Aakash 1 was an effort in itself, although it received criticism, we look unprejudiced at Aakash 2 which the specimen laptop for teachers and students.
Aakash 2 has been created and designed basically for the benefit of students, and IIT Bombay has reinforced that objective through the development of apps for the tablet. An interaction with Professor Rajesh during the Techfest, in which the Aakash tablet was released for public viewing and critiquing gave us an insight into what the IIT Bombay was looking to achieve and he informed us that they keen on receiving feedback from people. Professor Rajesh said, “We are looking for feedback from the people to know exactly how to improvise the application or to get more feedback on what kind and type of applications we have on the tablet. Because right now whatever five to six applications that we have developed will be ported by default and available to the Aakash devices that will be shipped.”
Another engineer we spoke to was the prominent Rajesh Kushalkar, Project Manager for Aakash project at IIT Bombay, who asserted his confidence and faith in the abilities and far reaching consequences of the tablet. Mr. Rajesh Kushalkar referred to Aakash 2 as progress from Aakash 1 yet suggested that this should not be taken to mean that Aakash 1 will be redundant. He said, “Aakash 2 is a full fledged tablet and in terms of specifications, it is definitely far better than Aakash 1, with superior touchscreen, quicker processor, better RAM and a higher version of OS. This makes the tablet stable than Akash 1.”
A few apps created by IIT Bombay deserve reviewing to interest you in their capabilities. Starting with the ProxiMITY app, this more elaborately translates to Proxy Multimedia Integration Tool for You. This is essentially a tool that assimilates lecture videos and presentation slides together. This is an interaction based app and is available on the Aakash 2. This enables students to be able to watch and learn from lectures. This app comes in two versions, the ProxiMITY and the ProxiMITY Wi-Fi and the obvious difference is that the former extracts data from an SD card or USB source while with the latter streaming is possible. There is also a bookmark feature.
Next we look at the Clicker app which engenders audience response to receive feedback. Professor Deepak Phatak, Head of Aakash 2 project has already been utilizing this tool in his classroom lectures. This may be a little excessive where a simple show of hands is sufficient, but for those looking for accuracy of stats, this helps. Moreover it is seen as a move to get a feel of exactly how well the students have understood a topic by overcoming the usual hurdles like a student consciousness of not having quite understood the topic causing him/her to be reluctant to asking questions. Another benefit is that quizzes can be conducted using this tool. It also features a ‘raise hand’ function which lets a student pose a question through the tool without having to do so directly (if he or she is too shy to do so).
Then there’s the Robo app that is really a control medium over a robot with an attached camera. The robot is controlled through Wi-Fi, and the controls are extensive. Students are able to control the robot through a simulated touch controlled joystick provided on the tablet. The video that is shot through the camera can be then viewed, of course, on your Aakash 2 device. These apps certainly improve the quality of the tablet itself and many more apps are underway.