Intel's Education Content Access Point for Schools Runs Ubuntu

It's been a long time since Canonical's Ubuntu Linux has made big headlines in the education market.

Christopher Tozzi, Contributing Editor

January 26, 2015

2 Min Read
Intel's Education Content Access Point for Schools Runs Ubuntu

It’s been a long time since Canonical‘s Ubuntu Linux has made big headlines in the education market. Thanks to Intel (INTC), however, the open source operating system may soon have a new presence in classrooms as part of the Intel Education Content Access Point.

You’re probably wondering what an education content access point is. According to Intel, this product “is an easy-to-use device that stores, manages, and publishes digital content for schools with low or intermittent connectivity. This comprehensive solution contains an access point plus content server.”

In other words, this is essentially a wireless router that can also store content uploaded by teachers and serve it to students inside a classroom.

A device like this has obvious applicability in education markets where schools face limited Internet connectivity or a lack of hosting resources. Because the device is battery powered, it doesn’t require a reliable electricity source to run. Students can access content stored in the device using anything that runs a Web browser, meaning they don’t need to have a laptop to connect; a phone would work just as well. And the device can become a local wireless hotspot by connecting to a 3G network, another valuable feature in regions where wired Internet bandwidth is limited or non-existent.

Intel’s Access Point is also notable for being powered by Ubuntu—specifically, Ubuntu 12.04. Although there’s no indication that Canonical was involved in the device’s development or is making any major money off of it, it’s still a win for the company in promoting Ubuntu as a versatile operating system that can do innovative things in the education market.

To be sure, Canonical’s main ambitions these days lie a bit beyond devices like this wireless router. What the company really wants to see in the future is widespread use of Snappy Ubuntu Core to power smart devices of all stripes. The Education Content Access Point is not very new, with its unremarkable Atom processor and traditional Ubuntu OS, does nothing to advance Canonical’s Snappy Ubuntu Core plans. Still, it’s a reminder that Ubuntu has commercial viabilty outside traditional servers, laptops and PCs.

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About the Author(s)

Christopher Tozzi

Contributing Editor

Christopher Tozzi started covering the channel for The VAR Guy on a freelance basis in 2008, with an emphasis on open source, Linux, virtualization, SDN, containers, data storage and related topics. He also teaches history at a major university in Washington, D.C. He occasionally combines these interests by writing about the history of software. His book on this topic, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” is forthcoming with MIT Press.

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