Any views or experience with Critical Links' C3 Classroom Content Cloud?

Hi,

Any views or experience with Critical Links’ C3 Classroom Content Cloud ?

Same concept as Rachel but for profit, with more features, such as Moodle LMS, focus on management via internet (for a school district), and 3 sizes of servers.

It puzzles me because although the website is very nicely done and the product looks great on paper:

  • No pricing, so I assume expensive & for school districts to buy, not an individual.

  • No list of the actual “1000s of contents” to choose from.

  • No live demo or screen shots.

  • No public users guides & no public support forum.

  • “In 48 countries” but none listed and English-only website (from Portugal).

  • No list of existing customers.

  • Twitter account since 2013 but only ONE tweet & ten followers.

  • Google+ only has FOUR posts from 2013/2014

  • Facebook has a few recent posts of forwarded content but typically only a couple posts per year. 1,000 followers.

  • So, are they an active business or not?!

I think that it’s great to see other offline educational servers, but I am puzzled about this one.

Regards,

Brian

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Update from C3’s reply to my email inquiry:

“Pricing in our website is not available simply because Critical Links does not sell its products directly but rather via in-country partners. We feel this is the best way to serve the end customer as the education projects we usually are involved, require a very strong local presence and good deal of customer training and coaching that only a local partner can provide. List prices start at around $550 USD for unit quantities.”

“The C3 solution came into the market in 2013 and since then we have deployed various thousands of devices, in around 50 countries.”

LMS based on Moodle.

Uses “an open source operating system.”

I am still puzzled as to why a search for “C3 Critical Links” doesn’t reveal more stories, reviews & partner ads. (Though the results are diluted because “critical link” is a common phrase.

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Interesting - I had not heard of them. Those look like some powerful little boxes, though on the pricey side if the base specs (Celeron + 60GB) cost $550. I agree it’s hard to tell how much they’re really delivering or if it’s mostly marketing at this point. Sadly lots of these things come and go, so I guess we’ll see how it develops. I hope their product works well and helps people!

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We have heard a bit about them doing a pilot in Kenya, possibly with a university.

When I looked over the design, they offered a distributed network of devices to get copies of content into devices in each of the classrooms to provide fast, simultaneous access to all content in a number of classrooms. It would see to me that they are working on a theoretical problem

I am dreaming about a university in Africa with so much actual usage that it will overload a RACHEL-Plus 2.0 connected to a Gigabit wired LAN with remote PoE WifFi access, especially with WiFi turned off on the RACHEL-Plus 2.0. When I reach that point, I expect to find a room to install a nice redundant, rack mounted server with a couple hours of battery back-up for the servers and the PoE access points.

By the way, we are always eager to find deployments with high usage. My highest was almost 40 Kio Kit tablets with girls so wrapped up in KA-Lite Math exercises that we had to turn of the server to get them to go to lunch.

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I spoke to them extensively about two years ago. I also bought a server with intended use in Ethiopia. Their pricing model depends heavily on ongoing support fees and their hardware costs were high. It wasn’t a model that I thought I could sell in Ethiopia so I went a different way that eventually ended up with RACHEL, a very good choice. All the customers they discussed were large. At that time it seemed to me they had a success in Portugal that they were trying to take internationally. At that time I concluded it was a no go in Ethiopia.

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Actually stumbled on Rachel when I came across http://www.hitch.video at a TechFest in Lagos Nigeria. A for-profit that provided offline videos on a super portable device. Keen to try and replicate their solution, I tried to use moodlebox.org running on a Pi. Initial results were good and i might perhaps explore that further at some point in the future. Right now I’m just trying to find a suitable portable device that can be used for Rachel in Nigeria. Price point of $500 for Rachel Plus is a wee bit pricey here

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