advantages of this exciting device. Tidaldata is working with other civil society groups and NGOs to reach out to thousands of school children in the country. Pothapragada plans to ensure distribution of at least 200,000 such devices within a year. The device retails for INR 22,000 ($450) in California. It uses the same chip set of Apple's iconic iPhone but with a larger screen. The device, manufactured by another Indian promoted company, MyFi Networks, based in San Diego, California, has been extensively redesigned for the Indian conditions. Pothapragada says a consortium of NGOs, Tidaldata, MyFi and philanthropic organizations are working together with education software providers to make available school curricula in local Indian languages. School lessons up to Class 8 in all subjects are available in five languages