Raspberry Pi As an OLPC Classroom Projector

When I was a high school teacher, I used films from the County education department to make the geography books I was teaching more concrete, and sometimes just to babysit the class, when I was overworked, or nearing the end of a school year.

I believe similar motivations would motivate teachers in the developing world, if there was available  a turnkey solution, and a means for acquiring appropriate Audio Visual materials. The Raspberry Pi, integrated with the school server,  can fulfill this need. What would it take?

11110287615_a1e1c02846_zAt the OLPC Summit, in late October, 2013, I demonstrated a battery powered Raspberry Pi projector, receiving Khan academy video over wifi from a Trimslice school server. The Khan academy videos were contained in the Internet In a Box, which is a collection of free material on the 1 Terabyte hard drive in the Trimslice.

The picnic basket contained the Raspberry Pi with a tiny wifi USB dongle, the sealed lead acid battery, and the 20 watt LED projector (the horizontal package sticking up above the wire basket), and all the wires coiled up that connected everything.

This $300 projector creates a 1024×800 image that has pretty good definition, but really requires a fairly dark room to be seen by a large number of students.  My experience is that often the classrooms in Haiti are naturally pretty dark, but if they do happen to have large windows that let in a lot of light, there usually are no curtains handy. It’s a problem that would need some attention.  But the $400 for the projector, and the $300 for the schoolserver would be the primary stumbling block — not even mentioning the lack of enough power to charge the batteries.

About George Hunt

Retired electrical engineer and programmer, enthusiastic to see if technology can help education in developing countries.
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