Marvell and Stanford Announce Availability of the SMILE Plug, Now Piloted in Over 20 Countries Worldwide, and the Formation of the SMILE Consortium
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Marvell (Nasdaq: MRVL) today announced the availability of the SMILE Plug, the first cloud computer designed to transform a traditional classroom setting into a highly interactive learning environment. Beta versions of SMILE Plug are currently being piloted in more than 20 countries worldwide in classrooms ranging from early elementary levels to graduate level programs. Marvell has also expanded its collaboration with Stanford University by announcing the formation of the SMILE Consortium, an industry organization dedicated to developing innovative education solutions on an open platform that enable “Classroom 3.0,” a connected, secure learning environment that simplifies and speeds the deployment of technology to students worldwide.
“Education is the key foundation for the success of our future generation globally. I am very proud that Marvell has been a long-standing and passionate supporter of education and helping to build better and affordable technologies,” said Weili Dai, Co-Founder of Marvell. “I believe it is important to help our teachers better connect with their students in the classroom with effective teaching tools to give students the power to learn, create, connect and collaborate in new ways. The Marvell SMILE Plug for ‘Classroom 3.0′ propels education into the 21(st) century with technology solutions – for both teachers and students – that give access to the best information and resources the world has to offer anywhere at anytime.”
Developed in conjunction with the Stanford Mobile Inquiry-based Learning Environment (SMILE) program, the SMILE Plug is an easy-to-manage cloud computing server that supports a wide array of SMILE learning applications. Powered by Marvell’s high-performance, low-power ARMADA® 300 series System-on-a-Chip (SoC) and Marvell’s Avastar® 88W8764 Wi-Fi, the SMILE Plug creates a micro-cloud within a classroom that is controlled by the instructor, creating a secure, private, and robust classroom connection for up to 60 students.
“I’ve committed my academic career to creating and leveraging technology in the classroom that provides educators the ability to engage students more deeply in their learning environment. While technology innovation has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives, the education model has not evolved. SMILE enables a new, modern paradigm for learning in global classrooms, from elementary to graduate schools,” said Dr. Paul Kim, chief technology officer and assistant dean for the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. “Traditional education models focus on the memorization and recitation of facts; with our R&D partners such as Marvell and solutions such as the SMILE Plug, we focus on developing pedagogies that enable students to be actively in charge of their learning experience – conducting their own research, organizing information to form personalized theories and presenting these findings to their peers, which are critical post-graduation life skills.”
The SMILE Plug provides teachers with a platform to expand access to and utilization of new educational content and the ability to control mobile devices within the classroom, enabling overall better lesson planning and student evaluation. The SMILE Plug leverages an open platform based on Arch Linux for ARM, the Plugmin administration app and the Stanford SMILE Server. It can also be connected to an external 5-volt Lithium-ion polymer battery for backup power, enabling use in areas where electricity can be inconsistent.
The SMILE consortium is an independent, open source member based community that is committed to improving the learning practices for students globally, especially in underserved communities, by leveraging the benefits of innovative mobile technology. The mission of the SMILE Consortium is to cause a paradigm shift within education by enabling students to be active agents in their learning through an inquiry-based learning model. By utilizing both mobile and cloud-based technology, the SMILE Consortium provides an open platform for creating new learning environments that enable Classroom 3.0.
The SMILE Plug is currently available; please visit http://www.marvell.com/solutions/education/cloud-computer-for-smile.jsp for more information.
For more information on the SMILE Consortium, including how to become a member, please visit: http://www.smileconsortium.org/.
“Children have traditionally looked to teachers and parents as sources for learning; connected devices like the SMILE Plug empower students to take their education into their own hands,” said Claudia Olaciregui, a fifth-grade teacher at Ellis Elementary School in Sunnyvale, Calif., who has used the device in her classroom for the past two years. “By encouraging students to explore the areas that are most interesting to them – rather than memorizing facts outlined in a textbook – the SMILE Plug truly immerses students into the learning process.”
“Arch Linux ARM is a proud contributor to the SMILE Plug,” said Kevin Mihelich, Lead Developer of Arch Linux ARM. “Arch Linux ARM is optimized for small form factor devices, making it a good match for the SMILE Plug–classrooms can achieve the same results as using a much larger computer but with only a fraction of the power consumption, which is often a key criterion for schools in less developed regions.”
“Razortooth Communications is excited to be a member of the SMILE Consortium and to help create opportunities that bring easy-to-use “EDUTech” software to the world,” said Junko Sakai, PR spokesperson for Razortooth Communications, LLC. “Our Plugmin app for the SMILE Plug is designed to be simple to use, configure and manage, which makes it a perfect component for classroom devices, where teachers have limited access to network administration resources.”
Marvell (NASDAQ: MRVL) is a world leader in the development of storage, communications and consumer silicon solutions. Marvell’s diverse product portfolio includes switching, transceiver, communications controller, wireless and storage solutions that power the entire communications infrastructure, including enterprise, metro, home and storage networking. As used in this release, the term “Marvell” refers to Marvell Technology Group Ltd. and its subsidiaries. For more information, visit Marvell.com.
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