The Department got an opportunity to partner in research and to deploy the Aakash tablets with two objectives. The first is to test and enhance the effectiveness of these tablets for use in class rooms. The second is development of new educational applications and contents on Aakash, largely through final year Research and Development projects done by B.Tech /M.Tech students of the department.
Aakash Tablets in Education
IIT Bombay along with the Ministry of Human Resource Development has developed Aakash tablets for educational purpose. Honorable President of India Shri Pranab Mukherjee launced the new version of Aakash Tablet, Akash 2.0 on the occasion of National Education Day held at Delhi. The National Mission on Education using ICT (NME-ICT) envisages that these tablets should be deployed for empowering the students and teachers of the country. The tablets are expected to be deployed in more number for academic and research activities in educational environment.
AAKASH WAS LAUNCHED ON NOVEMBER 11, 2012
Aakash 2.0 is a complete educational purpose tablet and not designed with hi-fi configurations. Aakash 2.0 includes 3D-modelling, C++ programming, remote and collaborative training applications, robotic control and live assessment tools. IIT Bombay has partnered with the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC), to assist with the hardware testing and logistics. Aakash is now available in an enhanced version (Aakash-2) of the original tablet with 7 inch multi-touch 4-point capacitive display and 800x480 pixel resolution. It has a 1 GHz processor, 512 MB memory, 4GB portioned NAND flash and mirco SD card slot which can extend upto 32 GB memory and It runs the Android 4.0 Operating System.
Aakash 2.0 can be operated with Wi-Fi which enables the students with easy internet connections. It is also equipped with USB slots in which one can use internet modems provided by different network providers. Aakash 2.0 is not equipped with third generation facilities. So, one cannot use this tablet for video calling or high speed internet. Akaksh 2.0 is featured in such a way that it is best suited for educational purpose, not for commercial use. Future versions of the tablet will continue to have further enhancements.
The tablet also includes Mango learning solutions for game-based educational modules, interactive smart books and the full CBSE curriculum and assessment tools. Intelligia finger tracing apps have also been included to teach letter writing to toddlers. Some of the salient applications are highlighted below.
- Blender: Blender is a free and Open Source software product, used for creating animations, rendering, video editing, etc.
- Clicker: Clicker devices are used to collect instant feedback from a large number of students,either as a response to a question, or to a quiz. A quiz question now gets fully downloaded on individual student’s Aakash tablet, through Wi-Fi. A multiple question test can now be conducted. All the questions of such a test are downloaded on the student tablet. Time control is maintained by Aakash. At the end of the test time, all answers are automatically collected, and individual scores get recorded in the back-end system.
- Content Distribution: Apart from displaying text files in various formats, Aakash can play video and audio content.
- Proximity: proxyMITY enables creation of interactive lessons, by importing lecture video and presentation slides. The name stands for Proxy Multimedia Integration Tool for You. The entire lesson can be published in the form of either a desktop standalone application, or as html content to be viewed within a web browser.
- Robot: The project aims at design and deployment of robots, for enhanced teaching of subjects in Engineering Colleges and to Create Open Courseware for Embedded Systems for engineering students, based on robots. A Robot-control application runs on Aakash. Students can control the movement of the Robot using a simulated touch-controlled joy-stick provided on the tablet. Simultaneously, the video stream captured by the camera mounted on the Robot, is transmitted to Aakash, which can be viewed in a window on the tablet.