Mobile Education for Smart Technology

  • Taskeen Adam, Department of Engineering, MPhil
  • David Bowly, Department of Engineering, MPhil
  • Jaspreet Singh, Department of Engineering, MPhil
  • Kerstin Göpfrich, Department of Physics, PhD 2nd year
  • Moni K. Gupta, Department of Chemistry, PhD 3rd year
  • Kysen Palmer, Department of Physics, PhD 3rd year
  • Tayyab Safdar, Centre of Development Studies

The Mobile Education for Smart Technology (MEST) project is a pilot, scalable IT skills program for rural secondary students in India. The program leverages the enormous reach and impact of Agastya, an Indian education NGO, together with the technology access and enablement abilities of Madanyu Education Programme, based in Cambridge.

Madanyu has already run several successful pilot three day programs in India. The workshops used specially designed electronics kits, including Raspberry Pis and peripherals, that were handed over to the partner organisations. The aim of the MEST project is to scale these successful workshops by integrating them with the program of a local NGO.

Agastya has recently acquired a Google “digital media bus” which is currently visiting schools in the Bangalore area. There is great interest in IT skills in this area, and for the MEST project, schools will be invited to apply to receive a number of Raspberry Pi systems for ongoing use after the Google bus visit.

Teaching will be in the form of workshops utilising both the Raspberry Pi systems and the Google bus. The MEST team will train Agastya staff to conduct these workshops on an ongoing basis. In addition, MEST will provide planning, identification of target schools, and assistance in-country during the two week program, visiting 3-5 schools.

A wrap up weekend in-country will synthesise lessons learned between Agastya and Mandayu for future programs. Learnings will be distributed to the smart villages network for use on similar programs worldwide.