Heavy backpacks filled with books are now just a bad memory for students. The school of the future is already with us today, designed by AlmavivA with Consel - Consorzio Elis, as part of the School-Business Network Scuola Impresa, a nationwide program, now in its fifth year, launched to create a network of long-term relations between businesses and secondary schools.
AlmavivA's forward-looking educational project, called "Virtual desktop infrastructure", will help achieve a paperless classroom, by developing and supplying prototypes of smart interactive desks to the schools involved in the project.
The desks are versatile, functional and very low-cost platforms that can replace textbooks and exercise books. A smart desk basically consists of a touchscreen LCD display connected to a mini-computer costing about 20 euros and the size of the palm of the hand. These mini-computers use an "open source" architecture, which enables the students to use them like an ordinary PC and to easily tailor them to their needs and likes, creating an infinite number of possible applications.
The teaching materials are downloaded from a USB stick. Furthermore, the mini computers can be networked with a maxi computer, for carrying out more complex operations and the content produced by the students and teachers can be delivered via a cloud service.
Trials are being currently carried out at five technical secondary schools in Trapani, Palermo and Rome.
"This is a very cutting-edge project we're very proud of - said the Chief Commercial Officer of AlmavivA Gianfranco Previtera - because the smart desks based on an open source environment will help the new generations build up a basic programming knowledge that is a key requirement for effectively tackling the world of work".