What is a micro-cloud?

A micro-cloud is a completely self-contained but cloud-enabled e-Learning environment that allows students and teachers access to cloud-based learning management systems, curriculum, content, and resources – even when the school has no connectivity or power. With this approach, the learning infrastructure, as well as the curriculum, content, and resources are staged on the micro-cloud platform in the school. Students connect on a local Wi-Fi that appears to be an internet connection, hence the ability to use a cloud-based e-Learning paradigm even if there is no internet connection or even without power. Valuable learning resources (such as YouTube videos, simulations, interactive maps, learning games, educational apps, Wikipedia content, etc.) are housed locally in the micro-cloud. In this scenario, students progress through the learning process even if there is no internet connectivity to the school at any point in time. Most importantly, hundreds or even thousands of micro-clouds throughout the region/country can be managed and administered from a single, centralized point.

What added value does the C3 Micro-Cloud ecosystem bring to the classroom?

Success in learning in the 21st century is all about discovery,  and teachers should mentor students to be able to find and acquire new information, and to apply it in smart and creative ways. However, to deliver the learning experience required in today’s world, e-Learning tools and instant access to digital content are key. While in many countries, children are just a quick Google search away from answers, others are located in more challenging environments that lack advanced infrastructure, and the use of technology is rare. Students with unfettered access to the internet have unfair competitive advantage over those who don’t, and this is likely to be reflected in their future professional lives. With the C3 Micro-Cloud it becomes possible to bridge that inequality, by giving them access to the latest information and resources, including advanced learning aids and content.  Teachers can leverage advanced teaching tools and curriculum management systems for their students, even if they do not always have an upstream connection to the Internet.

How does the C3 Micro-Cloud enhance collaborative work between students and teachers?

The C3 Micro-Cloud has completely changed how teachers teach and how students learn. Having a micro-cloud in the classroom promotes the ability for collaborative work between them; students can ask questions, discuss different topics, and help each other learn in a safe online environment created by teachers. They are able to follow state-of-the-art teaching methods, leverage leading curriculum and experience rich media content every day – even if, they do not always have an ’upstream’ network connectivity – giving instant access to knowledge and keeping them engaged and motivated. If you want to learn more about why is it important to use technology in the classroom click HERE. 

My school does not have internet connection; how would the C3 Micro-Cloud fit in my environment?

The C3 Micro-Cloud can ship with a pre-populated local content repository and powerful e-Learning tools to be ready to use ‘out of the box’. Teachers and students connect via Wi-Fi to the local micro-cloud and they have access to a complete cloud-based learning environment. If content such as texts, subject media, guides, tests, and other resources are cached on the micro-cloud, they are always available regardless of ‘upstream’ network connectivity.  Even for schools without internet connectivity, the content repository can be updated via USB key whenever the school system administrators release new versions, updates, or content.  It also has a battery backup which means students can learn without interruption, even when power is unstable or non-existent for a period of time. Updated and approved educational content, which can be curated centrally by approved administrators, is available at any time through the C3 Cloud Control portal. The C3 Micro-Cloud is now in use in over 55 countries, reaching more than 7 million students. We can read some of our Case Studies to find how teachers are using this technology worldwide, by clicking HERE.

My school already has internet connection; how would the C3 Micro-Cloud fit in my environment?

Around the world, even schools with internet connection struggle with providing broadband connectivity to the classroom for learning purposes.  One of the major constraints these schools face is managing available bandwidth to balance cost and productivity; often learning pays the price in terms of no access, limited usage, or extremely poor performance that renders e-learning virtually impossible. The C3 Micro-Cloud provides immediate, high-speed access to both content and applications that are cached on the micro-cloud, reducing the need for constant downloads from the web while guaranteeing quick access to all the educational content. The C3 Micro-Cloud has integrated technology such as intelligent caching, whitelisting, bandwidth management, etc., that improves network efficiency, reducing the bandwidth consumption and improving the internet speed for the school overall.

