Teacher In A Box (TIB) was created in 2012 when Jeanette Johnstone from the Rotary Club of Paddington, Queensland first conceived of it during a trip to Tanzania, and since that time other Rotary Clubs around Australia have also taken this project on board.
TIB has now been installed in 22 countries, including Indonesia, Tanzania, Nepal, PNG and the Philippines. TIB is a very large interactive library of academic material from primary school through to university and community resources that can be accessed without internet. Currently it is mostly in English.
The Teacher in a Box server (TIB Server), is an existing donated laptop that contains around a half a Terabyte of educational content. A router is included with each TIB server. A wireless router allows client devices such as iPhones, tablets and laptops to connect and access the internet.
With the TIB system, the internet is being replaced with the TIB server, thus creating a Local Area Network (LAN), within the school area, depending on the size of the school. A TIB server supports self-paced learning as well as classroom teaching. In this way TIB provides people with offline access to an extensive range of free educational and learning materials via any wi-fi enabled device. And that’s important, particularly in developing nations, where many rural villages don’t have an internet connection, or even in places where there is internet but it is unreliable or cost prohibitive to access.
West Pennant Hills & Cherrybrook Rotary Club, through Nusa Tenggara Association (NTA), have provided six TIB units to schools in Flores and West Timor, in Indonesia. Three units have been installed in West Timor (Semau Island and around Kupang) and three units in Flores (near Maumere).
Our club is now the Sydney technical hub for TIB (for Indonesia) and we have downloaded the Indonesian School Curriculum in the form of text books (in PDF format) and audio files (in MP3 format) from the Indonesian Educationa Department website (SIBI) who allow downloading of the curriculum free. However, if schools have to buy these text books, it is generally at their own cost.
Hence when a TIB is installed at the poorest schools in Flores, it allows teachers and students to access all the school curriculum text books and audio files at no cost on their devices such as mobile phones, pads, laptops (very few of the latter are available).
We are also investigating sourcing other licence free Indonesian content, particularly reading books for primary and secondary students. The other information being provided on the TIB servers that are being installed in Indonesia, is agricultural information which NTA currently provide to the subsistence farmers in the various villages that they service, as well as other additional information that will assist them in becoming more productive. These farmers can then sell any excess produce and make surplus money.
What’s in a TIB Server? The following items are included with every TIB server we provide:
Laptop (battery has 80% or greater capacity)
Preferably less than 4 years old
Preferably 14 to 15 inch screen
I5 or I7 processor, 8 Gb memory
1 Tb SSD (Rotary will replace smaller SSDs if installed)
Charger for laptop
Wireless router already configured and setup for the device
Instruction Manual and deployment documentation (TIB supplies this)
A Mouse (Rotary will supply if not available)
The value of the TIB server can be enhanced at the deployment site by providing TV screens, projector and speakers, computers and tablets. These can often be sourced locally. However, at most school installations, teachers use either their own laptop or mobile phone and students generally use their own mobile phones.