Inventors are currently working on a high-tech learning tool that can be powered by solar energy for use in Indian classrooms without electricity. The i-slate is an electronic tablet being developed by researchers from Rice University in Houston, Texas and researchers from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore.
The first round of I-slates will be pre-loaded with lessons for mathematics, science and social studies, according to Rice researchers. Developers in Switzerland, Singapore and the U.S. are creating the first production version of the low-power computer chip. Solar-powered I-slates containing the new chips are due for production in mid-2012.
The idea for the power-saving educational tablet came about in 2009 when a team from Rice and NTU began working with the Indian nonprofit Villages for Development and Learning Foundation to test I-slate prototypes. Earlier this year, researchers examined whether the I-slate helped students’ improve in mathematics and found that the tool did in fact help improve learning.To use the I-slate, students use a stylus to tap and write out mathematics problems on the device. They get immediate feedback about correct and incorrect answers. When answers are incorrect, the machine gives hints and tips about how to correct mistakes.