Welcome to the RACHEL community! It’s great to have you here. I’m happy to help you get started with RACHEL and explain how it works as well as the different device options available.
RACHEL devices create a wifi hotspot for users to connect to with their own device. These can be tablets, cell phones, desktop computers, or anything that can connect to wifi. When the student connects to the RACHEL hotspot they have access to the main page of RACHEL which has all of the content that is installed for them to browse and interact with.
RACHEL-Pi - You can turn a Raspberry Pi device into a RACHEL device that creates the hotspot and has the content with a few quick steps. All you need to do is download an image file from this post and then follow the two tutorials in that post to install it on the MicroSD card. You can then install the content and it’s ready to go. I suggest the “32bit - rachel-pi-10_16_2020” image. When you plug the RACHEL-Pi in it turns on and you will see a “RACHEL” hotspot. Connect and browse to “http://rachel.pi” and you will see the RACHEL main page. The Raspberry Pi is not meant for big schools, places without power, places where the power goes out often because it doesn’t have a battery, but a lot of people use it and it works for them.
RACHEL-Plus - You can check out the RACHEL-Plus at this link. This device is the best option for bigger deployments, long term deployments, or when you expect more than ~8-12 users at a time. The RACHEL-Plus comes with a battery, has a power button, and can support up to 50 students connected at once. It also comes with a few more software options that aren’t available on the Raspberry Pi version yet. One of the best things is called Datapost. Datapost lets users send email while offline, then using an android phone, you can have someone download all of the emails to the phone and take them somewhere with an internet connection to send them.
Kolibri is a software provided by Learning Equality. It comes preinstalled on the RACHEL-Plus as well as the RACHEL-Pi. Kolibri lets teachers set up lessons and also has it’s own content called “channels” that you can install. The most popular channel is probably Khan Academy. You won’t have to choose to install this as it comes with both.
RACHEL-USB - This was content from RACHEL that doesn’t require the server/hotspot on a RACHEL device. You place the content directly on a USB stick and plug it into the devices to be accessed. This has not been updated by World Possible for a long time. Village Telco may be maintaining their own version with content available from RACHEL though. If you would like help setting one up I can help you with that.
Please let me know if you have any issues. There are lots of users on here with experience deploying RACHEL so I’m hoping some will comment here with their advice. @SHOMI and @giakonda are two with a lot of experience and knowledge on deployments.
I hope that helps with the technical side of things.