Hubs, spokes, and cells

An overview of the per-school approach
An overview of the per-school approach

Our initial model[1] is to create a cell structure for each school. A school needs at least one eReader device, they may have more devices if the usage warrants and justifies more. Each device is configured with a shared Amazon account (which can be used to share content on up to 5 devices in parallel, according to Amazon’s web site). So a single purchase can be downloaded onto up to 5 devices and therefore any teacher can use any available device.

The cell is semi-autonomous. Publicly the school can share their wish list, and other Amazon users can search for an find that wish list. For instance here is amazon’s find a wish list link

The schools in the pilot project are:

  • Nyandiwa
  • Kachieng
  • Kalando

These names can be used to find their respective wish list. However, at the moment, does not allow us to purchase items on behalf of the schools from other Amazon accounts. Therefore, at the moment someone with access to their Amazon account needs to login using the respective account details to pay for items from the wish list; the schools do not have Internet access so it’s impractical for them to do so. Alternatively gift certificates can be used to credit the account and enable the school to purchase items autonomously. Once others can directly pay for items from a school’s wish list we can transition towards a more federated, independent system with no centralised authority or arbiter of purchases, etc.

Services such as Amazon’s whispercast make content distribution easier using a hub and spoke distribution model (where content can be distributed to one or more groups of accounts). This service currently limited to the US amazon market.

[1] model = an approach, design, or hierarchy (pick whichever word seems most appropriate) that represents how we structure the use of the device(s) and Amazon account for a school