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Learning how we can make technology more accessible to "the digitally underserved"

Allison Jones

Two-thirds of the world may not have access to the latest smartphone, but local electronic shops are adept at fixing older tech using low-cost parts. Vinay Venkatraman explains his work in "technology crafts," through which a mobile phone, a lunchbox and a flashlight can become a digital projector for a village school, or an alarm clock and a mouse can be melded into a medical device for local triage.

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  • Doris Yee

    Do you think more teachers will take on the responsibility of encouraging DIY-practicing in a formal/informal curriculum? The lunchbox projector is actually a beautiful product...would be an amazing project to assign for young children in classrooms, anywhere. Also, how to make the teacher a digital gateway? How to empower the teacher? How to design an inexpensive multimedia platform? Really important questions being served in this video.

    • Allison Jones

      I actually think plenty of teachers do encourage DIY informally and formally, just not with technology at it the core. When we talk about technology, especially in a school setting, it's too often seen as an end product - something we receive and make use of, as opposed to something we create and share. Many of the products used to create the lunchbox projector, for example, would be used in other school projects.

      So I think what we need is a shift in thinking. Using what's around us, how can we create useful technology?

      • Doris Yee

        It would be an interesting approach if a class were to build their classroom over time. Basically, having small and large scale projects and assignment that add value back into the learning space (like a projector or perhaps something else that were non-digital).