Can I use my own digital content and resources with the C3 Micro-Cloud?

Yes. Teachers can import their own content, in formats such as videos, PDF, PowerPoint, and others. With the C3 Micro-Cloud teachers are able to follow state-of-the-art teaching methods and leverage leading curriculum, by providing a wide range of learning materials and promoting flexibility and differentiation in the learning methods. They can blend the pre-loaded content with customized content of their own such as videos, PDF, PowerPoint presentations, etc., to add value to their classes, making them more dynamic and engaging.

What are some examples of digital content that comes with the C3 Micro-Cloud?

The C3 Micro-Cloud can come pre-loaded with a set of content that will make your classes more fun and dynamic, increasing student engagement.  These include videos, educational games, simulations, and others.  Some of the standard content includes Wikipedia, KhanAcademy, pHet Simulations, C-12, and an assortment of learning applications such as MicroBit, WordPress, and Scratch. With the C3 Micro-Cloud, classroom walls will no longer be a barrier to knowledge!

If we have many schools, how do we keep them all in sync with the same content?

School administrators can curate their curriculum of rich learning content, and easily distribute that to all of their schools connected with the C3 Micro-Cloud – even the ones located in challenging environments.  By using the C3 Cloud Control portal, any content updates can be applied to authorized micro-clouds on demand whenever they are able to connect to the internet and access the portal (even if this connection is intermittent).  Not only can content and resources be managed centrally, but administration and management policies can be managed centrally, as well. Security policies, user access levels – all can be managed centrally for an entire region/country of authorized C3s, to ensure uniform compliance and education throughout the entire system. Click HERE to learn how an entire country can standardize curriculum – and be up to date all the times.

It is possible to access the C3 Micro-Cloud by any smart device?

Yes! The paradigm can be leveraged by a number of student device implementations, from smartphones to PCs to Chromebooks.  The keys are that the student devices have Wi-Fi capability (to attach to the local micro-cloud instance, normally via browser access), and that they fit into the centralized management schema (to meet audit, compliance, security objectives).  It’s not mandatory, but highly preferable, that they have local processing capability (i.e. the potential to run apps or applications). With these devices, students will interact with the curriculum, the content – and their teachers.  The intelligent device – once enabled by the rest of the functional micro-cloud architecture – becomes the student’s point to access knowledge, interact with educators, and have his/her progress tracked real-time as a part of a broader view of how well the curriculum and pedagogical process is working across the region. 

Will the C3 Micro-Cloud participate in our Microsoft Active Directory security and authentication schemes?

Absolutely.  The C3 Micro-Cloud be function as a resource in your Active Directory (AD) domain, and be under the control of your main AD controls, policies, and procedures including authentication, security, and GPO policies.  In this way, you can apply uniform authentication, security, and access controls to different classes of users throughout your network, ensuring the right users have the right access to the right resources at the right time.

How long does it take to implement the C3 Micro-Cloud?

The implementation time varies according to each project and the specifics of each institution. However, it usually takes less than an hour to get a C3 unit up and running, and you can begin to use the pre-loaded content and applications.

It is necessary any special training to work with the C3 Micro-Cloud?

No, it isn’t. The C3 Micro-Cloud was specially designed to be very intuitive, enabling its use by teachers/school administrators that have little-to-no technological skills. However, we have available a set of “how to” videos, which can help teachers, administrators, and even students learn to be more productive with their C3 Micro-Cloud.  In addition, our users can feel free to reach out to our support team, who is always available to provide support or add clarity to questions.

May I see a product demo?

Sure! We’d be happy to show you – with a live demo – how powerful the micro-cloud for education can be in enabling any school, anywhere to have a state-of-the-art digital content and learning, even if they don’t have a reliable/available internet connectivity! Simply click HERE, and we’ll schedule a demo for a time that works for you – all you’ll need is an internet browser.

How can I buy the C3 Micro-Cloud?

It is very simple. You just need to send us an e-mail to sales@critical-links.com and our team will contact you back!





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