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Emmanuel Mashandudze

Business Intelligence, Tools and Process Specialist, Witwatersrand University

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Incorporate cloud computing to form virtual classrooms and aid underprivileged students to access high quality education.

Mobile computing, social networking (Facebook, mxit, twitter, etc) take up 90% of our student's time. Can we make learning interesting by creating a mobile virtual classroom, accessible everywhere? Students want to learn but are discouraged by an outdated, boring medium. Can we make learning interesting by using more cost efficient cloud computing services instead?

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Closing Statement from Emmanuel Mashandudze

My main interest is centered of the student teacher ratio especially in africa. A teacher has a class with an average of about 50 students. There are no tutors to attend to these kids thoroughly. Once a concept has been visited in a subject area, with such a student-teacher ratio, if student fails to master a concept there a very limited chance that it will be attended to. Poverty will not go away if these generations to come remain uneducated. Developing a cloud based virtual classrooms in reasonably affordable cloud computing resources in the cloud will enable deploying web based classes. Food is important yes but education is key to the future of the nations. Buillding the future education platform is like a creating a silo. Giving a man a fishing rod is better than giving them the food..

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    Oct 21 2011: Great Idea, but underprivileged children don't have enough money to buy a computer/laptop and most likely no access to internet connection. It's certainly a great idea, but maybe not for underprivileged youth.
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      Oct 24 2011: Lets say we start on a small scale, a school for example, having students access a wide library resource of recorded resource of virtual classes would help even the underprivileged. Most schools do not have computers but municipalities in South Africa for example have a public library in each area with a few computers. If this was a computing resource implemented in a cloud computing scenario, we could only need one big computer and share through the KVM splitters for example.

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