Our CloudTop project will provide Philippine schools with computers and wireless internet, offering students and teachers access to curriculum and information that would otherwise be inaccessible. CloudTop is a multi-million dollar IT project funded by the Department of Science and Technology of the Philippines.
The CloudTop system has five custom components, all developed in the Philippines by some of the brightest minds in the country:
To connect Philippine classrooms around the country to the internet, CloudTop engineers are focused on keeping the schools’ total cost of ownership down. That means building a highly efficient system that has the fewest parts possible and can easily be fixed or updated at scale. One way they’re doing that is through what are called thin client computing devices. Students have only monitors, not computers, at their desks. These thin clients are connected to two servers that do all of their computing work for the classroom. That way, engineers can update the software on every computer in one fell swoop.
To connect schools to the internet, our CloudTop engineers developed custom wireless routers and antennae. A school with one of our CloudTop systems can get internet access by connecting with other schools as far as 10km away and creating a local area connection.
The system has been designed for all types of schools, including those without access to power like Manabayukan Elementary located at the foot of Mount Pinatubo. To energize the CloudTop computing system at Manabayukan, our engineers built rooftop solar panels at the school. Wind power, built by a separate complementary project, provides a small grid that’s introducing electricity to the broader community for the first time in their lives. The DC solar and wind power combines with local AC sources to power the CloudTop system.
In addition to bringing internet to classrooms in the Philippines, our CloudTop engineers are hard at work building learning software for teachers and students. “We’ve customized software so vetted content from the Filipino Department of Education can be delivered directly to the classroom. That way, teachers have easy access to a repository of lesson plans, worksheets and interactive games for kids,” says CloudTop ELearning Team Lead Timmy Tuason. “A teacher can also monitor what’s going on on a student’s screen and broadcast what’s on her screen to students.”
Our CloudTop project was designed to allow the Philippine Department of Education to distribute learning resources directly to schools and teachers. The entire system is interconnected and can be managed remotely, so updates can be pushed on a timely basis to schools across the country.