Earlier today, we made a post about EcoSchool before the launch. It’s now just after the launch and we have more about the product and service. Here’s the summary:
- First, the EcoSchool website is here: www.ecoschool.co.zw
- The EcoSchool concept is about making educational material available to students at a lower cost and much more conveniently than traditional methods like physical books, sit in lectures, library visits, download of pirate copy books, travelling around the globe for education etc..
- The concept evolves around a tablet that the company will sell at its Econet shops, as well as booths at university campuses like the UZ.
- As indicated in the morning, Econet has partnered biNu and WorldReader. But they also have other partners like, Wolters Kluwe, Wiley-Blackwell, Elsevier (all publishers) and the University of Zimbabwe.
Price of the EcoSchool tablet and the service
- The company is starting with a pilot which will run for 4 months. As part of the pilot, students at the university of Zimbabwe will get the tablet free when they register for the the service. Eventually though, the tablet will cost students $20 a year for 3 years.
- As part of the pilot, students will pay $5 a month for access to the textbooks and course material, as well as certain ‘free’ sites (well, you have paid $5) like codecademy, the university sites etc… we’re guessing these sites.
- After the pilot the model will be: students buy EcoSchool credits which they use to buy data and material on the platform. Econet Services CEO, Darlington Mandivenga said books will be at least 40% cheaper than their print counterparts. Access to certain sites will still be free.
- The service is limited to students, that is you will actually need a student ID card to buy one.
The tablet & Service
- Most of this is as we posted earlier today. Basically:
- The tablet available so far is a 7-inch tablet running Android ICS (4.0.4).
- Ads indicated in the morning, its basically a standard Android tablet with the EcoSchool app pre-installed.
Here are some more pictures: