Project Empathy shares knowledge with unconnected schools

Any school can now participate after its brief pilot run.

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Mariella Moon
February 26th, 2016
In this article: culture, internet, projectempathy
Project Empathy shares knowledge with unconnected schools

A lot of schools across the globe, especially in developing nations, don't have computers with access to the internet. Project Empathy aims to address that issue by having classrooms with internet access participate in sharing knowledge with classrooms that don't. Schools or classes willing to help can buy one of its kits, which are small devices equipped with a 64 GB microSD card, a Raspberry Pi, USB drives and other components. They then have to load the kit with content from the web, like Wikipedia articles or pages from NASA's websites, that their recipients can tap into for their studies.

The program was created by a startup called Outernet, which aims to provide developing nations free, one-way access to web pages via geostationary and Low Earth Orbit satellites. That's why its kits can also be connected to a satellite dish to continuously receive new content. Take note that they don't provide full-blown internet connections as they mostly function like FM radios that can only receive signals. Still, the initiative could change the way classes are taught in remote locations and give students a way to access info not available in their books and libraries. Project Empathy started its pilot run on February 1st in Chicago, but its kits are now available to any school or class willing to pitch in.

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