This digital divide creates a bifurcated world, where some people have the information and knowledge to get ahead, while others are left behind. But the solution isn’t necessarily to roll out more Internet. In fact, you can get a lot of information to people using more old-fashioned methods, like hard-drives and SD cards.
That’s what a North Carolina nonprofit called WiderNet Project has been doing for the last 12 years. Starting in the early 2000s, it began distributing hard-drive libraries to disconnected—or barely connected—communities in Africa. The “eGranaries” operate like the web, except they’re not hooked up to the main network. The content—which includes the entire Wikipedia and all 3,000-plus Khan Academy videos—sits locally, serving linked computers that don’t have an Internet connection.
Now, WiderNet wants to move beyond its initial product, which is aimed at groups, to create tiny chips for individuals. It’s crowdfunding its “eGranary Pocket Library,” an SD card that fits into the side of a phone or tablet.
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See Also: Jason Griffey’s LibraryBox Project Provides Access to Content Without the Need for an Internet Connection
This infoDOCKET post provides a roundup of articles and video about LibraryBox.