“The information age”. A common phrase used to describe the overload of information available to the general public today. In this era, information is available to anyone given that they have access to the internet. Without this access, the gateway to an unlimited source of information is blocked, and a solution is desperately needed.

Thus, SMS.edu was created to provide mathematical assistance, as well as real time reports regarding the news. By providing an easily accessible source of information without the need to be connected to the internet, the options are endless. This idea could branch out to whole Wikis being available to people offline, as well as restore the lost connection between offline individuals to the unlimited source of information this era is known for.

Impact

SMS.edu is a tool that makes education resources significantly more accessible to those with no Internet and those living in censored areas. It is quite common for an area to have no broadband Internet connection but still have phone lines. Keeping this in mind, we were able to create something that allows for unrestricted access to information through sending a text.

Technology

We started out by setting up the Twilio API on a Flask Python server, which we ran on GCP. We then linked it up to the Wolfram API and News API to allow users to send commands to the server through SMS and receive their information as a response. Finally, we linked everything up in a simple-to-use navigation flow.

Implementation

Our idea turned out very well and we were able to complete it entirely within the time that we had. SMS.edu is stable, simple, and polished. Currently, our app puts out truncated news due to the News API’s free plan, but this is simply a proof of concept and we were able to show how your access to Internet and education can be limitless with SMS.edu.

As mentioned before, this project could be expanded immensely with its gargantuan potential. By adding wikipedias, thesauruses, dictionaries, and more, a whole world of information can be provided to offline individuals -- just by hitting Send.

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