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IITian devises tablet for the classroom

Friday, 30 December 2011 - 8:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

Classpad, priced between Rs7,500 and Rs14,500, is India’s first interactive, computer for students from 3rd to 12th standards

Rohit Pande has been focusing on personalised learning for the past 6 to 7 years. The question that vexed him: with children having different learning curves, can there be a device that can serve them all?

Last year, this Delhi IITian’s company, Classteacher Learning Systems, came up with the structure of an affordable device “which makes education accessible to every student according to his/ her individual intelligence level,” Pande said.
The progeny is called Classpad.

While the 7-inch Aakash tablet, launched with much fanfaronade by Union minister for human resources development, Kapil Sibal, on October 5, started the trend of school learning, with the government subsidising it to a price point of Rs1,700 for mass distribution in schools (from the original cost of `2,500), the Classpad is priced higher because it offers richer media and interactivity with more apps and a wider syllabus, longer battery life of 7 hours compared with Aakash’s 1.5 hours and better touch experience.

The Classpad is available in two variants - Trolley, for use by multiple students, and One Tablet Per Child for individual use.
It also has offers three learning models - ‘In-class’, using which teachers can effortlessly transfer class work, tests and home assignments to the students’ tablet; ‘In-school’, for out-of-class learning; and, ‘In-home’, for parents to monitor children’s school and home work.

The Classpad is available in tablet sizes of 7, 8 and 10 inches, with a battery life of 5-7 hours and processor speed ranging from 1 GHz to 1.3 GHz. The tablet runs on Android 2.2 and 2.3 OS, and has over 30,000 apps that are based on the Android or HTML 5 platform, covering ICSE, CBSE and a few state schools board syllabi.

By April, Classteacher Learning will add the International Baccalaureate board curriculum too.

The price points for the tablet range from `7,500 to `14, 500.
These tablets are available for students from Standard 3 to 12.

The company has received orders for 1,200 Classpads from several schools in Tier I and Tier II cities, and according to a survey of 200 schools conducted during the soft launch, 40% of them are willing to provide Classpad to students in the next academic year starting April 2012.

Due to the conservative policy of schools, Classpad does not offer any options for voice calling or Internet usage, but it can plug into school wi-fi networks.

But Pande is talking to service providers in India for integrating voice calling and Internet facility in retail models of the Classpad and for remote schools in Tier II towns.

Currently the Classpad is being distributed to schools directly on order and can also be sourced from the website classteacher.com starting January 1.

“The question to be asked is, can technology create learning for different children? Classpad provides the answer,” Pande claims.

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