British journal The Economist and InnoCentive Inc. (a crowdsourcing and “open innovation” company) honoured one of B.C.’s brightest today by naming him the winner of their joint 21st Century Cyber-Schools Challenge.
Dr. Andrew Deonarine, a second-year medical resident in the Public Health and Preventative Medicine program at UBC and a junior fellow at St. John's College, won the Challenge, which asked participants to address the problem of providing educational opportunities to the tens of millions of school-age students in developing nations around the world.
Dr. Deonarine’s idea, “EduCell,” is a cellular phone-based educational system that has content creation, distribution, and delivery capabilities. It provides a platform for basic literacy through “phonecasting.” EduCell can run on a variety of electronic devices, such as cellular phones, PDAs, embedded devices, and computers. With very few maintenance requirements, EduCell can be used to educate large segments of a given population with minimal infrastructure, finances, and manpower.
Dr. Deonarine’s next step is to present the plan at The Economist's Ideas Economy: Human Potential Event on September 15–16.